Problem: Palmetto Weevil (Insects)
Rhynchophorus cruentatus This weevil is a Florida native whose primary food is cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto), but it will feed on saw palmettos (Serenoa repens), Canary Island date palms (Phoenix canariensis), Mexican washington palms (Washingtonia robusta), royal palms (Roystonea), Bismark palms (Bismarckia noblis) coconut palms (Cocos nucifera) and some other palms as well. It is attracted to damaged or dying palms. The adults are black and red, or all black, beetles up to 11/4 inches long and have long snouts. Their young are legless yellow grubs to 11/2 inches long. They feed on the new leaf tissue around the central bud, killing the leaves and eventually, the entire plant. Adults fly actively, and are most noticeable in late spring and early summer. Palms under stress, including newly planted palms, are at the greatest risk from palmetto weevils.
Seal openings around doors and windows, inspect and repair screens. Once trees begin to show symptoms, they cannot be saved. Discard them to keep the grubs from maturing. Keep trees healthy with regular feeding and watering, and avoid wounding them, such as by pruning.