How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines

Alfalfa

Clover Root Curculio

Scientific Name: Sitona hispidulus

(Reviewed 11/06, updated 11/06)

In this Guideline:


DESCRIPTION OF THE PEST

Adults of the clover root curculio are slightly smaller than alfalfa weevil adults and are a mottled gray-brown with no distinct patterns. The life cycle is similar to alfalfa weevil in that the adults leave the alfalfa fields and spend the summer in protected areas.

The clover root curculio is a recognized alfalfa pest in the eastern half of the US, but information on this pest in California is extremely limited. Clover root curculio is apparently more common in sandy soils than in the heavier soils.

DAMAGE

The white, grublike larvae of the clover root curculio feed on alfalfa roots and leave gouges in the tap root. They are most likely to be found in June. This damage has been shown to be detrimental to alfalfa yield and stand longevity in the eastern United States. The feeding also promotes root rot diseases by providing entry points for fungi.

MANAGEMENT

There are no thresholds or control measures for this pest.

PUBLICATION

[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Alfalfa
UC ANR Publication 3430

Insects and Mites

  • C. G. Summers, Entomology, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier
  • L. D. Godfrey, Entomology, UC Davis
  • M. Rethwisch, UC Cooperative Extension, Riverside County (Blythe)
  • D. R. Haviland, UC Cooperative Extension, Kern County
  • P. B. Goodell, Entomology, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier
  • R. F. Long, UC Cooperative Extension, Yolo County

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Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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