THE University of Cordoba has developed a pesticide that could ward off the palm tree-killing Red Palm Weevil.
A research group found trees could be saved if pesticides are injected into the stricken tree early enough.
An Andalucian company has patented the formula, which could prove to be a match for the beetle that has wrought devastation in palm plantations across southern Spain for over 20 years.
As many as 20,000 palm trees in Andalucia alone have been killed by the beetle since its arrival, leading to an attempted intervention by the EU.
For more long-term cases, where the weevil has gained a foothold, the university in experimenting using a fungus which is toxic to the beetle, though at present the treatment may be too expensive for use by Town Halls.