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Status of the Alfalfa Weevil in Colorado

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In 20 years the alfalfa weevil, Phytonomus posticus, has spread from an area near Salt Lake City, Utah, until it is now present in at least one or more counties of seven states, namely; Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and California. During the past summer the insect was found on the east slope of the Continental Divide in the State of Wyoming. With the insect established on the east slope of the Rocky Mountains, there is considerable debate and difference of opinion as to the possibilities of the insect becoming a menace to the alfalfa production of the Missouri Valley states.

Colorado has maintained local quarantines on the movements of hays and straws as a means of retarding the spread of the insect. The weevil has been present in Colorado for eight years, during which time it has spread at the rate of six miles per year, but no long jumps have taken place. The problems presented by the tourist travel, immigrant travel, and other interstate relations are factors that must be further studied to retard the spread of the insect. It is essential that there be a uniformity of quarantines in order that the greatest protection may be secured at the least interruption of every day activities.

Natural control of the alfalfa weevil by the introduction of parasites from Europe is being pursued by the U. S. Bureau of Entomology, and we look forward to future introductions that may solve the control of the insect.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1926

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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