New and SERIOUS Southern California Tree threat: Shot Hole Borer

Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer Photo credit Gevork Arakelian
Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer Photo credit Gevork Arakelian

Southern California has a new threat to Sycamore, Avocado, Coast Live Oak, Box Elder and Castor Bean that causes severe damage and eventually tree death.  The Euwallacea fornicatus, suggested common name is Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer (PSHB), an Ambrosia Beetle, is rapidly killing mature trees throughout Southern California and there’s no way to stop them other than prevention.  Once a tree has been infected, the chance of saving it is extremely small.

This beetle has probably come to the area from South East Asia, and possibly Africa.  It is causing extensive damage to avocado trees in Israel.

Trees that already host some form of fungus are ideal for beetle reproduction.  The mild damage is branch dieback, but can quickly transition to death.  They normally only spend a small amount of time on the outside of the tree before boring in and causing the real damage.

Prevention is the only cure

We’ve been called out by numerous clients throughout Southern California because we are licensed pest control specialists with the equipment that can reach up to 50 feet high.  We are one of the only companies with this capabilities in Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties.  Through our prevention measures on your trees, we can stop the invasion north from Los Angeles County.

Please call us if you have any of the following trees so we can treat them BEFORE they are attacked.  This threat is SUBSTANTIAL and if you have these trees, you must act promptly or risk losing them.

  • Acacia (Acacia spp.)
  • Box elder (Acer negundo)
  • Big leaf maple (Acer macrophyllum)
  • Evergreen Maple (Acer paxii)
  • Trident maple (Acer buergerianum)
  • Japanese maple (Acer palmatum)
  • Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin)
  • Titoki (Alectryon excelsus)
  • Tree of heaven (Alianthus altissima)
  • White Alder  (Alnus rhambifolia)
  • Camellia (Camellia semiserrata)
  • Moreton Bay Chestnut  (Castanospermum australe)
  • Blue palo verde (Cercidium floridum)
  • Brea (Cercidium sonorae)
  • Coral tree (Erythrina corallodendon)
  • Red Flowering Gum  (Eucalyptus ficifolia)
  • Chinese holly (Ilex cornuta)
  • Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua)
  • Palo verde (Parkinsonia aculeata)
  • Avocado (Persea americana)
  • London plane (Platanus x acerifolia)
  • California Sycamore (Platanus racemosa)
  • Cottonwood  (Populus fremontii)
  • Black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa)
  • Mesquite (Prosopis articulata)
  • Coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia)
  • Engelmann Oak (Quercus engelmannii)
  • Valley oak (Quercus lobata)
  • English Oak (Quercus robur)
  • Cork Oak (Quecus suber)
  • Castor bean (Ricinus communis)
  • Weeping willow (Salix babylonica)
  • Goodding’s black willow (Salix gooddingii)
  • Red Willow (Salix laevigata)
  • Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda) – See more at:


Snail Season

Every year at this time, we seem to see the snails and slugs come out in Ventura County, Santa Barbara County and other coastal communities.  Snails cause great damage to many landscapes, plants, shrubs and flowers.

If your property seems to get hit hard by the snail season, give us a call.  We have the expertise and experience that helps keep them away from your plants.

Like you, we want to keep your landscape beautiful and pest free.

Plant Disease Control with Plant RX (Tree Doctor)

Pest Control, Plant Disease, TruckThere are many types of diseases that affect your landscape’s plants.  To have a  healthy, growing environment for your plants you must have: Good soil structure, drainage and texture; acceptable soil pH; sufficient water;  acceptable temperature and light; sufficient space for expanding roots and crowns; clean air; and relative freedom from pests and diseases

Significant fluctuations in one or more of these areas can result in poor plant health.

Kastle Kare provides the consultation to help diagnose the problems with your plants and suggest a treatment or routine treatment program that restores the plants back to health.

For more information about Plant RX, our plant, landscape and lawn division, please visit this page.

Plant Disease Spraying, insect, disease control, Ventura County, CA

Gopherman of Kastle Kare TV Commercial

A few years back we ran this TV commercial on a Ventura County cable TV station. The video is a funny TV Commercial that you may have seen a few years back.  The video highlights our Ventura County Gopher Control services.  In the video we have an actor named Bill Murray, but he’s not the famous one you know from Caddy Shack.  But, that is his real name.  Also, at the end of the video are some of the Gopherman employees.

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Get “Bug Blasted” (a division of Kastle Kare Pest Control)

Residential Pest Control Company, Camarillo, CAFor ants, roaches, fleas, mosquitoes, moths, wasps, bees, gophers, voles, rats,  spiders and more, Bug Blasted is your top choice. Get your Bugs Blasted by the pest control division of Kastle Kare.

We specialize in all household and landscape pests.

Leaf curl found on Myopurum plants in Ventura County

Leaf Curl on Myopurum tree shrub plant, disease, pest controlThere is a new pest attacking plants in Southern California. This pest is called a thrips. It has become a very serious problem to a common ornamental shrub in Ventura County. It is commonly used among highways and freeways. The thrips damages the plants leaves and causes spectacular and unsightly damage.

Myoporum Trees/Shrubs are the target

These trees are commonly used as privacy hedges. They are lined on hundreds of miles along California’s highways. They are a robust ever green tree that bears white (or near white) blossoms in winter to mid spring.It is a fast growing shrub or small tree which appears dome shaped at first.

The symptoms you see is a very tight leaf curl.

The pictures to the right show the leaf curl that occurs. This leaf curl, when left unchecked can quickly spread throughout the entire tree. This greatly diminishes the attractiveness of the tree/shrub. It detracts from the tree’s privacy hedge affect as well.

About the Thrips (the pests)

Thrips are sucking insects. They are similar this way to aphids, mealy bugs, whiteflies and scales. The biggest threat to ornamental plants are sucking insects, like the thrips. Thrips are very tiny, and hard to be seen by the naked eye. They can be seen squirming when you uncurl the leaves that they inhabit. Their entire life cycle is only 10 days. They lay eggs, that hatch into nymphs and quickly grow into maturity. They suck the life out of the plants.

There is an expectation that this new genus of thrips, called Klambothrips, will cause widespread damage along the 100’s of miles using the common Myoporum plant.

Kastle Kare Treatments

Kastle Kare treats these trees/shrubs and revives them back to life. Call our office to schedule an appointment to see if your plants are affected by this troubling pest.