COMPANIES are being invited to tender for a contract to detect and treat Elche’s trees that have been affected by the red palm weevil.
The weevil, which is about 3cm long, is difficult to combat in that the severest damage is only detectable long after infection by which time it is too late to save the tree.
The contract is worth an estimated €32,000 a year for two years.
Councillors are calling for detection, and both preventive and curative treatments for a creature that is originally thought to have arrived in Spain in trees imported from Egypt.
Mayor Antonio Garcia said the council’s policies had already made it possible to save around 800 trees which would previously have been destroyed at a cost to the authority of €200,000.