SACRAMENTO, October 18, 2010 – Agricultural officials have confirmed the detection of a red palm weevil in the Laguna Beach area of Orange County – the first-ever detection of the pest in the United States. The weevil is considered to be the world’s worst pest of palm trees. An infestation typically results in the death of the tree. “This invasive pest is a threat not only to our nursery growers and date palm farmers,” said California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary A.G. Kawamura. “It also endangers all of the decorative palms that are so common in our landscape and so much a part of the classic California backdrop. I would like to express my gratitude to the landscape contractor who originally reported this pest. He is a Good Samaritan who did the right thing when he took the time to notify local agricultural authorities, and he has given us a very valuable head-start in our efforts.”