How to Report Suspected Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer Attacks

  • Jul 30, 2015

Growers are reminded to be vigilant about surveying their trees and other known host species on or near their property for signs of the polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB) beetle. 

If you find a suspected attack you should contact your PCA or Farm Advisor. Samples can be submitted to UC Riverside for confirmation using the form available on Dr. Eskalen’s website. However, the submission protocols must be followed as outlined on the website. For beetle sample submission the following are provided as guidelines to ensure sample integrity for proper identification:

  • Separate the insects from plant material and dirt.
  • Place specimens in vials with some preservative (preferred preservative 95% ethanol, rubbing alcohol is ok).
  • Keep vials in refrigerator or freezer until they are shipped (if shipped by mail, pour out most of the preservative before shipping). 
  • Give detailed information on who collected the specimens, their contact information, and where the specimens were collected (county, town, location within town, if possible gps coordinates, host plant or other method of collecting the specimens).

The current best recommendation for managing this pest in commercial avocado groves is to remove infested branches and chip them immediately. Do not remove the chipped material from the grove, rather use it as mulch within the grove. Chipping infested wood to approximately 1-inch pieces has been shown to kill about 98 percent of the beetles in the wood.