Monday, August 25, 2008

pheromone traps for rhino beetle & red palm weevil

damaged coconut tree

Rhinoceros beetle Oryctes rhinoceros and Red palm weevil Rhynchophorus ferrugineus are 2 serious pests which account for over 60 percent damage & death to trees if their population is not checked.

Rhino beetle

These are big , black & heavily scaled insects, with a horn on its head giving it a rhino like appearance. They have wings & can fly. The adults bore the spathe & fronds which are tender and unopened. After opening of the spathe, one can see clear geometric cuts which will result in wilting of the inflorescence. The adults lay their eggs in fresh decaying manures and the larvae look like large prawns. Also when the base of the coconut roots are congested with excess mulch, it provides good conditions for the adults to lay the eggs in. the population peaks from june till September end.

Red Palm Weevil

These are orange red in color but not as large as the rhino beetle. Here presence of holes on the crown, stem, bole region can be noticed often with the oozing of a viscous liquid. Normally when the crown region is infected, wilting of the spindle can be noticed & results in slow death of the plant. Serious problem affecting farmers in coastal belt.

Trapping methods

pheromone lure with bucket

The pheromone bait is the most effective method in controlling the pests.

The principle is the same as mentioned in the previous post. Specialized buckets with 3 of 4 holes are made so that the pest can enter . the lure is suspended inside the bucket and water is added in the buckets. The bait buckets are placed at sites in the farm, where infestation is seen most.

red palm weevil seen on top & weekly catch including the black rhino beetles
after a week the water is checked for the catch & re filled to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
Photos and content by Pritham 'Heavy metal farmer' denzil dsouza


  1. At school where I teach (Malta, Mediterranean) we're beginning to notice symptoms of a RPE infection of our 29 palms.

    I'd really like to know what is the pheromone used to bait your traps.

    You may also contact me at

    Regards & Thanks.

    Eric Bonanno.

  2. please send me the details of entire procedure to do this trap or tell if we get it ready or what my mail id is

    please send me more and more pest and disease control technique in coconut we have 300+ trees but yield is very less due to diseases

  3. dear mohan,.
    thanks for visiting my blog. hope u were able to find out what u were looking for.

    coconut weevils are very destructive. the only affordable, safe, & effective method is using the pheromone traps as i have mentioned in the blog.

    it can be purchased from any good pest control dealer. the product i am using is made locally from Pest Control Of India, PCI, & they have several branches all over the country.

    they have 2 excellent products. one to catch red palm weevils...RPW & the other is to catch rhino beetles.

    i suggest u buy both the products as its the combination of both the insects that will destroy coconut plantations.

    the pheromone trap comes with buckets provided for free, & each trap can cover an area of around 5 acres. the effectiveness of the trap varies, from 2 to 5 months depending on the weather, monsoons etc.

    but u should remember, once the tree is damaged, there is nothing that can be done to protect the tree. the above method controls the spreading & attacking of the insect to other trees & success rate is very high.

    first the black rhino beetle attacks the head of the tree & starts to tunnel down inside the trunk. later the RPW beetle lays eggs inside the tunnel of the tree made by rhino beetle. the eggs hatch & start to eat the tree from the inside,. this process takes months, even years to kill a tree properly. therefore both the traps must be used.

    this is the best method for controlling beetles.

    i can suggest more about other diseases & pests i just need to know the symptoms.
    thank you
    pritham dsouza