How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines

Citrus

Diaprepes Root Weevil (Citrus Root Weevil)

Scientific Name: Diaprepes abbreviatus

(Reviewed 9/08, updated 6/13)

In this Guideline:


DESCRIPTION OF THE PEST

The Diaprepes abbreviatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is a large, colorful weevil, 3/8 to 3/4 inch (10-19 mm) long, with numerous forms or morphs, ranging from gray to yellow to orange and black. This weevil is native to the Caribbean region and was accidentally introduced into Florida in the 1960s, where it has caused extensive damage. It has been intercepted in shipments of plants to California for many years, and in 2005 two isolated populations were found in Newport Beach (Orange County) and Long Beach (Los Angeles County). The beetle was also found in San Diego County in 2006.

This weevil will feed on about 270 different plants including citrus (all varieties), hibiscus, palm, birch, roses, guava, loquat, holly, and other ornamentals. Because of its broad host range, the diaprepes root weevil poses a great threat to citrus and ornamental plant industries and potentially other crops in California.

Damage

The diaprepes root weevil damages both the leaves and the roots of plants. The adult weevils damage leaves by chewing semi-circular areas out of the leaf margin. There may also be frass or weevil droppings near the areas that have been fed upon. The grub-like larva feeds on the roots of a plant, weakening or killing a plant. An adult female weevil lays clusters of eggs in leaves that are folded and glued together. The eggs hatch in 7 to 10 days, and the newly emerged larvae drop to the soil. The larvae enter the soil and feed on the roots of plants for 9 to 18 months, molting 10 to 11 times. The larvae then pupate in the soil. After rain events, adults will emerge, mate, and the life cycle begins again.

Management

Treat every life stage with at least one treatment per season from each section of the following list. There are no treatments for pupae.

Adults (Apply in 100-300 GPA, Outside Coverage)

Apply two soil applications of bifenthrin (Brigade) timed to coincide with adult emergence from the soil. Or use foliar applications of fenpropathrin (Danitol), zeta-cypermethrin (Mustang), carbaryl, a single application of beta-cyfluthrin (Baythroid), or cryolite (Kryocide or Prokil Cryolite). Cryolite is a slow-acting stomach poison that may take several days of warm weather to kill beetles; it is less effective than pyrethroid and carbamate insecticides but would be useful in situations where carbamates and pyrethroids could not be used.

Larvae

Apply imidacloprid (Admire Pro or generic formulations) or thiamethoxam (Platinum) when root growth is occurring. Imidacloprid remains effective for 4 to 5 months. It requires 3 to 4 weeks for uptake into mature citrus to begin to kill pests. Imidacloprid is very toxic to bees so do not apply during bloom because bees may be drawn to irrigation water. For optimum uptake, apply to trees through drip, microsprinkler, or low-pressure irrigation systems. Emitters must provide even, uniform distribution of water. Lightly pre-wet the soil for several hours before the application to break the soil surface tension. Once the irrigation system reaches operating pressure, inject the treatment into the system over a calculated time interval (generally 2 hours) to allow uniform distribution throughout the system. The use of a dye marker in the treatment solution is recommended to determine when lines are clear of the treatment. Once the solution has cleared all irrigation lines and emitters, continue irrigation to move the insecticide into the active root zone but do not overirrigate or cause runoff. Wait 24 hours before subsequent irrigations.

There are two species of nematodes, Heterorhabditis indica and Steinernema riobrave, that will attack and kill diaprepes root weevil. They are not currently available commercially due to lack of demand brought on by widespread Asian citrus psyllid treatments in Florida. Entomophagous nematodes are exempt from U.S. EPA registration under FIFRA because they are whole organism biological control agents. Therefore, they can be used in most settings where diaprepes larvae may exist. Once the nematodes kill most of the diaprepes larvae in an area, they die from a lack of food. They will not feed on plants. Because these are living organisms, they work best in the following situations:

  • Fairly loose-textured soil, such as sand, loamy sand, or sandy loam. The nematodes need to be able to move through the water found in the spaces between the soil particles. Clay soils tend to have very small spaces between the soil particles, whereas the looser textured soils tend to have larger spaces.
  • Moist soil (not over-saturated); irrigate the area to be treated before applying nematodes.
  • Soil temperatures between 60 and 85°F.
Eggs

Apply diflubenzuron (Micromite) to prevent egg hatch when the adults are actively depositing eggs in spring through summer. Micromite is more effective if applied with oil, which helps to dissolve the substance the weevil uses to glue leaves together when it deposits eggs.

For more information, read Diaprepes Root Weevil.

Common name Amount to use R.E.I.‡ P.H.I.‡
(example trade name)   (hours) (days)

  Calculate impact of pesticide on air quality
 
The following are ranked with the pesticides having the greatest IPM value listed first—the most effective and least harmful to natural enemies, honey bees, and the environment are at the top of the table. When choosing a pesticide, consider information relating to air and water quality, resistance management, and the pesticide's properties and application timing. Not all registered pesticides are listed. Always read the label of the product being used.
 
A. BIFENTHRIN*
  (Brigade WSB) 40 oz/acre 12 1
  RANGE OF ACTIVITY: Pests: broad (many insects and mites); Natural enemies: most
  PERSISTENCE: Pests: intermediate; Natural enemies: long
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 3
  COMMENTS: Do not apply in the vicinity of aquatic areas. Apply only to the soil when adults are emerging and do not allow the insecticide to contact fruit or foliage.
 
B. CRYOLITE
  (Prokil Cryolite 96) 8–20 lb/acre (OC) 12 15
  (Kryocide) 8–20 lb/acre (OC) 12 15
  RANGE OF ACTIVITY: Pests: intermediate (foliage feeders such as worms, katydids, and Fuller rose beetle); Natural enemies: few, if any
  PERSISTENCE: Pests: long, unless washed off by rain; Natural enemies: none to short
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: un
  COMMENTS: Check label for variety use. Use higher rate for larger trees. Slow-acting stomach poison that may take several days of warm weather to kill beetles.
 
C. FENPROPATHRIN*
  (Danitol 2.4 EC) 16–21 oz/100–300 gal water/acre 24 1
  RANGE OF ACTIVITY: Pests: broad (many insects and mites); Natural enemies: most
  PERSISTENCE: Pests: intermediate; Natural enemies: long
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 3
  COMMENTS: Use only on citrus trees 3 years or older. Do not apply in the vicinity of aquatic areas.
 
D. BETA-CYFLUTHRIN
  (Baythroid XL) 6.4 oz/100–300 gal water per acre 12 0
  RANGE OF ACTIVITY: Pests: broad (many insects); Natural enemies: most
  PERSISTENCE: Pests: intermediate; Natural enemies: intermediate (low rates), long (high rates)
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 3A
  COMMENTS: Only a single application may be made per crop season. Do not apply within 25 feet of lakes, reservoirs, rivers, permanent streams, marshes, or natural ponds, estuaries, and commercial fish farm ponds.
 
E. ZETA-CYPERMETHRIN*
  (Mustang) 4.3 oz/20 (concentrated)–100 (dilute) gal water per acre 12 1
  RANGE OF ACTIVITY: Pests: broad (many insects and mites); Natural enemies: most
  PERSISTENCE: Pests: intermediate; Natural enemies: long
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 3
  COMMENTS: For use on all varieties.
 
F. CARBARYL
  (Sevin XLR Plus) 2 gal/100–500 gal water per acre 3 days 5
  RANGE OF ACTIVITY: Pests: broad (many insects); Natural enemies: most
  PERSISTENCE: Pests: long; Natural enemies: long
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 1B
  ...PLUS...
  415 NARROW RANGE OIL 0.5%    
  RANGE OF ACTIVITY: Pests: broad (unprotected stages of insects and mites); Natural enemies: most
  PERSISTENCE: Pests: short; Natural enemies: short
  MODE OF ACTION: Contact including smothering and barrier effects; also improves translaminar movement and insecticide persistence.
  COMMENTS: XLR Plus can be applied during bloom, 1 hour after sunset until 2 hours before sunrise. May increase citrus red mite populations. CAUTION: Serious hazards are associated with oil treatments to green lemons because of phytotoxicity after sweating; check label for preharvest interval.
 
G. DIFLUBENZURON*
  (Micromite 80WGS) 6.25 oz/100–500 gal water per acre 12 21
  RANGE OF ACTIVITY: Pests: intermediate (katydids, peelminer, leafminer, grasshoppers); Natural enemies: predatory beetles
  PERSISTENCE: Pests: intermediate; Natural enemies: intermediate
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 23
  ...PLUS...
  415 NARROW RANGE OIL 0.5%    
  RANGE OF ACTIVITY: Pests: broad (unprotected stages of insects and mites); Natural enemies: most
  PERSISTENCE: Pests: short; Natural enemies: short
  MODE OF ACTION: Contact including smothering and barrier effects; also improves translaminar movement and insecticide persistence.
  COMMENTS: Apply when the adults are actively depositing eggs. This insecticide will help to prevent egg hatch. Registered for oranges, grapefruit, and tangerines with a Section 18 for lemons pending.
 
SYSTEMIC INSECTICIDES
 
A. IMIDACLOPRID
  (Admire Pro) 14 fl oz/acre 12 0
  ...or...
  (Alias 2F) 32 fl oz/acre 12 0
  (Nuprid 2F) (through the irrigation system) 12 0
  (Couraze 2F)   12 0
  RANGE OF ACTIVITY: Pests: narrow (aphids, glassy-winged sharpshooters); Natural enemies: predatory beetles and parasites
  PERSISTENCE: Pests: long; Natural enemies: intermediate
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 4A
  COMMENTS: Very toxic to bees; do not apply during bloom because bees may be drawn to irrigation water.
 
B. THIAMETHOXAM
  (Platinum) 8–11 fl oz/acre 12 0
  RANGE OF ACTIVITY: Pests: narrow (sucking insects); Natural enemies: predatory beetles and parasitic wasps
  PERSISTENCE: Pests: long; Natural enemies: intermediate
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 4A
  COMMENTS: Do not apply during pre-bloom or during bloom when bees are actively foraging. Avoid drift to blooming crops or ground cover. Highly toxic to bees through direct exposure and by contact with residue.
 
Restricted entry interval (R.E.I.) is the number of hours (unless otherwise noted) from treatment until the treated area can be safely entered without protective clothing. Preharvest interval (P.H.I.) is the number of days from treatment to harvest. In some cases the REI exceeds the PHI. The longer of two intervals is the minimum time that must elapse before harvest.
1 Rotate chemicals with a different mode-of-action Group number, and do not use products with the same mode-of-action Group number more than twice per season to help prevent the development of resistance. For example, the organophosphates have a Group number of 1B; chemicals with a 1B Group number should be alternated with chemicals that have a Group number other than 1B. Mode-of-action Group numbers ("un"=unknown or uncertain mode of action) are assigned by IRAC (Insecticide Resistance Action Committee). For additional information, see their Web site at http://www.irac-online.org/.
* Permit required from county agricultural commissioner for purchase or use.

[Precautions]

PUBLICATION

[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Citrus
UC ANR Publication 3441

Insects, Mites, and Snails

  • E. E. Grafton-Cardwell, Entomology, UC Riverside and Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier
  • J. G. Morse, Entomology, UC Riverside
  • N. V. O'Connell, UC Cooperative Extension, Tulare County
  • P. A. Phillips (emeritus), UC IPM Program, UC Cooperative Extension, Ventura County
  • C. E. Kallsen, UC Cooperative Extension, Kern County
  • D. R. Haviland, UC Cooperative Extension, Kern County
Acknowledgments for contributions to Insect, Mites, and Snails:
  • J. Barcinas, E.S.I., Corona, CA
  • R. Dunn, Badger Farming Co., Exeter, CA
  • J. Gorden, Pest Management Associates, Exeter, CA
  • H. Griffiths, E.S.I., Corona, CA
  • D. Machlitt, Consulting Entomology Services, Moorpark, CA
  • C. Musgrove, retired entomologist, Riverside, CA
  • K. Olsen, S & J Ranch, Pinedale, CA
  • T. Roberts, E.S.I., Corona, CA
  • T. Shea, UC Cooperative Extension, Riverside County
  • J. Stewart, Pest Management Associates, Exeter, CA
  • P. Washburn, Washburn & Sons Citrus Pest Control, Riverside, CA

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