Shothole Borer Beetle (PSHB)

by | Feb 3, 2020 | Blog | 4 comments

PSHB comes to Kenton!

The Polyphagous Shothole Borer Beetle was first discovered in South Africa by the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) team, University of Pretoria in 2017. Since then the beetle and its fungus have been killing trees in all but one province in South Africa.


Reproductive galleries in pecan

PSHB galleries in coral tree

Shot gun-like symptoms on London Plane


Sadly the Shothole Borer Beetle is now in Kenton. The beetles attack a wide range of exotic and indigenous trees in urban, agricultural and natural landscapes. However, PSHB is not able to complete its life cycle on all the tree species it attacks. Those that the beetle is able to breed on (reproductive hosts) include species of oaks, maples, willows, coral trees, avocado and castor bean.

Dying wild plum tree: wilting, drying and shedding
leaves before complete branch dieback.

English oak with branches dying back.

Dieback of branches on paper bark thorn tree.

Chinese maple killed by PSHB infestation.

There is no way in which the PHSB invasion in South Africa can be stopped. However, treatment and management strategies can reduce the impact. The FABI has guidelines set out for municipalities and home owner to follow.

KOSRA has requested a meeting with the Senior Conservation Officer, Ndlambe Municipality to find out what plans they have in place and what the community can do to assist them.

Go to to read up on PSHB and to download their leaflets:

PHSB information sheet
Life stages of the beetle
External symptom types
How to photograph for diagnosis
How to sample



  1. Is there a preventative treatment that could be used on those tree species most favoured by the beetle that could be implemented at Kenton?

  2. Well done and thanks for your initiative

  3. are milkwoods at risk?

    • Reds Milkwoods are apparently!

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