How To Get Rid Of Little Leaf Notcher Weevil? Helpful Tips

Little Leaf Notcher Weevils can be a terrible pest feeding upon your citrus plants. In this article, we talk about how to get rid of them and keep this menace away from your garden.

Keeping a few citrus trees in your garden is indeed a great way to ensure a supply of homegrown limes and other citrus fruits. 

However, little leaf notcher weevils can sometimes prove to be a true nightmare, destroying your favorite citrus plants. These pests are notorious for feeding on almost every type of citrus plant out there, including hybrid ones. 

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In case your garden or orchard is infested with this type of beetle, you need to take up swift measures to deal with them.

How To Get Rid Of Little Leaf Notcher Weevil

Which Plants Does it Infest, and What Damage Does it Cause?

As the name suggests, the little leaf notcher weevil (Artipus floridanus) belongs to the Curculionidae family – the long-snouted beetles infamous for infesting and damaging plant matter. This particular weevil mostly infests citrus trees and is a common problem in orchards.

The little leaf notcher weevil earns its name from the damage it causes to the foliage of citrus plants and leaves.

These pests start feeding from the edge of a leaf and chew their way up to 5mm to 10mm inwards from the leaf margin. 

Then, they move to a new position along the margin and repeat the process, forming several notches all along the edges of the leaves.

The injuries caused by these weevils can severely hamper crucial processes like photosynthesis, CO2 assimilation, and transpiration.

The weevil larvae of this species are even more dangerous and can kill a plant by severely damaging its roots.

The adults lay their eggs on citrus leaves, which ultimately fall off and carry the eggs or the larvae to the soil. 

The newborn larvae then burrow underground and start feeding on the roots. Besides the direct damage caused by these larvae, the roots may also become infected with pathogens and start to rot.

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Lifecycle of the Little Leaf Notcher

Before we get to the part about how to eliminate these pests, let’s find out more about their lifecycle.

As mentioned earlier, the little leaf notcher weevil causes damage to plants both during the larval and mature stages.

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Eggs

The eggs of these weevils are round in shape, and the color ranges from white to yellow.

Adult weevils usually lay them on the leaves of a host plant, but they might also use the stem or the trunk instead.

These eggs take up to 20 days to hatch, releasing the larvae mentioned earlier.

Larvae

The larvae hatching from the eggs look like white grubs and have a darker and hardened head capsule.

They go through six instars during the larval stage, growing up to 9.5 mm long during the final instar. 

It takes around 45 days for the larvae to be ready to pupate or enter dormancy. Throughout this time, they remain underground and continue to feed on the roots of the host plant.  

Pupae

The pupal stage lasts about 14 to 20 days. Interestingly, these weevils pupate inside small chambers created in their excrement. They stop feeding during the pupal stage and emerge as adult weevils at the end of pupation.

Adults

After pupating and emerging as adults, the weevils climb up the tree trunk to reach the foliage, where they can start feeding. Adult leaf notcher weevils can live up to 165 days and have rapid reproductive cycles. Each adult female can lay up to around 1220 eggs, most of which hatch successfully.

How To Control The Pest

So, I guess you’re unsure about the right control method to deal with these weevils. Don’t worry; although it’s a tough pest; there are several ways to control it:

How To Get Rid Of Little Leaf Notcher Weevil? Helpful Tips

Cultural control

This method refers to the practice of culturing your garden or orchard in specific ways to eliminate pests. Here are a few tips on the cultural control of little leaf notcher weevils:

  • Identify host plants that have already been infested and remove them.
  • Remove weeds to keep the areas under trees and crops clean.
  • Ensure proper irrigation, drainage, and fertilization to help the plants remain healthy.
  • Use rootstocks that are resistant to the weevils.

Mechanical Control

This is one of the simplest methods but may involve removing parts of the infested plants. There are two types of mechanical control that you may use against adult weevils infesting citrus plants:

  • Manually removing the pests by hand.
  • Pruning away infested vegetation.
  • Using sticky tape to trap adult weevils.

Biological control

The use of biological agents like beneficial nematodes is an effective way to kill weevils at the larval stage, thus reducing the scope of weevil damage significantly. 

Nematodes are microscopic worms that dwell in the soil and help eliminate weevils or weevil larvae infesting the roots. 

The application of nematodes is easy – they’re available commercially in the form of sprays. There are several species of nematodes used in pest control, but the most effective ones against citrus weevils are:

  • Sterinernema carpocapsae
  • Heterorhabditis bacteriophora
  • Steinernema riobravis

The Beauveria bassiana fungus is an effective means of biological control too. This parasitic fungus kills a variety of pests by causing white muscardine disease and is effective against adult leaf notchers.

How To Get Rid Of Little Leaf Notcher Weevil? Helpful Tips

Parasitoids

In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, parasitoids are insect species that spend their larval stage as parasites and ultimately kill their hosts.

Certain parasitoids act as natural enemies to leaf notchers, laying eggs in their larvae.

Maintaining diverse vegetation with adequate resources in the garden would make it a suitable habitat for such parasitoids.

Chemical controls

If you are dealing with a large infestation or need quick results, you need to implement chemical control.

Methods of chemical control against leaf notcher weevils include:

  • Desiccating or removing adult weevils using insecticidal oils and soaps.
  • Setting up chemical barriers and soil drenches around the bases of citrus trees to control larval populations.
  • Using foliar sprays both to destroy egg masses and eliminate the adults.

Insecticides

In case none of the above methods work, insecticides might be the only solution. You may apply insecticides in rotation with nematodes and other biological control methods. However, consider the potential negative effects of using insecticides first and use them only as a last resort.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there weevils in Florida?

Yes, there are plenty of weevils in Florida, including species that are native to the state. The pest we’re discussing, the leaf notcher weevil, is quite common here as well. If you have a garden or an orchard with citrus trees in Florida, you should be vigilant for the weevils.

What spray kills weevils?

Nematode sprays are quite effective against weevils, among non-chemical solutions. If you have to apply insecticidal sprays, aerosols like Novacide and Pyrid are good options. It’s best to use insecticides that contain insect growth regulators, as they’re very effective against the eggs and larvae too.

What causes weevil infestation?

There’s no specific cause behind weevil infestations besides the availability of food and a suitable environment. Just like grain weevils are a common problem in pantries, little leaf notcher weevils infest orchards whenever they get a chance. Damp and humid conditions are particularly attractive to them.

How do you get rid of weevils naturally?

Cultural and mechanical control are the most basic ways to get rid of weevils naturally. If these methods don’t work, you may make use of parasitoids or biological agents like nematodes and insecticidal fungi.

Wrap Up

The citrus industry suffers the most from these weevils, but regular individuals like you and me who love having citrus trees in the garden need to watch out too.

The leaf notcher is somewhat similar to the Sri Lanka weevil, so you should make sure to identify it properly before taking up preventive measures.

Hopefully, you found this guide useful and can now deal with those weevils without much problem.

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

31 thoughts on “How To Get Rid Of Little Leaf Notcher Weevil? Helpful Tips”

  1. Myllocerus possesses femoral spines and a distinct humeral angle of the elytra. Artipus has no femoral spines and the humerus is rounded. Many Myllocerus have yellowish heads but it is a variable character.

    Reply
  2. Today (July 1, 2015) I took a bug into the County Extension for identification. It was very small, less than 1/2 inch long and looked very much like the above Strawberry Root Weevil. I, too, found it in my bathroom. The County “Bugmasters” told me that it was a Black Vine Beetle or Weevil. It was suggested to use a product that contains Carboryl, found in most gardening stores, to get rid of it. Finding the source is necessary to use the product and how would one do that?

    Reply
  3. I use food grade diatomaceous earth for natural pest control in my yard, organic garden and even carpets, it is also excellent for human and animal internal parasites. It is not a chemical and is completely safe I take it twice a day as do my cats. It kills all insectcs and worms but not earthworms! You can read a free PDF manual on it or watch a video on natureswisdom.net. The way it kills is mechanical NOT chemical!!! It is a micro sized particle that is almost as hard as diamonds from fossils of diatoms and also carries a strong electrical charge , it gets inside the pests and literally breaks them apart from the inside. The charge attracts toxins, esp toxic halogens from your body as well. I have gotten off 17 medications using this and this was documented by the VA!!! No more migraines, arthritis, asthma, seizures, anxiety, depression and more!!! I also take 5 shots of coconut oil every day and eat only organic and grass fed/free range animals fedNON GMO, I hope this helps!

    Reply
  4. Hello, again!
    So I have been doing some more research on this (and by research I mean posting my pic on BugGuide) and someone suggested it might be Pachnaeus opalus or Pachnaeus litus.
    I am stuck between the two, because if you look very closely on my picture, you can see some colors which are on the weevils on BugGuide (some of the Pachnaeus litus)

    Reply
  5. Hello, again!
    So I have been doing some more research on this (and by research I mean posting my pic on BugGuide) and someone suggested it might be Pachnaeus opalus or Pachnaeus litus.
    I am stuck between the two, because if you look very closely on my picture, you can see some colors which are on the weevils on BugGuide (some of the Pachnaeus litus)

    Reply
  6. I have been abnormally itchy the past two days and then today found a Sri Lanka Weevil in my bed- could the two be correlated?

    Reply
  7. I have them on several small trees. I pick them off by hand. They were tricky little bugs… When you go to grab them they just fall to the ground. I hold a Ziploc bag below them and they drop right in. I go out once a day to get them and after a few days their numbers really drop. That may not work for large trees, but on my small lychee and Barbados cherry trees, that seems to work the best.

    Reply
  8. I have recently discovered these white bugs/little leaf notcher weevils at my property in North Palm Beach — we actually keep seeing them in the house, mostly on the ceiling or high on the walls. Then started searching outside and found them grazing on our “hedge” – not sure what kind of bush/tree it is. But I would love to know of any remedies!! Especially to keep them from coming inside! Any tips out there??

    Reply
  9. I just go through the tree every month or so and pick them out by hand and smush them (wearing garden gloves)… There are usually only a few in each tree and their whitish color is an easy contrast to the dark green leaves. You have to grab them quick before they fly though..

    Reply
    • The Sri Lanka Weevil was also mentioned in our reply. Can you provide any information on how you determined the species?

      Reply

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