SA boffs beat borer beetle

Staff Writer | Aug 12, 2019
A South African company has developed a technology which is the first to prove effective in killing the polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB), the tiny beetle that has been killing trees worldwide at an alarming rate.

While the beetle affects mainly non-indigenous trees, it does affect some indigenous South African trees, and Johannesburg is under particular threat for being the third largest man-made forest in the world.

The PSHB, a native of south-east Asia, is no bigger than 2mm, but carries a fungus that kills trees. It has been spotted in every province except Limpopo and, until recently, there was no way to stop it. 

Parys-based company Pan African Farms has come up with a solution to rid trees of the borer. The treatment got the go-ahead from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in June, which means it can be used as an agricultural remedy.


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