The palm trees of the French Riviera are in danger of withering thanks to a pervasive invasive beetle.
The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) announced on Wednesday that it is too late to save the trees from the pest.
“It is now impossible to eradicate the red palm weevil on the southern coast [of France],” an agency report concluded.
Larvae of the weevil came to France in a consignment of ornamental palms from Egypt several years ago.
Despite scientists trying to kill off the weevils with chemical treatmments, a fungus and predatory worms, the beetles continued to multiply and burrow into the trees.
A consultant for the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, said that ANSES was “owning up to failure [in the south] because of a lack of organisation”.