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The borer is a large and quite ugly beetle whose larvae have a taste for the wood of the Washingtonia and Phoenix varieties. Borer grubs can live inside a palm trunk for up to nine years before exiting as beetles through quarter-sized holes. Intense borer infestations can structurally weaken a palm tree. So far, there really isn't much that can be done to combat a borer infestation although proper maintenance of a palm tree will help it resist.