THE red palm weevil has been relentless in its destruction of palm trees across Mallorca. More than four per cent of palms on the island have fallen victim to the scourge which now afflicts every single local community.
There are over a quarter of a million palm trees on Mallorca, and more than 11,500 have succumbed to the weevil since it first debuted a decade ago. Not all cases have been reported, meaning the figure is surely much higher than now admitted.
The snout beetle has been advancing steadily westwards since the 1980s, sweeping across the dust of Saudi Arabia and Egypt to find fertile territory in Spain. In Mallorca it has proven remarkably ravenous, adapting its appetite on demand as it quickly conquered the island.
Combating the plague has proven surprisingly difficult even given the fearsome chemical agents at the government’s disposal.