THE INFESTATION of Andalucia’s trees by red palm weevils appears to be spreading.
The Junta expects the number of call outs to affected zones to reach a total of 725 by the end of the year.
Andalucia’s agriculture department believes the region’s whole coastline is already infected by the pest.
The town halls are overwhelmed by the scale of the plight and have no concrete action plans.
The Huelva Town Hall said the problem ‘exceeds’ its capabilities.
Cadiz council has estimated that treating or destroying each infected tree costs a massive 500 euros.
The weevils infiltrated Spain around 2004 via wood imported from Morocco or Egypt.
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.