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Environment & Science

Iconic SoCal palm trees in peril as weevils take hold

South American Palm Weevil
South American Palm Weevil
Mike Lewis and the Center for Invasive Species
South American Palm Weevil
Healthy Canary Islands date palm showing strong vertical central fronds.
Center for Invasive Species Research
South American Palm Weevil
A dead Canary Islands date palm killed by R. palmarum in San Ysidro, San Diego County, California USA. Note the “halo” of fronds around the trunk apex.
The Center for Invasive Species Research

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The South American palm weevil has made its way up to Southern California and that's a big problem.

According to Mark Hoddle, an entomologist at UC Riverside and the director of the Center for Invasive Species Research, they spread efficiently, are difficult to catch and they destroy palm trees from the inside out. All of which means one thing: our palm trees, and our date industry, are in trouble.

Will scientists be able to stop them before they spread further throughout the Golden State?

To hear the full interview, click the blue play button above.