Farmers are asked to be on the alert for Polyphagous shot hole borer infestations.
DEFF (Department of Environmental, Forestry and Fisheries) renders a diagnostic service for the identification and verification of PSHB infestations.
Caese is a bio pesticide that is registered internationally. It kills the fungus, but not the beetle. If the fungus is dealt with, 80% of the problem is resolved.
There is a draft government Gazette in place and the matter will be Gazetted in August 2019. PSHB might even be declared a national disaster.
Farmers should note that chipping bigger than 15 microns could still pose a risk of infestation.
The phyto-sanitary measures state that it is not allowed to transport infected wood without a permit. There is a concern about large private businesses and small local wood business selling wood.
Land-owners and farmers are not permitted to cut down infected trees and dump it anywhere. Service providers must be registered to provide a service to farmers/land-owners to remove infected trees.
Report any cases of PSHB to the call centre:
CoCT PSHB reporting line: 0860 103 089
Environmental Call centre: 086 111 2468
Samples can be forwarded to the Diagnostic Laboratory at the Plant Quarantine Station, Stellenbosch for attention, Dr Welma Pietersen (021 809 1644) .