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Two Insects Threatens Louisiana Citrus Essay

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Updated: Apr 23rd, 2022

The article on Two insects threatens Louisiana citrus describes insects that threatened Louisiana citrus in the year 2009. The insects diaprepes root weevil comes in various colors; that ranges from glossy black to yellow-orange scales and causes numerous problems in different plants according to Dr. Natalie Simpson an entomologist (Grimaldi 23). The article states that the weevil has a wide host range of approximately 270 different host plants that include ornamental plants and trees. The report also states the symptoms of the disease being massive damage on the young trees and Louisiana crop. This happens because the weevil feeds for several months on the roots. Adult Weevil feeds on the foliage but the larva does most damage especially to the foliage. Plant death result from destruction of tap roots that lead to deprivation of nutrients and water hence, opportunistic micro-organisms gains easy entry. The environmental factors were blamed for causing the disease (Penton media Inc 3).

Insect identification

Again, Grimadi (32) suggested that the identification of the insect at first was not properly identified. According to Raga, the disease was first suspected to be caused by grasshoppers. Later he discovered that it was something more serious than the grasshopper when die bark of the trees continued. It was this time that the insect was discovered to be the cause of the disease. The Diaprepes root weevils, Diaprepes abbreviatus reported in Florida in 1964 in citrus. An ornamental plant imported from Puerto Rico caused the establishment of the disease. The insect belongs to the kingdom-animalia, Phylum –Arthropoda, Class-Insecta, Suboreder-Polyphaga, Family- Curculionidae, Subfamily-Entiminae, Genus –Diaprepes and species-diaprepes abbreviatus (Weissling 1758).

Biology of the insect

Tripleholn suggests that female diaprepes root weevils lays around 5,000 eggs in their life span. “The eggs hatch into larva that feeds on the leaves, finally falls, burrow in the soil they then feed on the roots of the plant” (Triplehorn 2). Simpson suggested three lines of defense, through expensive. He said that the egg stage, the larva stage and the adult should be controlled (Simpson 43). The life cycle and the biology of the weevils were correctly known after correct identification.

The growers were alert of the insect that transmit the disease that can kill citrus trees immediately after discovery. The story scared the readers as the author advised the growers to be on the lookout because the pest could be a potential problem for other crops such as sweet potato and sugarcane. He also advised the growers to keep an eye on the psyllid. The state did not have an eradication approach to combat the problem. Simpson (54) explained that want they did was to try coming in and proactively and aggressively treating the population to slow down the spread in the state.

Conclusions made about the core issues

Plaquemines Parish, in the State where the citrus production centered, officials used helicopters to spay all the trees for the psyllid (Penton Media Inc 5). The main problem with the psyllid is the greening disease meaning the areas that have the insect but do not have the disease. The economic losses associated with the weevil are quite large and can result to total loss. Reduced output and escalated cost of production account to losses for the growers. The LSU Agcenter Researchers and state officials recommended a treatment plan that included growth regulators, which cause the female to lay sterile eggs (Penton Media Inc).

Work cited

Grimaldi, Engel. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 2005.

Penton Media Inc. Two insects threaten Louisiana citrus, 2009. Web.

Simpson, Nigg. Diaprepes abbreviatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), host plant associations. New York: Sage Publishers. 2000. Print.

Triplehorn, Johnson. Borror and DeLong’s Introduction to the Study of Insects, 7th Edition. New York: Perennial-Harper. 2005.

Weissling, Thomas. Diaprepes Root Weevil, Diaprepes abbreviates (Linnaeus) (Insecta: Coleoptera: Curculionidae). University of Florida IFAS Extension.1758.

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IvyPanda. "Two Insects Threatens Louisiana Citrus." April 23, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/two-insects-threatens-louisiana-citrus/.


IvyPanda. 2022. "Two Insects Threatens Louisiana Citrus." April 23, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/two-insects-threatens-louisiana-citrus/.


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