Alfalfa Weevil


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Related to Alfalfa Weevil: Potato Leafhopper

Alfalfa Weevil

 

(Phytonomus variabilis), a beetle of the family Curculionidae, injurious to alfalfa. The insect measures 4.5–6.5 mm and has a grayish brown body. The larvae, which reach a length of 9 mm, are green; their sides and back are covered with bristles. They pupate on plants. Alfalfa weevils are distributed in central and southern Europe, Asia (including southern regions), North America, and North Africa. The larvae cause most of the damage by eating alfalfa leaves and flowers, thereby reducing yields of hay and seeds.

Countermeasures include isolating new alfalfa plantings from old ones, disking and harrowing of soil in early spring, and spraying the alfalfa with insecticides during aftergrowth and the formation of buds.

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References in periodicals archive ?
Effect of several biopesticides on Alfalfa weevil larvae, Hyper brunneipennis.
Less than one-fourth of the millions of acres of alfalfa in these states needed pesticides against the alfalfa weevil.
In a 1989 report of a study by University of Massachusetts economists, biological control of the alfalfa weevil was estimated to be saving growers across the country $88 million annually in pesticides and application costs.
Researchers at some locations focus on beneficial insects like wasps to control insect pests such as alfalfa weevils or gypsy moths.
One modern spur to biocontrol efforts was the discovery, in the 1960's, that milk from some cows contained insecticide used against alfalfa weevils.