Updated 04:06 AM EST, Tue, Mar 09, 2021

Mexico Steps Up Avocado Protection Against Ambrosial Beetles, Positions More Than 4,000 Traps

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Mexico has positioned more than 2,000 traps for ambrosial beetles To better protect one of the country's biggest produce -- avocados. 

Fresh Plaza noted that their strengthened protection of avocado cultivation covered 528 municipalities and 27 states. These places in Mexico reportedly produce more than 1.5 million tons of avocado every year.

It added that, through the 2,414 traps for these beetles, farmers are able to properly detect if there is a possible infestation of their crops.

These traps are said to be located in high-risk areas like airports, border areas, bus stations, distribution centers and botanical gardens.

The Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) added that the conduct more than 25,000 trap checks every week. Once these plagues are detected, the said office go to the identified location to investigate and gather more information.

Samples of the infestation are then sent to the National Phytosanitary Reference Center (CNRF) for diagnosis.

Aside from these measures, Fresh Plaza also explained that surveillance activities on the avocado production have also even strengthened through sentinel plants that can be found in the ports of Lazaro Cardenas, Michoacan, Manzanillo and Colima.

"These plants are checked every week to see if they show any signs or symptoms of being affected by the ambrosia," added the same report.

Tampa Bay shared that farmers in Mexico, as well as in California, are threatened with the ambrosia beetle since it can end the existence of hundreds of fruit-producing plants and trees.

It noted that these pests are slowly moving to other parts of the world, leading people to fear that guacamole will soon be just a memory.

The San Diego Union Tribune earlier noted that the avocado beetle from Mexico has also infested tree species in Southern California.

"The beetles undermine the wood, and when the wind comes, the branches snap right off. It's devastating for me to walk around down there," said ecologist John Boland, noting that the fungus of this pest destroys the vascular tissues of trees.

In a similar report, AgResearch Magazine added that, when ignored, the avocado beetle may also affect forest ecosystems since it also targets trees.

It also explained that the infestation in trees could result to the lack of needed compounds for tree survival since the beetles sniff this out from them.

There is said to be a remedy for this pest infestation using the fungicide "Alamo," as per AgResearch Magazine. However, it claimed that this procedure is costly for farmers and would need approval from a regulating body when applied for commercial produce.

Up to now, agricultural researchers are still searching for a solution to this pest problem for avocados.

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