Integrating Biological Control into Pecan Weevil Management: A Sustainable Approach

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2003: $217,500.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Region: Southern
State: Georgia
Principal Investigator:

Annual Reports

Information Products


  • Nuts: pecans


  • Crop Production: cover crops, organic fertilizers, application rate management
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, on-farm/ranch research
  • Pest Management: biological control, field monitoring/scouting, integrated pest management, mulching - vegetative
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management
  • Soil Management: green manures

    Proposal abstract:

    The pecan weevil is a key pest of pecans. In this project, the potential to control pecan weevil using entomopathogenic (insect-killing) fungi was investigated. In laboratory and field studies the following factors were found to affect efficacy: fungus strain or species, application method, and formulation. The most promising treatments consisted of trunk sprays including a novel UV-protecting formulation, and fungus-impregnated cloth bands wrapped around the tree trunk; these treatments produced approximately 80% mortality in emerging pecan weevils. The results indicate that using fungus as a natural environmentally sound measure for pecan weevil control is promising.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Our overall goal is to reduce reliance on chemical insecticides by incorporating biological control into a sustainable pest management program for C. caryae. Specific objectives are to:
    1. Enhance persistence of C. caryae control with B. bassiana by one or more of the following:
    A. Selecting superior B. bassiana strains.
    B. Addition of soil amendments to improve B. bassiana persistence.
    C. Developing improved formulations.
    2. Determine the optimum area of B. bassiana application
    3. Conduct feasibility and economic analyses to determine the potential of incorporating B.
    bassiana into an integrated pest management system.
    4. Extend the project findings to grower clientele.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.