Mexico: Nayarit takes action to prevent ambrosia beetle arriving there

The National Forestry Commission (Conafor) started to set up lindgren funnel traps to monitor the ambrosia beetle pest and to strengthen the technical capacity for evaluating damages, installing and managing traps, taking and sending samples, and working on strategies for the detection of this pest in red laurel and avocado.

It is important to note that currently this plague has not been detected in Mexico and that authorities are carrying out these actions because its presence has been detected in the US. The arrival of this pest into the country would represent a serious threat for producers as they would lose crops, have a lower production and quality, production costs would increase, the domestic and external markets would be affected, there would be collateral effects on the environment, and it would have social impacts, such as a decrease in jobs.

Conafor staff visited and set traps at the areas that are considered to be at a high risk of affection by the ambrosia beetles. The traps are set in orchards, nurseries, main roads, urban areas with host plants, as well as the sites where the wood is imported from other countries and is used in packaging or pallets.

The devices work by using an attractive pheromone which causes the insect to the look for it and fall into the trap. An antifreeze liquid or isoproyl alcohol is placed in the trap with the purpose of killing and partially preserving the captured insects so they can be studied and identified.

Conafor has 7 monitoring traps in Nayarit, in the suburbs of Compostela, El Refilión, Bella Union, and Jaltepec, which belong to the municipality of Compostela; the ejido La Curva in Xalisco, Ixtlan del Rio, and Tepic.

The ambrosia beetles belong to the Xyleborinitribe, which currently has 30 genera and approximately 1,200 species distributed in most forests worldwide, mainly in the tropics. These beetles attack several woody plants, causing dieback of twigs, stems, and sometimes the plants death because they usually carry a phytopathogenic fungus that can wilt and slowly kill the tree.


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