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Top 8 Palm Tree Insects and Disease and How to Treat Them?

Palm Tree Pests And Diseases

Palm trees are widely used as an exotic houseplant but Palm Tree Pests And Diseases are dangerous, a greenhouse specimen, and no doubt, the landscaping focal point helps enhance the overall beauty of your home in various aspects. Like they are a beautiful addition to the landscape, they also tend to be a favorite among insects, and that means multiple types of insects can invade palm trees, and quickly harm the tree.

But if you compare this tree with many other trees, it doesn’t have many diseases or pest problems. But cold or freeze damage is widespread in palm trees which easily attracts unwanted insects and diseases. So, if you have palm trees at your home, and are unaware of common palm tree insect pests and diseases, then this post will help you identify those. Let’s get started: –

1. Palm leaf skeletonizer

They are tiny caterpillars that feed on both surfaces of the palm leaves. This insect eats the leaf between the veins and the ribs in the form of a dark tube structure that looks like a leaf skeleton.


According to professional palm tree pests and diseases, if you have spotted them early, your tree will be saved; otherwise, not. If you have spotted, hose off the larva with high pressure till it’s all gone. However, if the infestation is severe, then remove the infected fronds and wash the rest. Moreover, spraying some insecticides that contain carbaryl can also do the best work.

2. Red palm weevil

This insect originated in Asia but migrated to the USA, which caused a lot of issues for palm tree growers. They mainly look like small beetles with black abdomens and redheads. If you talk about the larvae of this insect, it is oblong, cream, and sometimes white in the shade. They lay eggs in palm trunks. Signs of red palm weevil are: –

  • Mutilated leaves
  • Sparse leaves toward the center of the crown
  • Finger-size holes in the trunk, especially near the frond bases
  • Brown liquid seeping from wounds in the trunk


When you see this insect on a palm tree, you have to burn wood and leaves so that the insect will stop spreading. However, another option is spraying insecticides on the tree.

3. Bud rot

Bud rot is a disease that affects the smaller area of a palm tree. There are two primary fungi species called phytophthora palmivora and thielaviopsis paradoxa that cause bud rot. However, these fungi invade the heart of the palm tree and successfully form new buds.


Basically, there is no cure for bud rot once a tree gets infected. But if you have recognized this disease in the beginning, you can spread fungicides; if not, you have to remove the tree.

4. Saddleback caterpillar

Saddleback caterpillars feed the underside of the pal leaves and chew large holes in the foliage. They are of dark brown shade having distinct bright green patterns. However, this insect has poisonous spines that cause a burning sensation like a bee if you touch them with bare hands.


The best treatment of this insect is a biological insecticide, but wear gloves to protect your skin.

5. Spider mites

They are not true insects. Instead, they are members of the spider family. They are mainly grown on indoor plants and in dry conditions. Well, there are various types of spider mites and most of these feed on a palm tree. The sign of a spider mite insect on a palm tree is yellow spotting or stippling in the leaf.

However, in most of, the cases leaf turns pale.


Horticultural oil, insecticidal soap, or miticides is the best solution to treat spider mites.

6. Palm aphid

This insect mostly appears on the newest growth and young fruits. This sucking insect infests a palm tree in large numbers. The Palm aphid insect is about 1-2 mm long with an oval dark brown body with a ring of white wax around them. However, they are very wise insects as they feed on plants for a long time while appearing motionless.


Tree removal is not a good solution, opting for insecticidal soap or horticultural oil is the best option. Remember that spraying oil will only kill pests on contact, so you have to re-apply the mixture if necessary.

7. Palmetto weevil

This insect is native to Florida, and being a large beetle, it is mainly attracted to severely wounded and dying palms. Apart from that, they also attack stressed newly transplanted palms. Moreover, palmetto weevils vary from one shade to another, like black to red.

In addition to that, if you talk about the size, it also varies from 1.9 to 3.0 cm. The adult weevil lays eggs in leaf bases and automatically hatch into large, creamy, yellowish larvae. However, it takes around three days to hatch eggs, and then the feeding process starts.

When this larva grows, they tunnel into the palm hearts.


If you have noticed this problem early, treat the tree with insecticidal soap. However, this is the only thing you can do before the adult weevil emerges.

8. Royal palm bug

This insect again is native to Florida, and there is only one other insect that attacks royal palms: the Cuba bug. This tiny yellow-green bug mainly feeds on young palm leaves. However, the female bugs deposit their eggs between the folds of the newly emerging leaflets.

These insects cannot kill the palm tree but can cause significant damage.


The best way to deal with this pest is spraying insecticide spray. If the palm is too tall on which spray is not possible, then drench the soil at the first sign of an infestation. If you cannot, contact professional palm tree pests and diseases.

No doubt, both insects and diseases mainly attack weakened trees, and the reason is that healthy palms can easily resist insect pests and diseases. So, if you want to keep the tree healthy, make sure to take care of nutrient levels and winter protection. Moreover, for the best result, catch the insects and various diseases early before any of them overpower the tree and die.

If someone faces any problems in taking care of a palm tree, make sure to contact professional palm tree pests and diseases so that your tree will last long for years.

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