A NEW weapon has emerged in the battle to rid Andalucia of its infestation of red palm weevils – sex!
Researchers are lacing nearby areas with the weevils’ own sex hormones in a bid to try and lure them away from the trees.
And a leading horticulturalist believes anyone who owns palms should have to lay pheromone traps BY LAW.
Gardener and weevil expert Lisa Taylor, 37, said: “If your garden has palm trees, then I think by law you should have at least two pheromone traps to stop the weevils spreading.
“People have said that we should stop buying palms from Egypt but it doesn’t matter as they will continue to spread from within Spain and the tree will get infested anyway.”
Taylor added: “Be vigilant and try to deal with it before it is too late.”
Affected resident, the historical fiction author Alistair Forrest, says the plague is overrunning his garden in Monda, near Coin.
In one 24-hour period he caught more than 20 of the pests.
He said: “I’m staggered by the sudden attack.”
The insects can fly 500m from palm to palm and females lay up to 300 eggs in the tree.
Once hatched the grubs bore into the interior of the palm, eating it from the inside out and usually killing the tree in the process.