Weevils, beetle like insects that boast over 90, 000 species in the Curculionoidea family, are typically thought to be nuisances in the agricultural and food production arena. However, over the past nineteen years a weevil fond of hardwood trees has emigrated from Sri Lanka to India to Pakistan to Florida. Known as the Myllocerus undecimpustulatus undatus Marshall, or Sri Lankan Weevil, this menace has been documented in over twenty-five counties in Florida since its first detection in 2000. Fond of a variety of species including (but not limited to) the pygmy date palm, crepe myrtle, bottlebrush, dahoon holly, and hibiscus, these insects can cause a wide variety of damage from cosmetic to catastrophic. Ranging in size from 6 to 8 mm, the adult weevils feed on its host’s leaves from the outside in – starting at the edges eating their way to the vein, often defoliating their host in the process.
The female of the species can lay more than three hundred eggs on the surface of the soil in under a thirty day period with the larvae emerging between three and five days. The larvae burrow into the soil feeding on the roots of its host for up to two months. Between the feeding preferences of the adults and larvae, a host can sustain significant damage if the weevil is not identified and mitigated within a timely manner. Understanding that it is difficult to chemically control these pests, it is important that a property demonstrating evidence of the presence of the Sri Lankan Weevil have access to knowledgeable professionals familiar with the best methods to treat and control the infestation. If you suspect your property may have Sri Lankan Weevils, or any other pests harmful to landscape materials, contact LMP at (877) LMP-PRO1 to learn about its Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs.
Neal, A. (2013). Sri Lankan Weevil Myllocerus undecimpustulatus undatus Marshall. Retrieved from: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/sri_lankan_weevil.htm