Situation of Rhynchophorus ferrugineus in Malta
In Malta, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae – EPPO A2 List) was first found in October 2007 (see EPPO RS 2010/204). It now occurs in all parts of the island of Malta. In October 2012, it was found for the first time on the island of Gozo during monitoring activities. Beetles were caught in pheromone traps placed in 4 different localities in Gozo. The identity of the pest was confirmed by the Plant Health Directorate. The origin of this introduction into Gozo is unknown. In August 2013, R. ferrugineus was detected for the first time on the island of Comino, also during monitoring activities. Infested palm trees were found in a private plantation. In the Maltese archipelago, R. ferrugineus attacks palm trees (Phoenix canariensis, Chamaerops humilis, Washingtonia spp.) growing in nurseries, gardens or as landscaping trees. Phytosanitary measures are being implemented against the pest. Malta, Gozo and Comino have been declared as demarcated areas for R. ferrugineus. An action plan has been set up and different measures are being implemented to control and eradicate the pest. These measures include: installation of various traps across the islands of Malta and Gozo, monitoring and surveillance, application of preventive and curative treatments, destruction of severely infested palm trees, palm tagging in nurseries, and restrictions on the movements of palm trees in accordance with the Commission Decision 2007/365/EC and Maltese legislation.
The pest status of Rhynchophorus ferrugineus in Malta is officially declared as:
Malta: Present in all parts of the area.
Gozo: Present only in some areas.
Comino: Present at low prevalence.
NPPO of Malta (2013-08).