The UF/IFAS Tip of the Week shares information on managing citrus root weevils in citrus groves.

Citrus root weevils are an insect that has a soilborne larvae stage that feeds on and damages citrus tree roots. In Florida, this is specifically Diaprepes abbreviatus and Pachnaeus spp. (bluegreen) root weevils. Adults emerge from the soil, climb citrus trees, feed and lay eggs. The eggs fall to the ground and the hatching larvae burrows into the soil to feed on citrus tree roots. The UF/IFAS Tip of the Week, in a Citrus Industry article, offers tips into managing citrus root weevils. See them below.

Tips for Managing Citrus Root Weevils

According to the article, citrus root weevils have a “peak emergence of adults occurs at some point each spring or early summer,” and then “a smaller emergence peak also occurs in autumn,” which will both vary depending on location and the grove. Managing citrus root weevils is best done by targeting the peak emergence during the week or so when adults are feeding on new flush and laying eggs with “insecticides combined with egg sterilants.” Other tips include:

  • “Focusing insecticide use primarily at spring emergence, rather than periodically during the year, also helps reduce the exposure of non-target, beneficial insects.”
  • With no practical way to measure larvae in the soil, “the presence of the larvae is easily detected by the characteristic channeling they cause on structural roots. These roots should always be examined when resetting or replanting trees.”
  • “Adults can be monitored visually, by scouting the trees or with the aid of traps,” especially in early morning, and “the characteristic ragged margins of leaves fed upon when young and tender should alert growers to the presence of root weevils.”
  • “Tedders traps or ground traps can also be placed beneath tree canopies and regularly monitored. Weevils mistake the black base of the Tedders trap for a tree trunk, which they climb until entering a boll weevil trap.”

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.