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The Polyphagous Shothole Borer Beetle (PSHB) is coming closer to Noordhoek!

The Polyphagous Shothole Borer Beetle (PSHB) is coming closer to Noordhoek! Here is what you need to know about this beetle which could kill 50% of our trees.


The area in Red is the current confirmed spread of Beetle, and yellow is the leading edge as of 25 April 2024


1. What is the Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer Beetle Infestation?
The Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer (PSHB) beetle is an invasive species that has been infesting trees in Cape Town since 2019. The infestation has now spread beyond traditional hotspots, with the first sighting reported in Penhill, Eerste River/Constantia. The beetle poses a significant threat to the local flora, and residents are urged to report any sightings and participate in free training sessions offered by the City to handle the situation responsibly.
Residents can learn more by following @PSHB update on facebook, as well as


2. Where was the first sighting of the PSHB beetle reported?
The first sighting of the PSHB beetle beyond its traditional hotspots in Cape Town was reported in Penhill, Eerste River.
Large sections along the Liesbeek river as well as Somerset West and Stellenbosch are infected.

3. What is the impact of the infestation on local flora?
The infestation has negatively impacted a variety of tree species, including Boxelders, London Planes, English Oaks, Beef Wood, Weeping Willow, Cape Chestnut, Black Locust, Paperbark, and Maples. Besides branches and whole trees dying there is a serious risk to property, humans and animals when these fall down.

50% of the trees in Noordhoek are from these species.

4. What to look out for and symptoms of infested trees
Branch dieback – cracks on the branch; discoloured leaves; dry and leafless branches; branch break-off revealing webs of galleries filled with black fungus
Gumming – blobs of goo coming out of the bark; oozing of liquid and gum from the beetle holes
Entry and exit holes – very small holes on the bark of the tree, the size of a sesame seed (2mm diameter); shotgun-like scars developing around the holes
Staining – brow or dark stains on the bark of the tree
More information on these signs can be found on @PSHB update on facebook, as well as

5. What countermeasures is the City of Cape Town taking against the infestation?
The City of Cape Town is urging residents to participate in free training sessions offered by the City to handle the PSHB beetle threat in a responsible and effective manner. They are also encouraging residents to report any sightings of the beetle and allowing access to private properties to conduct assessments.

6. What is the urgency in containing the spread of the PSHB beetle infestation?
The PSHB beetle poses a significant threat to Cape Town’s urban forest, and the only way to handle infested trees is to chip them. The use of pesticides and fungicides has proven to be ineffective in exterminating the beetle from these trees, further emphasizing the need for caution to prevent its spread.
Latest infestation statistics:
– To date, 24 trees have been infested in Penhill, Eerste River.
– To date, 309 sightings of infested trees have been recorded in Newlands, Rondebosch, Mowbray, Claremont, Kenilworth, and Observatory along the Liesbeek River
– Over 4 975 infested trees have been sighted in the Helderberg Area since 2019 to date

7. What can residents do to slow the march of PSHB?
– only buy firewood from trusted (preferably local) sources. Burn gum for heat and charcoal/gas for braais
– inform yourself about the symptoms of PSHB
– report any suspected infections (info below)

8. How to report PSHB beetle sightings
Online, at
Call the City of Cape Town’s Invasive Species Unit on 021 444 2357, Monday to Friday, from 07:30 to 16:00
Send an email to: (copy to


Invasive tree-killing beetle found in Constantia