85% of area planted with avocado in Mexico is pests free
Hence the importance of keeping under control the pests that affect avocado and that represent an obstacle to export this product, limiting its commercialization abroad due to the phytosanitary restrictions that import countries establish on Mexican avocados.
There are five pests that are regulated, that is, it is characterized and regulated as a quarantine pest, but under official control, that affect avocado production:
• Borer branches of the aguacatero: larvae bore into the branch down to the bone, preventing the flow of water and nutrients, so it causes defoliation, abortion of flowers and fruits. It is a native pest of Mexico, generally, its presence is concentrated in avocado areas of the central states of the country.
• Small borers ( Conotrachelus perseae and C. avocatae) of the avocado pit: the main damage is caused by the larvae when they enter, feed and pierce the pulp or stain it, causing the premature fall of the damaged fruits. The distribution and origin of the small borers of the avocado pit is restricted to the American continent.
• Large borer of the avocado pit: the larvae feed on the seed causing the premature fall of the fruit, they can remain in the tree until the larva reaches its full development without destroying the seed in its entirety; they leave a hole where it will remain in the pupal stage until the adult emerges. Adults feed on the tender parts of avocado branches, flowers and fruits. The distribution and origin of this pest is restricted to the American continent, Mexico, Central America and Colombia.
• Avocado borer moth, the distribution and origin of this pest is restricted to the American continent, Mexico, Central and South America. Its larva causes three types of damage: pierce and drill terminal and lateral shoots that wilt and die; drills and cuts the peduncles and the base of the small fruits, which immature fall to the ground and, attack the large and almost ripe fruits, damaging them in such a way that they cannot be used for consumption.
Thanks to the SENASICA campaign against regulated pests of the avocado tree implemented since 1997, it has been possible to improve the phytosanitary status and obtain the official recognition of areas free of Avocado Borers, which in 2020 added 85 municipalities and eight agroecological zones that include an area of 205,264 hectares and represent 85% of the area planted with avocado in Mexico. ■