Monday, October 5, 2009

New Weevil In Town

A new exotic insect has recently been seen in the landscape and brought into our Horticulture Help Desk for identification. This is a new exotic invasive weevil called the Sri Lanka weevil. It does leaf and root damage to several fruit trees, palms, ornamental plants and citrus.

There are no pesticides registered for homeowners to use on fruit trees. For landscape trees, severe infestations can be controlled using insecticides which include carbaryl (Sevin), acephate (Orthene) or a pyrethroid labeled for leaf-feeding insects.

They can be removed from ornamental or fruit trees by holding an open, inverted umbrella under a branch and shaking it vigorously to knock the weevils into the umbrella. The weevils can then be dumped into a bucket of soapy water and they will drown.

For more information see this University of Florida publication: or google: Sri Lanka Weevil IFAS.

This notching of the leaf edge is typical damage caused by this pest. Be aware that other types of insect pests can cause similar damage. Many times this damage is cosmetic and the plant recovers. Small plants and young trees may need protection.

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