Dates are subject to infestation by several insect species during and after harvest. In Tunisia, the world first producer of Deglet Nour variety, infestation rate may reach 20%, which leads to serious damages to the fruit rendering it unfit for human consumption and unacceptable for marketing in international trade. The main pest of date is carob moth (Ectomyelois ceratoniae) which develops inside the fruit and continues its growth upon arrival at the packaging plant and during storage.
The proliferation of date palm pests and the severity of infestation vary according to the pest species, age of the tree and the dominating environmental conditions.
The following pests are classified as key pests because of their wide presence and the severe economic damage they can cause to the date palms and fruits:
Effect of Sunning as Post Harvest Treatment for Insect Pests on Antioxidants and Physicochemical Properties of Date Fruit
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