Scouting for the Redbay Ambrosia Beetle – Laurel Wilt Pathogen Infestation of Avocado Trees
Please find below some suggested directions for tentatively identifying an infestation of the redbay ambrosia beetle – laurel wilt pathogen Growers and their workers should survey their groves immediately and then weekly or more often if an infestation is detected nearby.
Symptoms to look for include:
- Leaf and young stem wilting.
- Leaf color changing from light green to dark green, greenish-brown.
- Dead leaves hanging on the tree.
- Stem and limb dieback.
- Inspection of the trunk and major limbs may show dried sap (white, crystalline powder-like material). In any case, remove the bark down to the sapwood and look for dark streaking. Dark streaks in the sapwood indicate fungal infection. Normally this sapwood should be white to yellowish with no dark staining or streaking. In addition, small, dark holes in the sapwood indicate wood boring beetles are present.
- The presence of these two symptoms, i.e., dark streaks in the sapwood and dark entrance holes strongly suggest the tree is positive for laurel wilt.
In order to have a sample taken, to confirm an infestation, and to track the spread of this insect-disease please report this to the Department of Plant Industry at 305-252-4360 or 1-888-397-1517.
Tropical Research & Education Center
18905 SW 280 Street
Homestead, FL 33031 Phone:
(305) 246-7001 x290