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Shot Hole Borers Still Present in Avocados

Posted: November 10, 2016

A recent headline caught a lot of attention by announcing that “Shot Hole Borers Vanish from Avocado Trees.” For the record, this headline is misleading at best. Shot hole borers, both polyphagous and Kuroshio, are still present in avocado groves in San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties and they continue to spread. However, much to everyone’s relief, despite initial signs of dieback in attacked avocado trees, they are not succumbing to this pest like sycamores, willows and other hosts are and appear to rebound quite well. The spread has appeared to slow somewhat as well. The infested area in Ventura County on the western side of Santa Paula has expanded only slightly through 2016, and northward movement has been slow too, with only a single specimen having been found in both Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties to date. A detailed update on the current shot hole borer situation can be found in the Fall 2016 issue of From the Grove. And to stay up to date on the beetle spread you can always view the current distribution map on Dr. Akif Eskalen’s website.