Regulatory Control of Sweetpotato Weevil

The following references and websites give examples of legislative or regulatory control including education, inspection, quarantine and eradication programs for sweetpotato weevil in six states (AL, FL, LA, NC, SC and TX) and throughout the southern United States. Between 1937 and 1951, eradication work was done in 106 infested counties in seven states. In 1991, weevils occurred in 262 counties of the continental U. S., which is a substantial increase in weevil-infested area. References are also given for sweetpotato weevil research and eradication programs in Japan.

United States

Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries

Chapter 80­10­5 sweet potato weevil quarantine, 2007

Summary of Plant Quarantine, Louisiana (Sweetpotato weevil is regulated in AL, CA, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TX)

Sweet potato weevil quarantine SC

Sweetpotato weevil quarantine, SC

Texas statutes and codes chapter 71. general control

Tara P. Smith and Abner M. Hammond 2008. Managing sweet potatoweevils in South Louisiana. Louisiana Agriculture

Komi, K. 1998. Eradication of the sweet potato weevil in Japan

Addo-Bediako, A.; Tameru, B.; Jackai, E. N.; Bonsi, C. K. 2007. Assessment of risk of introduction of Cylas formicarius elegantulus (Coleoptera: Brentidae) into weevil-free areas in the southern United States. J. Econ. Entomol. 100: 315-321. (Study concludes that maintaining pest management with monitoring in conjunction with public education to stop illegal transport of sweet potatoes and alternate hosts would significantly reduce the risk of introduction.)

Boyden, B. L. 1927. Sweetpotato weevil eradication in Florida and Georgia. Monthly Bulletin of the State Plant Board of Florida 12(2): 17-55. (Aug.)

Cockerham, K. L., O. T. Dean, M. B. Christian and L. D. Newsom. 1954. The biology of the sweetpotato weevil. La. Agric. Exp. Sta. Bull. 483. (Marked adults of the sweetpotato weevil were caught as much as 2 kilometers from release point.)

Graf, J. E. and B. L. Boyden. 1921. Eradication of the sweet-potato weevil in Florida. USDA Bureau of Entomology Circular 201.

Graf, J. E. 1925. Sweet potato weevil eradication. Jour. Wash. Acad. Sci. 15: 17.

Harned, R. W. 1929. The present status of the sweet potato weevil in the United States. J. Econ. Entomol. 22: 502-507.

Karr, Guy W. 1984. Alabama’s sweetpotato weevil quarantine. p. 30-35. In M.A. Mullen and K.A. Sorensen eds. Sweetpotato weevil : proceedings of a workshop at the Southeastern Branch Entomological Society of America Meetings, New Orleans, LA, January 24, 1984  Dept. of Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.

Nilakhe, S. S. 1991. Quarantine programs for Cylas formicarius in the United States, pp. 247-262. In R. K. Jansson and K.V. Raman [eds.], Sweet potato pest management-a global perspective. Westview Press, Boulder, CO. (Weevils dispersed primarily by transporting infested sweet potato into weevil-free areas. States realized that areawide programs were needed to prevent spread between states so quarantine regulations were enacted. Regulations have been established by a State Plant Board, State Department of Agriculture or other appropriate state authority. The USDA cooperates fully with state authorities in controlling and preventing spread.

Florida was the first state in the U.S. to enact regulations on July 23, 1917 prohibiting importation of infested sweetpotato or the alternate host, morning glory. Alabama, Arizona and Georgia enacted quarantine regulations in 1918, Virginia in 1919, Arkansas and Mississippi in 1920 and South Carolina in 1922. Currently 13 states have regulations against sweetpotato weevil. Significant expansion of infested area over the last 18 years include ten counties in Mississippi, a portion of Union County in Arkansas, Carter County in Kentucky and portions of Brunswick and New Hanover counties of North Carolina. California, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Tennessee are weevil-free states although California lists Tennessee as a quarantined state. Roots originating from infested areas of other states are permitted if have approved fumigation.

Florida had first eradication program in 1919 under state and federal leadership. Between 1937 and 1951, eradication work was done in 106 infested counties in seven states. By 1951, 33 counties, and 12,327 of the 16,169 infested properties were reportedly free of weevils. Currently, weevils occur in 262 counties of the continential U. S., which is a substantial increase in weevil-infested area. In Louisiana and Texas, penalties for violation of quarantine may include cancellation of commercial sweetpotato license, maximum fine of $100 and/or imprisonment for up to 30 days. Infested potatoes are destroyed and/or disposed of at the expense of violator. Quarantine can be remove if fields are weevil-free for one full crop year (Arkansas, South Carolina), no weevils are found during three consecutive years with a minimal area for removal of four square miles (Alabama) or no weevils are found within a five mile radius (Mississippi).)

Rolston, L. H. 1984. Control of the sweetpotato weevil in Louisiana. p. 52-55. In M.A. Mullen and K.A. Sorensen eds. Sweetpotato weevil : proceedings of a workshop at the Southeastern Branch Entomological Society of America Meetings, New Orleans, LA, January 24, 1984  Dept. of Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.

Sorensen, K. A. 1987. Cultural, regulational and educational programmes on the sweet potato weevil in the United States. Insect Sci. Appl. 8: 825-830. (Sweet potato weevil was discovered in India in 1792. First reported in United States in New Orleans in 1875 and has spread to 10 other states. Recent spread has been reported in AL, LA, TN and TX. Quarantine has reduced number of detections in AL. Similar to introduction into AR, sweet potato weevil has recently been introduced in 6 counties in NC that are remote from commercial sweetpotato production. Sea side morning glory is an alternative host. Paper describes efforts to limit spread of sweet potato weevil in NC)


Kiyohisa Kawamura, Tuyosi Sugimoto, Yoshinori Matsuda and Hideyoshi Toyoda. 2007. A convenient estimation of the sources of sweet potato weevils, Cylas formicarius (Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Brentidae), in recently invaded areas in Japan, by random amplified polymorphic DNA technique. Appl. Entomol. Zool. 42 (2): 297–303.

Kumano, N., D. Haraguchi AND T. Kohama. 2008. Effect of Irradiation on Mating Ability in the Male Sweetpotato Weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). J. Econ. Entomol. 101(4): 1198-1203.

Kohama, T., M. Yamagishi, H. Kuba, and K. Kinjo. 2003. A progress report on the eradication program of the sweet potato weevil, Cylas formicarius (Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Brentidae), with both male annihilation using sex pheromone and sterile insect releases in Kume Island, Okinawa, Japan, pp. 65-69. In Recent trends on sterile insect technique and area wide integrated pest management: economic feasibility, control projects, farmer organization and Bactrocera dorsalis complex control study. Research Institute for Subtropics, Naha, Japan.

Kuba, H., T. Teruya, and M. Sakakibara. 2000. Eradication of Weevils by sterile-insect-release method (9): experimental eradication project of sweet potato weevils in Kume Islamd. Shokubutu Boueki 54: 483-486.

Kumano, N., T. Kohama, and S. Ohno. 2007. Effect of irradiation on the dispersal ability of male sweetpotato weevils, Cylas formicarius elegantulus (Coleoptera: Brentidae), in the field. J. Econ. Entomol. 100: 730-736.

Kumano, N., D. Haraguchi, and T. Kohama. 2008. Effect of irradiation on mating performance and mating ability in the West Indian sweet potato weevil, Euscepes postfasciatus. Entomol. Exp. Appl. 127: 229-236.

Miyatake, T., K. Kawasaki, T. Kohama, S. Moriya and Y. Shimoji. 1995. Dispersal of male sweetpotato weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in fields with or without sweet potato plants. Environ. Entomol. 24: 1167-1174. (Cylas formicarius)

Miyatake, T., T. Kohama, Y. Shimoji, K. Kawasaki, S. Moriya, M. Kishita and K. Yamamura. 2000. Dispersal of released male sweetpotato weevil, Cylas formicarius (Coleoptera: Brentidae) in different seasons. Appl. Entomol. Zool. 35: 441-449.

Miyatake, T., S. Moriya, T. Kohama and Y. Shimoji. 1997. Dispersal potential of male Cylas formicarius (Coleoptera: Brentidae) over land and water. Environ. Entomol. 26: 272-276.

Moriya, S. and S. Hiroyoshi. 1998. Flight and locomotion activity of the sweetpotato weevil (Coleoptera: Brentidae) in relation to adult age, mating status and starvation. J. Econ. Entomol. 91: 439-443. (Cylas formicarius)

Moriya, S. and T. Miyatake. 2001. Eradication programs of two sweetpotato pests, Cylas formicarius and Euscepes postfasciatus, in Japan with special reference to their dispersal ability. JARQ 35(4): 227-234.

Sakuratani, Y., T. Sugimoto, O. Setokuchi, T. Kamikado, K. Kiritani and T. Okada. 1994. Diurnal changes in microhabitat usage and behavior of Cylas formicarius (Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) adults. Appl. Entomol. Zool. 29: 307-315.

Sugimoto, T., Y. Sakuratani, O. Setokuchi, T. Kamikado, K. Kiritani, and T. Okada. 1994. Estimation of attraction areas of pheromone traps and disposal distance of male adults of sweet potato weevil, Cylas formicarius (Fabricius) (Coleoptera, Curculionidae). Applied Entomology and Zoology 29: 349-358.

Sugimoto, T., Y. Sakuratani, H. Fukui, K. Kiritani, and T. Okada. 1996. Estimating the reproductive properties of the sweet potato weevil, Cylas formicarius (Fabricius)(Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Appl. Entomol. Zool. 31: 357-367.

Sugiyama, M., Y. Simoji and T. Kohama. 1996. Effectiveness of a newly designed sex pheromone trap for the sweetpotato weevil, Cylas formicarius (Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Brentidae). Applied Entomology and Zoology 31: 547-550.

Yasuda, K.H. Sugie, and R.R. Health. 1992. Field evaluation of synthetic sex attractant pheromone of the sweetpotato weevil Cylas formicarius Fabricius (Coleoptera: Brentidae). Japanese Jour. of Applied Entomology and Zoology, 36: 81-87. (In Japanese with English summary).


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