The polyphagous shot hole borer is a beetle that has infested southern California. The beetle drills into trees and spreads a fungus that it feeds on. Larva and fungus of the beetle was found on several backyard avocado trees and orchards, and little is still know about the pest.
At the 2014 California Association of Pest Control Advisors Annual Convention, attendees listened to what UC Riverside Professor Richard Stouthammer says is known about the beetle. Stouthammer said managing the pest is challenging due to its fast reproduction and the fact that it doesn’t feed on the tree itself.
Researchers are looking for possible bacteria that will kill the fungi, and in turn kill the beetle. Stouthammer says that nobody has had success managing this pest.