U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version


Document Type



Agricultural Research 61(7): August 2013; ISSN 0002-161X


Avocados aren’t just nutritional powerhouses; they’re also the chief ingredient in such party favorites as guacamole dip.

More than 99 percent of the nation’s $322 million avocado crop is grown in south Florida and southern California (less than 1 percent is produced in Hawaii), which makes recent infestations of groves there by invasive, wood-boring ambrosia beetles so alarming. A host of counter strategies are in the works, including a biobased foam originally developed by Agricultural Research Service scientists for use against Formosan subterranean termites.

In Miami-Dade County, Florida, avocado growers are contending with Xyleborus glabratus, the redbay ambrosia beetle. In California, particularly Los Angeles County, the fight is against a different ambrosia beetle species—the polyphagous shot hole borer, Euwallacea sp.