Current status of red palm weevil infestation in date palm plantations in Israel

V. Soroker, D. Blumberg, A. Haberman, M. Hamburger-Rishard, S. Reneh, S. Talebaev, L. Anshelevich, A. R. Harari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The red palm weevil Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) (RPW) is the most serious pest of date palms in the Middle East. Weevil infestation was first detected in Israel in the summer of 1999 in date plantations in the Jordan Valley, on the west bank of the Jordan River and in the northern area of the Dead Sea. For 2 years following the discovery of the pest, prophylactic insecticide chemical treatments as well as adult weevil trapping were carried out over 450 ha of date palm plantations. Traps loaded with a commercial aggregation pheromone, ferrugineol, supplemented with ethyl acetate and a fermenting mixture of dates and sugarcane molasses, were posted in high trap density (approx. ten traps per ha) in order to monitor weevil infestation and reduce the RPW population by mass trapping. A significant decrease in number of trapped beetles and infested trees was observed in 2001 and continued in the following years. No infested trees have been found since 2002, indicating a decrease in RPW population. The sex ratio of trapped adults during 3 years of study was significantly female-biased (∼2.5:1). Therefore, mass trapping might have played a significant role in the suppression of RPW populations in date plantations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-106
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Amos Navon and Mr. Uri Landau for critical comments on this manuscript, Mrs. Shlomit Levsky and Mrs. Miriam Eliahu for maintaining the laboratory population of weevils, Mrs. Dvora Gordon, Mr. Yaakov Nakash, Dany Lavi and Izhak Shema for assistance with weevil monitoring, Mr. Shimon Biton for supervision of chemical control and the late Ren6h Modiano for editorial comments. This research was supported by the Israel Ministry of Agriculture Chief Scientist Foundation Grant No. 131-1127-01; andlsraeli Palm Growers Association Grant No. 463-0232. This manuscript is contribution 505/03 from The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel.


  • Adult mass trapping
  • Aggregation pheromone
  • Date palm
  • Red palm weevil
  • Rhynchophorus ferrugineus
  • Sex ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Insect Science


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