Determining pepper weevil pathways

Project Overview

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2012: $14,957.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2012
Region: Northeast
State: New Jersey
Project Leader:
Joseph Ingerson-Mahar
Rutgers University

Annual Reports


  • Vegetables: peppers


  • Crop Production: food product quality/safety
  • Education and Training: farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Pest Management: chemical control, cultural control, integrated pest management, physical control, prevention, traps
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems
  • Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems

    Proposal abstract:

    This project intends to identify the route of entry of the tropical/subtropical pest, Anthonomus eugenii Cano, pepper weevil, into southern New Jersey pepper crops. Pepper weevil is a sporadic but serious pest of all varieties of pepper. Over the past seven years this pest has caused approximately $200,000 of crop loss as well as the cost of multiple insecticidal sprays in attempts to control it. Pepper weevil, according to literature reviews, does not overwinter here, nor is it a migratory pest. It must be transported to New Jersey and its appearance has been attributed to use of pepper transplants from Florida, but that is not the practice with affected farmers included in this evaluation. The problem of pepper weevil invasions lessens farmer profitability by causing crop damage and loss. In attempts to control the weevil, insecticide application (pyrethroid/neo-nicotinoid)and expense increases. Even with repeated applications, insecticide effectiveness has been marginal for the weevil. With knowledge of the pathway of this sub-tropical pest to our area we intend to prevent or minimize its arrival, mitigate the need for control, improve farmer profitability and sustainability, and develop protocols for local and Northeast farmers.

    Project objectives from proposal:


    ? Identify the route of entry of the tropical/subtropical pest, Anthonomus eugenii Cano, pepper weevil, into southern New Jersey pepper crops.
    ? Develop protocols for farmers to prevent or minimize the weevil’s arrival, thereby mitigating the need for control.

    Performance targets:

    ? Obtain a comprehensive view of the interfaces between product and the market supply chain, particularly as related to common handling areas and processes.
    ? Monitor product-handling sites and crop growing acreage.
    ? Solicit ongoing review from partner farmers for completeness of monitoring sites.
    ? Document weevil populations using pheromone trap and field scouting techniques.
    ? Identify likely entry points and promulgate lessons learned.

    For outreach, we plan on the following:

    Presentation to farmers at twilight meetings
    Presentation to farmers at the NJ pepper advisory meeting
    Rutgers Plant and Pest Advisory
    NJAES fact sheet
    Presentation to Vegetable IPM agents throughout New Jersey
    Copy of final report to University of Florida, Texas A&M, and Virginia Tech entomologists

    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.