The diaprepes root weevil (Diaprepes abbreviatus), also known as the citrus root weevil, arrived in Florida from the Caribbean in the 1960’s. Since that time, it has expanded its range to the entire country and has caused extensive damage to citrus, avocado, loquat, roses, potatoes, palm and birch.
This pest feeds on both leaves and roots, leaving crescent-shapes leaf edges and a severely weakened plant.
White egg clusters are laid on leaves that have been folded and sealed shut. A single female weevil can lay 5,000 eggs in her lifetime. In 7-10 days, larvae emerge and drop to the soil, where they begin feeding on roots. The larvae frequently attack a plant’s taproot, killing the plant. Larvae are plump, whitish C-shaped grubs with a black head. They can be 1” long. After several months, larvae then pupate in the soil and emerge as adult weevils.
Because this is an introduced pest, Diaprepes root weevils have no natural enemies. There are chemical treatments being used and research is being conducted on bacteria and parasitic wasps that may help combat this pest.
PEST ALERT: IF YOU SEE THIS PEST, PLEASE CONTACT THE CDFA AT 1-800-491-1899
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