Attack of the Shot-Hole Borer

by CapeNature

The blog title may sound like something from the realm of science fiction but unfortunately the Shot-Hole Borer is a very real and present threat to trees in South Africa.

The Polyphagous Shot-Hole Borer (PSHB) is a beetle from Asia that has recently been discovered in South Africa. It has a destructive impact on living trees as it lays eggs inside branches and trunks, ultimately causing disease and death of the host. The beetle creates tunnels, deep within the tree, where it breeds. The female beetle carries a fungus which spreads outwards from the tunnels into the tree, blocking the tree’s vascular system. The tree branches begin to dry up, they lose their leaves and with time the tree may die.

You can help protect our trees against this devastating threat.  Watch the video below for more information.

If you’re out and about in one of the CapeNature reserves and come across a tree which has symptoms of Shot-Hole Borer infestation, please contact us at with the details. Sightings in any other areas should be reported to FABI (Forestry and Agriculture Biotechnology Institute) – see their website with more contact details at

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