Ventura County is at the leading edge of the California polyphagous shot hole borer infestation. Ventura County Natural Resources Advisor Sabrina Drill was interviewed about the pest for the VC Reporter.
"Vast swaths of San Diego have been affected by the beetle, leaving behind “thousands of dead willows,” says Sabrina Drill, Ph.D. Drill is a natural resources adviser and Los Angeles and Ventura Counties associate director for the University of California, Ventura County Cooperative Extension.
“One of the interesting/terrifying things about this beetle is that it has a huge host range of trees,” said Drill. “It seems like almost any tree species that doesn't block the growth of the fungi in some way, or somehow inhibits reproduction of the beetle, can act as a host.”
The UC researchers have identified around 300 tree species that have been affected by the beetle, 35 of which can act as reproductive hosts. The avocado industry has responded to the beetle threat directly; in particular, the California Avocado Commission contributed over $2 million toward researching ways to combat the pest."
Note, the reproductive host list is actually now up to 41 species, and expected to continue to grow throughout the summer.
Read the full article at http://www.vcreporter.com/cms/story/detail/beetle_mania/14224/