The Polyphagous shot hole borer was detected in South Africa in 2012 and since then has caused immense damage by destroying trees throughout South Africa.
Since its discovery it has spread to 8 of the 9 provinces in South Africa. It’s the largest current outbreak of this particular invasive pest in the world.
The estimation of its urban impact is the result of a collaboration between economists, ecologists and other scientists at Stellenbosch University (SU) and the University of Pretoria (UP), reports Business Tech. The team used a modelling approach based on forecasted impacts to illustrate possible future impacts and damage if nothing is done to prevent further spread of this invasive species.
The data gathered in the study showed that if the spread is not curbed between 2020 and 2030, an estimated 65 million trees will have to be removed and properly disposed of. The potential economic impact of the beetle’s damage could reach up to R275 billion, said the researchers.
How do you know if your trees are infected?
Woodborers live in the wood, so it is highly unlikely that you’d ever see them crawling outside on the bark, making it very difficult for an infestation to be detected.
Depending on the tree, identification differs. Signs of infestation could be sawdust collecting on the bark and around the base of the tree, in other trees there may be an oozing of liquid and gum from the beetle holes.
If you think that your trees might have been infected by the woodborer beetle, it is best to Call Service Master for an inspection and to advise and administer the best treatment.