rriN" I 2
Fig. 1-Weevils Feeding on Boll.
(From Bul. No. 51, Bur. Ent., U.
BOARD OF CONTROL
FLEMING JR., Jacksonville.
. FINLAYSON, Old Town.
OF NURSERY STOCK
E. W. BERGER,
Entomologist Fla. Agr.
Summary --- ... --. .
The Case Stated__.--- --m--
Sources of Information ......--
What to Do.------- ---- --
Summary of the Cultural Meth
The Cultural Method in Detail.
- - - a - a - - a - - - 4
- - - -- - -. - a - .............................
Fall Destruction of Cotton Plants
Method of Fall Destruction .....
Maturing the Crop Early_
Early Planting_ ..---
Early Maturing Varieties_
Spacing of Cotton Plants.
Cultivation of Crop .-----
Commercial Fertilizers - -
The Chain Cultivator -------
Destroying Weevils in Hibernation
-. - -. ----... -.. --- 10
. .-- -- ----.-- -- 10
-. --.--------. --_ _- .. _- 1
-- ...- .. .. 15
-. - a ,-- .-- -- .- 15- -
Poisoning-Arsenate of L
Hand Picking_. --- -
Useless Methods ..-.-- -
Diseases and Parasites -
How Each Grower Can I
What the Bankers and Me
How the Weevil Spreads
Food of the Weevil-----
Varieties of Cotton Infest<
How to Know When the
Hibernation of Weevils -
The Weevil Described -
Life Histdry of the Weev
The Egg_. ___.. ..
The Immature Stage
Number of Generatio
orv in United States
fwf t *- J
,ead ... ..
dea -- - --w-
-_ -- .- .-. 15
.- - --. - 17
Protect Himself .-.-- -.. 18
Srchants Can Do_ -------------18
- - -.---........................ 19
e d 20
Weevil is Present._ ----------21
. -.... -- -- -- -- -- -- 22
- .-.. -.- ----- ---- ---------- 22
s. _. .----..-.---.------- -- 22
S- a- -- -- - -- --- --------------------------,------ ------- -- ------ -~ 22
ns and Length of Life-cycle -.----.-- 22
-... --. .- ---. - - 23
1. Improvement in cultural method is the foundation of all
cotton boll weevil control.
2. The so-called Cultural Method consists essentially in the
forcing of a main crop of cotton to maturity.
3. In boll weevil-infested regions it is not possible to pro-
duce a "top crop."
sustained during the first year
while the growers are being forced to adopt improved methods
or quit growing cotton.
5. The Cultural Method begins in the fall by (1) destroying
(plowing under or burning) the cotton plants; (2) preparing the
soil early; and (3) planting a cover crop.
It continues into the
next year by (4) planting early maturing varieties and planting
them early; then (5) forcing a main crop and harvesting it early.
6. Destruction of nearby hibernating places, such as weeds,
Spanish moss, and rubbish is a necessary accompaniment of the
fall destruction of the cotton plants.
as poisoning and
hand-picking are useful only to supplement the cultural method.
The weevils feed
This fact makes
possible to temporarily eradicate the weevil in isolated fields and
localities, by omitting the planting of cotton for a year.
E. W. BERGER, PH.D.
State Inspector of Nursery Stock
border of Florida in October, 1910.
By the end of the season for
1912 it has advanced until the weevil line now passes thru Pros-
perity and Ponce de Leon in Holmes County (see map).
is no doubt but that it will continue to advance about 40-60 miles
annually, altho it may, at certain times, receive a temporary set-
back, as indicated in the map for the northern and western areas
of the cotton belt; or it may advance more rapidly.
THE CASE STATED.
From whom shall we take our advice?
The weevil is about
our fields of cotton and some
avoiding its injuries, must be adopted..
Shall we go to the man
who has never seen a weevil, or to the growers of cotton who
have succeeded in spite of the weevil?
available, cotton growing is still an in
industry in the
localities that the weevil has infested.
It therefore behooves us
to adopt, as far as possible, the practices in cotton growing fol-
lowed in those localities.
SOURCES OF INFORMATION.
The information given in this paper is a compilation from
the writings of the many investigators and successful growers of
cotton since its advent into
Texas in 1894.
Literature on the cot-
close touch with the State Agricultural Experiment
Station at Gainesville,
and specimens of all suspicious in-
sects and diseases of plants should be sent there at once upon
Florida, practically no work has been done upon it here, hence
the importance of keeping posted thru the publications of the De-
partment of Agriculture, whose field workers have studied this
pest since 1894 when it first loomed into importance in southeast
Observations and investigations of entomologists and other
investigators with the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the
several Experiment Stations of the cotton-growing states, are to
the effect that the injury of the cotton boll weevil can largely be
avoided by the adoption of some changes in methods in the time
of planting, fertilizing, cultivation, in the selection of early ma-
turning varieties, and in the destruction of old plants.
is spoken of as the Cultural Method.
OF THE CULTURAL METHOD.
The following quotation from Bulletin 51,
.reau of Entomology, U. S. Department of Agriculture, is a brief
but good summary of this subject:
.... "In the cultural method of avoiding damage by the boll
weevil, it is considered that a fairly effective remedy has been
In some respects the term cultural method is mis-
It is frequently used simply in the sense of careful and
persistent cultivation of the crop.
*j *. a .. C
However, the term includes
the various modifications ot the cropping system w'inch have
been suggested by the study of the life history of the pest as use-
ful in avoiding damage.
Consequently the cultural system is not
altogether a system of the proper cultivation of cotton, but a sys-
tem of the proper cultivation of cotton to mitigate the damage by
the pest. Necessarily, it implies a thorough preparation of the
soil and a strict attention to all the details of cultivation.
"The cultural method begins with reducing the numbers of
pass through the winter successfully and increase the damage to
the planted cotton the following season. Whenever the cotton
is all to stand in the fields in the hope that a top crop may be
produced, opportunities are furnished for the development of a
very large number of weevils. As explained before in this bulle-
tin, the possibility of a top crop has always been exceedingly re-
mote. Wherever the weevil exists it is not a possibility at all.
The method of fall destruction only involves applying labor that
is necessary in any case in preparing the land for planting a few
months earlier than is the normal practice among cotton planters.
It has been the custom to leave the land uncleared until shortly
before planting time in the spring. Now, however, this clearing
is necessary as the last step in the production of the preceding
crop. This method, as a matter of fact, is the only practicable
strictly remedial method that has been devised.
^ "The remaining portion of the cultural method consists in
furthering the advantage gained by fall destruction by bending
every effort toward obtaining a crop that will mature before the
weevils have had an opportunity to do considerable damage.
The most important factors in obtaining an early crop are early
planting, selection of a rapidly growing variety, fertilization, and
thorough cultivation. The success of the planter will be in direct
proportion to the extent to which he is able to combine these es-
sentials. Early planting of early varieties will be found to
be of comparatively little avail unless followed by thorough culti-
vatiot, and in case of unavoidably delayed planting the best hope
of the planter will be in persistent cultivation.
"As the details of the cultural method have been dealt with
fully in the Farmers' Bulletins of this Department, and as the
basis for them in the habits of the weevil was fully explained in
the preceding pages, it is unnecessary in this connection to more
than summarize them:
(1) Fall destruction [of plants and weevils].
(2) Early planting of rapidly maturing varieties.
(3) Wide spacing, which, besides favoring rapid maturity of
the plant, also acts as a remedial measure by allowing the sun to
reach the ground, causing the drying up of the squares in which
the larvae occur.
(4) Thorough cultivation.
(5) Fertilization with commercial preparations containing
high percentage of phosphoric acid.
rTFTTr /fTTT r T'TTfl A T 1 KA T'TTC/Th TNT T"'T' A TT
To destroy large numbers of the adult weevils.
By destroying the late-maturing weevils, the number that
or pass the
is greatly reduced,
since large numbers of the early-maturing weevils die during the
Thus, in a carefully observed instance, out of 240 weevils
placed in hibernation in mid-December, 15.8 per cent. passed the
winter successfully; while out of 116 -that became adult in mid-
November, less than 1 per cent. survived.
4. It reduces the shelter places of the weevil during winter,
resulting in the death of many.
The effect of 1
to 4 is to greatly reduce the number of
adult weevils that attack cotton in spring.
6. "Clearing of the field in fall makes it possible to practice
fall plowing, which is not only the proper procedure in any sys-
tem of cotton raising, but also greatly facilitates the early planting
of the crop the following spring." (Circular 56, Bureau of Ento-
mology, U. S. Department of Agriculture.)
The plants should be destroyed as soon as the main crop is
crop" should be allowed to grow, for the
weevils will get it.
This point is specially emphasized by those
who have investigated the weevil; do not expect a "top crop'" but
proceed to destroy the plants as soon
as the main
Vested, or as soon as it is evident that the weevils are puncturing
all or nearly all of the squares, or flower buds, and some of the
The farmer should
opened, collect the lint, and proceed to destroy the plants, wheth-
er it is in October, November, or earlier.
METHOD OF FALL DESTRUCTION. -The
must be re-
moved, root and stalk, as otherwise sprouts may grow from the
roots and provide food for the adult weevils remaining in the field.
The plants should be plowed out or otherwise uprooted, cut with
chopper, and immediately plowed beneath the surface.
The deeper they are plowed under the better.
Unless the plants
can be plowed under deeply they had better be burned, as weevils
,rr rn.*lrt t ,, ,: -, rm .+ .. n ( :i ntM a. n 1 antv'n nn nn nr t Ii.
bulletins of the
them under only where this can be effectively done.
In view of
the fact that Florida soils are generally loose and sandy, and
they soon dry at the surface, experience may prove
the plants after uprooting them is the only
in piles or
should be raked up at once
crude petroleum may be necessary to facilitate
ter the plants have been burned, the ground should be plowed
order that the bolls and squares
of which still contain immature weevils, become deeply
But it is objected that the tenants will not
For the first, it may be made part of the agreement be-
plants in the fall.
The fertilizer value of
some fall or winter cover crop, such as oats or rye.
gators of the weevil tell us that it would be impossible to produce
cotton under weevil conditions unless the plants are destroyed in
EARLY.-While the object of destroy-
number of weevils that
maturing the crop early is to keep the crop ahead of the
grow the crop
than the weevils can increase.
The weevil will, of course, event-
ually increase to the extent that all new
and bolls will be punctured as rapidly as they are formed;
the weevil develops slower in
of the season
ie grower ms
etc., ready for planting at the earliest possible date.
ten to twenty days earlier, and take the risk of replanting.
unteer cotton should not be allowed to fruit before the regular
crop, as it would result
which require squares and bolls in which to develop.
must be planted to get the best results.
of what has been already stated.
This is self evident in
Such varieties may be
obtained from seed dealers or growers that have selected their
seed for early maturity.
Farmers' Bulletin No. 314,
Breeding Early Cotton to
Escape Boll Weevil Damage," by
R. L. Bennet, should be in the hands of every grower
of this bulletin may be obtained by any planter from the Secre-
tary of Agriculture,
Washington, D. C.)
killed when the infested squares fall to the ground, exposed to
the sun's direct rays, suggests the desirability of so spacing the
plants that a maximum of sunlight will be admitted to the ground.
This may mean 4 to 5 feet apart on the richest soils.
ing is considered to be good practice, because it admits the great-
est amount of sunlight to the ground and facilitates cultivation.
To further take advantage of this fact, that the miniature stages
of weevils are killed by the baking of the fallen squares on the
ground, the chain cultivator was devised (see p. 11).
No. 115, Bureau of Plant Industry,
discusses a New System of Cotton Culture.
(This circular should be read by all cotton growers.
be obtained at 5 cents each from the Superintendent of Public
The "conclusions" are herewith quoted:--
"The new system of cotton culture is based on the applica-
tion of a principle not hitherto recognized in cultural experiments
-the control of the vegetative branches by improved methods of
thinning. The formation of vegetative branches can be con-
trolled by leaving the plants closer together during the early
ta rro- int;1 lh ctolet hoaliro orrnxrrn h-irrmnrl tha ctacr' ixrhorT vTrPoa._
to the production of an earlier crop. In regions where the period
of crop production is limited, either by short seasons or by the
presence of the boll weevil, increased earliness is a means of se-
curing larger yields."
CULTIVATION OF CROP.-Besides early planting, planting of
early maturing varieties, and spacing the plants consistent with
best results under weevil conditions, the crop must be cultivated
often in order to stimulate it and keep it growing.
and once in a row" should be made to apply. TI
"Once a week
his does not de-
stroy many weevils, but keeps the plants growing continuously.
cultivation should not be deep, nor too close to the
plants to cut the roots, as this may
(flower buds) and the benefits lost.
that fertilizer (plant food) is as necessary for cotton as food is for
Plenty of plant food forces the crop and experiments
have shown that a high percentage of phosphoric acid in the fer-
tilizer hastens the maturity of cotton.
this fact gives the grower another opportunity to reduce its num-
bers, especially in isolated fields, by omitting cotton every alter-
nate year and
cotton is again planted, it will become infested only by weevils
migrating from other localities, the weevils originally in the field
having died from starvation.
Crop rotation is especially useful
in fields near woodlands, in which trees, moss, leaves, etc., furnish
excellent hiding, or hibernating places, during winter.
Messrs. Evans and Doyle, of the
U. S. Dept. Agr., have re-
where cotton is grown successfully under weevil
conditions, in southern Mexico.
The method consists in planting
cotton every alternate year, and allowing the weevils to starve
during each intervening year by planting corn or beans instead.
It appears that the Indians practiced this method before the com-
ing of the Spaniards.
The case is interesting as illustrating how
primitive people may come to follow correct practices without
knowing the reason why.
vention, by Dr. W. E.
for drawing the fallen
very important cultural effect aside from its
The chains (so-called "log
Fig. 2. Chain Cultivator. (For description
see p. 11.)
Bul. No. 344, U.
S. Dept. Agric.)
The following description and accompanying figure (Figure 2)
Washington, D. C.
obtained by addressing the Secretary of Agriculture.)
-When the foregoing facts came
tested squares out of the shade of the plants to the middles of
After much experimental work one of the writer's former
a satisfactory manner.
meant is known as the chain cnltivator or chain draot
Fig. a. Space between cotton rows before passage of cul-
tivator. Note fallen squares and crack in soil.
:n. .-...'. .. 1." .,* ;;
Fig b Effect after passage of cultivator. Squares brought
~' s A
to middle, crack filled, dust mulch established.
USE OF CHAIN CULTIVATOR
(From Bulletin No. 114. Bur. Ent.,, U. S. Dept. Agric.)
=-' 11.I t
Typical weedy fence-row, affording excellent shelter for weevils.
(From Bul. No. 77, Bur. Ent., Dept. Agric.)
T wtratto'Trntn i"rr r -"VrfTrarTft fl.T
Ir - I
,. ~,r -. ,
I~r rlr L:- 41C~
SPREAD OF COTTON BOLL WEEVIL '!
7ERr iTORY I ESTIO IT L t- OF .
The Spread of the Cotton Boll Weevil in the United States from 1892 to 1912.
(After map prepared by Bureau of Entomology, U. S. Dept. Agric., Washington, D. C.)
of this size and form to allow old cotton roots, etc., to pass through
freely without clogging at the rear.
"The distance between the rear ends of the chains g g,
in each pair fixed at about 10 inches.
f f is
The distance between a
chain of one pair and that of the other at their front ends should
be about 9 inches.
The chains used are of the size
"log chains," having short, close links of -inch iron.
of chain can be cut to the
ength needed in each case.
is easily attached by simply making the hooks at d, e, f, and g so
that the end of the hook is as wide as will pass through the length
of the link and narrow enough at the middle of the bend to allow
the link to turn and bag the other way. So long as the chains
are kept tight they cannot become unhooked. The hooks should
also be turned, or faced, in such a way that they will not be likely
to catch the passing plants or rubbish.
"The clevis o p
is simply hinged, so that there will be no
tendency to pull the front of the machine off of the ground, and
it is also broad enough in front to allow of the point of draft be-
ing moved from one side to the other, so that the front of the
machine may be thrown closer to one row if desired.
"The front guard on each side a b c d is made of one piece
of spring steel, i by 3-16 inch.
This size seems sufficiently strong
and best adapted to carry the tension of the chains
still yielding to the pressure against the bases of the plants as
they may strike the outer, sloping ends near d. The inner ends
length, and serve to carry the front guard above the draft bar
the keeper q,
ment for width.
The machine cannot be extended beyond the
bent ends at a or closed beyond the angles at b.
section between b and c is about 12 inches long, so that the re-
mainder of the front guard from c to
inches above the ground.
where they lie.
This prevents the pushing of dirt and
the plants and allows the chain to catch them
The hooks at d and e are therefore bent down-
or 6 inches.
chains is shown at i h g.
The piece k I is nearly parallel with
and may be used for their proper adjustment as to
several holes near the end
where it is bolted at k.
The chains are between 30 and 36 inches long.
upon which the handles are pivoted by a r-inch bolt is made of a
piece of boiler plate bent and cut'so as to have a horizontal top
surface about 4 inches square and standing about 2k inches above
the draft bar, to which it is securely
The handles are
bolted, as at r, to the heavy pieces of iron (about 2 by
k inch tire
steel) which are
to receive them
point at x, at such an angle as to bring the handles to the proper
handles need not be so heavy and may therefore be tapered and
welded to smaller steel running forward to b,
to the front guard.
where it is bolted
The operation of this arrangement is similar
to that of a huge pair of shears-when the handles are pushed
apart the front of the machine is spread wider, and vice versa.
strengthen, and carry the
They are riveted to the adjusting irons at j,
above and one below the "shear" pieces, to prevent their interfer-
ence with the closing of the machine.
At c this iron is bent to
conform to the front guard, to which it is riveted between c and
point it is bent
and forms the
Ordinary tire steel about 1
by i inch may be used for all parts
like the clevis o p, rear arches f h m and
and j c e.
The front guard a b c d should be of spring steel, as
The rivet heads on the front guard should be round
and fit smoothly.
In nearly all other places the irons are fastened
together by i-inch square-headed bolts, with washers as needed.
operation the implement is drawn
a single animal.
The chains at d and e pass under the branches of plants and close
to the stems.
The forward motion of the machine causes these
squares to be drawn inward by the chains, which must keep taut,
and leaves them in a narrow pathway where the chains approach
within a short distance of each other at the opposite end of the
The two chains are provided so that so uares that may
bringing the squares to the middles, it was found in field practice
to have a most important cultural effect.
The chains (so-called
"log chains") are heavy enough to establish a perfect dust mulch
(see Plate I) and to destroy small weeds that may be starting. In
fact, it is believed that this cultural effect would more than justify
the use of the machine, regardless of the weevil.
With the effect
against the insect and the important cultural effect it is believed
that this implement or one similar to it should be used by every
farmer in the weevil territory.
"*In order that the use of this machine could be obtained by
all farmers at the smallest possible cost, a patent has been taken
out in then ame of the Department of Agriculture and for the ben-
efit of the people of the United States.
Under this patent it is im-
possible for anyone to manufacture the machine exclusively and
to charge unnecessarily high prices."
Weevils live over winter, or hibernate, in many places, but
principally in grass, leaves, Spanish
moss, and old sorghum or
Any rubbish, however, and buildings, especially cot-
ton gins, will harbor them.
It therefore becomes very important
that all rubbish in and near cotton fields should be burned in or-
der to destroy as many of the weevils as possible.
harrowing of the fields will strengthen the blow.
We may better
appreciate the importance of destroying every weevil that can be
when we contemplate that the progeny
may reach the enormous number
This number is, however, never actually realized in
the field because of the many accidents to which all stages of the
weevil are subject.
Poisoning with paris green has been found to be ineffective.
This poison injures the plants and poisons few weevils.
thkc nnknn frl irrninar r'nttnn Cnol-r ;tn cn rn er nm oTc
secret of success in dusting cotton with
powdered arsenate of lead, lies in forc-
ing the powder into the terminal buds
with a strong current of air.
- 1^-L----- ~L
Commission of Louisiana, July
1908) indicate a remarkable de-
However, early fall destruction of the cotton
plants is a necessary antecedent to successful poisoning.
must any step in the "cultural method" advocated be omitted, be-
cause poisoning is only another help for reducing the number of
weevils, but not a panacea.
The experiments further show that
were obtained only by
arsenate of lead against the weevils early in the season, namely,
against the weevils on the first buds.
It would be useless to em-
ploy it in an effort to save a "top crop" or during summer.
This poison should be applied about five times at intervals of
five to seven days apart; the first application is made when the
first square is found in the field.
The powdered arsenate of lead
must be applied with a powerful current of air by means of a
blow gun and driven into the terminal buds (between the small
leaves that make up the buds) on the main
ends of the fruit limbs.
Do not dust on by means of a sack, as
that has been found
"Champion Insecticide Dus-
ter" (Figs. 3 and 4), made by Leggett & Brother, New York City,
is the type of machine found most satisfactory by Mr. Newell.
Collecting the live weevils and infested squares by hand may
be practiced in small fields and when cheap labor is abundant.
The live weevils should be placed in a dish with a small amount
of kerosene, which is certain death to them.
The infested squares
bolls should be placed in wire cages or in boxes covered
The net must
inch so that the weevils, as they emerge, cannot escape; but any
useful insect parasites which happen to be infesting weevil larvae
will be able to escape and find their way back to other cotton
plants and parasitize other weevil larvae. This is the
be gained by placing the squares under the wire screens.
are not available, the squares must be burnt.
This also implies that probably very few weevils are
ever killed when buried by ordinary plowing or cultivation.
The weevils appear to be exceptionally free from diseases.
A promising number of insect parasites, 1
according to Farmers' Bulletin No. 344, p.
are 23 species.
however, are known;
U. S. D. A. there
These appear to be on the increase and will un-
doubtedly become a more useful factor in the future, although
they may never be able to control the weevil without the aid of
eggs upon the grubs of the weevils in the squares or bolls.
parasite larvae that hatch from these eggs destroy the grubs of
the weevil and later, instead of a weevil, a parasite of the weevil
emerges from the squares or bolls.
ui a species
cited), 12 are ants.
(Bul. 344, previously
These are the minute brown and yellowish
ants that frequently occur in cotton fields.
Their work is directed
against the grubs and pupae of the weevils in the squares, and
not against the adult weevils.
The effectiveness of the predaceous insects, as well as that of
the parasites of the weevil, increases more or less accordingly as
the numbers of the weevil are reduced in other ways.
EACH GROWER CAN PROTECT
He can help himself to some extent even if
weevil in their fields.
to nothing to reduce the numbers of the
The fact that weevils do not fly much from
field to field during the period when the cotton is setting its main
crop, and the fact that the first weevils in the field at the begin-
ning of each season are mainly those that succeeded in hibernat-
ing successfully in and near the field, make this possible.
these facts in mind, and a close application of the cultural meth-
od, any grower can protect himself unmindful ,of his neighbors,
unless their fields immediately adjoin his, when it may be neces-
"The second cause noted is the lack of confidence, first
on the part of the farmer.
If a man doesn't believe that he can
accomplish a thing it is about half way toward not doing it at all.
He loses force and energy.
The second result of the loss of con-
fidence is that the bankers and merchants withhold credits, and
since much of the cotton crop is made upon the credit system, the
planter is crippled and prevented from planting as many acres as
In view of the fact that the bankers and merchants represent
one of the strongest factors in the intellectual and business life of
a community, it appears that they might take the lead in encour-
aging the adoption of the newer methods necessary for success-
ful cotton culture under boll-weevil conditions.
tective League, or society of the bankers, merchants and leading
growers could be organized for the purpose of studying weevil
in its application to local conditions.
credits might be conditioned upon the application of the proper
citrus growers have Citrus Protective
the purpose of
controlling the whitefly and other
The adult weevil is not a good
flights may carry it over long distances.
Thus it has been known
to cover more than 40 miles in a brief period of time.
winds aid in its dispersion. The main dispersion pei
time in August or September. At this time the wee
riod is some
becomes active and it flies in all directions.
those, of course, that fly in the direction of non-infested territory
succeed in extending its range.
The weevil may advance some-
thing like 30 to 60 miles per season.
Besides the general migratory period first noted, weevils move
short distances in all directions from the fields in fall, searching
movement back to the fields, but after that the weevil keeps busy
ln th flQlA iinfU a nrn to rnani'il 1rnlxr rffr
1? nlxirnrro nnA xrntar-
20 Nursery Inspection
their supplies of seed from non-infested
north-eastern Alabama, north Florida (east of Holmes Co.), and
the states east of those just named, are localities still free from
FOOD OF THE
The weevil has no other known food plant but cotton.
the adult weevils feed
foliage of the young cotton, but later principally on the squares
and to some extent on the bolls.
squares or bolls.
The immature stages of the weevil, or grubs, feed only with-
in the squares and immature bolls, and no other known insect
feeds in this manner on cotton.
VARIETIES OF COTTON INFESTED.
varieties of cotton may become infested.
varieties, however, are preferred when grown side by side with
Thus Sea Island cotton is 2 to 4 times as at-
tractive; Egyptian over 4 times as attractive as American cotton.
While these observations show clearly that the Egyptian and
Sea Island cottons would be at a great disadvantage when grown
in the same weevil infested locality with American cotton, they
do not show that the weevil would be more prolific upon them
when grown alone.
The longer period required for the matur-
ing of Sea Island cotton will, however, in all probability, place it
at a decided disadvantage, and may even eliminate it as ,a profit-
able crop when the weevil reaches the parts of Florida where it
Growers of Sea Island cotton in the eastern parts of Florida
had, therefore, better cast about for a substitute of this crop, early,
in order that
may be fortified when
It is not impossible on the other hand, but that early ma-
tirinr- vanriPtieP of lonnr tanle pnttnn mav hK fnln.l QfidtanhlP tr
WEEVIL IS PRESENT.
The adult weevil (Fig. 1, Plate III) is one of the snout-bee-
Its snout, shiny
insect is about one-fourth inch long, and dark brown, ashy-gray,
or yellowish brown in color.
(Fig. 6, Plate III) are about three-
eighths inch long, curved, and can be found only in squares and
III) or transformation
stage, is not quite as long as the fully grown grub and is also
found in the squares or bolls.
grubs, pupae) occur only in squares and bolls (Plates III, IV,
come have holes about 1-20 to 1-16 inch in diameter (Plates IV, V).
These cavities lead to larger excavations in the interior and are
the openings through which a weevil emerged.
Some observers state that the squares with holes somewhat
injured by the boll-worm.
Generally only one
in a square.
elevated growths, called
on the surface of squares and bolls, mark the punctures
where an egg was deposited.
Orange-colored excrement on the
buds and abundant flaring and shedding of squares without ap-
parent cause are other signs of the boll weevil.
Soon after the first frost the adult weevils hide away in con-
cealed places and remain dormant until spring.
This is called
Large numbers of them perish during this period so
that sometimes only one in six, or about 16
The longer the hibernation period the fewer will survive.
destruction of the plants.
be practically lengthened by the early
In other words, it is the late maturing
weevils that survive in the largest number while the earlier ma-
turning ones mostly die before spring.
Destroying the food supply
onrlv thPerfnre_ hns the effect of preatlv reducing the numbers of
They will hibernate in and about almost any-
moss and fallen leaves are preferred
and ditches, the edges of forests,
places of refuge in winter.
d. Rubbish along fence rows
about gins, oil mills, etc., are
The cotton boll weevil is a beetle (Fig. 1 and Plate III).
belongs to the family of weevils,
technically known as Curcu-
It is about one-fourth inch long and of a dark brown,
ashy-gray, or yellowish brown color.
Its snout, which is shiny
black, slender and slightly curved, comprises about one-third of
its total length.
LIFE HISTORY OF THE
Plates III, IV, V,
THE EGG.-The egg is about 1-30 inch long, white and deli-
square or boll is always selected as the place
female eats a small cavity for it. TI
grows over, forming what is called a
From the egg there hatches, in
days, a minute grub or
THE IMMATURE STAGES.-The grub or worm hatched from
the egg increases in size from about 1-25 of an inch to
when it is fully
During its period
feeds on the inside of the square or boll.
When fully grown it
passes into the resting, or transformation stage, called the pupa.
The pupa is the marvel of the insect world and is a stage in the
development of nearly all insects.
The transformation from the
grub to the fully grown, or adult, weevil takes place in the pupa,
and the entire life of a weevil, from egg thru pupa, is passed in
the square or boll.
The adult, after it emerges from the pupa,
also remains within the square or boll for a few days, and then
eats its way out, leaving the visible hole previously described.
NUMBER OF GENERATIONS AND
LENGTH OF LIFE CYCLE.-
eggs within a week after they begin to feed, and continue to do
so for about 56 days or until within a few days of death.
average length of life during warm weather appears to be about
Those that hibernate may live for six months or even
The cotton boll weevil, more properly called the
sometimes erroneously the
Boll Weevil, appears to be native in Southern Mexico.
described and named by Boheman in
from specimens re-
Serious injury to cotton near Monclova, Mexico, was reported to
the Commissioner of Agriculture, in September, 1880, by
ward Palmer (Bul. 51, Bu. Ent., U. S. D. A.)
The pest appears to
have existed near Brownsville,
Texas, in 1892, and in
spread to half
a dozen counties.
How it came across the
Grande is not known.
The deplorable fact remains that but for the indifference or
of Texas at that time this pest could have been
stopped in its advance in 1894.
Considering the average damage
per year due to the weevil as $10,000,000, we have for
the enormous sum of $190,000,000 lost, not counting the money
spent in the attempt to control it.
This sum could, very proba-
bly, have bought the entire half dozen counties first found infest-
ed in Texas in 1894 several times, and over.
The establishment by law of a belt 50 miles wide along the
Rio Grande in which cotton growing should be prohibited,
advised by the
U. S. Department of Agriculture, but this advice
was not heeded by the State of Texas, and subsequently disas-
trous results followed.
whether one state should not be
financially liable to other states for such gross neglect of
A United States law to that effect would probably result
in a wholesome clearing of the atmosphere in that respect.
advance of the weevil closely that the whole cotton-producing
area may be infested by the end of another
15 years (counting
At the end of 1912,
miles were in-
The area infested comprises the larger part of Texas, all of
Louisiana, a large part of Oklahoma, about half
of Arkansas, the
larger part of
southwest Alabama, and
five western counties of Florida.
The weevil will not put the cotton grower out of business-
Neither would the loss in the beginning be great if all the grow-
ers in a locality would co-operate in applying the methods found
by experience to give results.
The greatest loss generally occurs
during the first two or three years when growers neglect to adopt
the new method.
Co-operation should be the keynote in cotton-
BULLETINS AND CIRCULARS.
For a list of bulletins and circulars referred to and recom-
mended, the text may be consulted.
*The principal large
See pages 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 18.
on the Mexican Cotton
at present is Bulletin
S. Department of Agriculture.
copies of this bulletin can-
not be obtained free
Florida in Washington, the same can be obtained from the Super-
Washington, D. C., at 25 cents per copy.
This bulletin has also
been published as Senate
Document No. 305,
Other recent numbers of the Farmers
Bulletin are herewith
listed. These can be obtained by addressing the Secretary of Ag-
riculture, Washington, D. C.:-
F. B. No. 500.
The Control, of the Boll Weevil.
By W. D.
This is a brief extract and summary of Bul. 114, pre-
F. R. No. 501.
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