How much cotton did the boll weevil destroy?

Breeding prolifically and able to fly up to 60 miles on its own, it ploughed a destructive path across the Cotton Belt and into southern Virginia by the 1920s. With the boll weevil destroying about 8 percent of the annual U.S. cotton crop and many growers going out of business, farmers in the South began to diversify.

What did the boll weevil do to cotton?

The boll weevil feeds on cotton pollen, but does its damage by laying eggs on cotton flower buds, called “squares,” or on the young developing cotton boll (the songs often address boll weevil as a “he” or “Mr.” but clearly the crop damage is done by the female and her young).

What was the impact of the boll weevil?

The boll weevil’s decimation of the cotton industry in the South had implications for the entire region. The pest was a driving force behind the “great migration” of poor tenant farmers into northern cities, and the state’s dependence on cash-crop production left its soil depleted and prone to erosion.

When did the boll weevil destroy cotton?

In 1958, the National Cotton Council officially recognized the economic havoc the boll weevil was wreaking on U.S. cotton production.

What destroyed cotton?

Boll weevils

Boll weevils along with beneficial insects killed, leading to outbreak of armyworms. Armyworms destroy 90 percent of cotton crop. Farmers go into debt.

What killed the boll weevil?

Malathion 57% is an organophosphate insecticide that can be applied to crops and non-crop plants to kill a wide variety of insects, including Boll Weevils. For large croplands, Malathion is primarily used with a professional skid sprayer or boom sprayer.

Does boll weevil eat cotton?

The boll weevil diet consists solely of cotton plants and closely related vegetation. During the larval stage, the boll weevil feeds on the cotton that surrounds it, thus rendering the bud and flower unusable in cotton harvests.

What is the boll weevil famous for?

Boll Weevil Honored



It remained the most destructive cotton pest in North America for much of the twentieth century. The infestation led to the introduction of the peanut—an alternative crop popularized by the Tuskegee Institute’s George Washington Carver.

How did farmers get rid of boll weevils?

First, fields would be sprayed with a pesticide, most often malathion, to control the pest. Then, insecticide-laden traps baited with the pheromone, or scent, that boll weevils give off when they want to mate would be laid in fields. The smell lured the bugs to their deaths.

How did the boll weevil affect the Great Depression?

By the mid-1920s, the effects of the boll weevil, which first arrived in 1915, had ravaged Georgia’s cotton fields and further decreased small farmers’ prospects for making a living.

Are boll weevils harmful to humans?

Weevils enter buildings by crawling through cracks or openings around foundations, doors and windows. They do not harm people or pets, or damage buildings or property, or infest food products. They are a temporary nuisance.

What if you accidentally eat weevils?

The Good News. The truth is, weevils are NOT harmful to humans. Accidentally eating them along with your food does not cause any ill effects. What could happen is that they can simply add a different crunch to your food when eaten, something unpalatable even?

Can a weevil bite you?

Q: DO WEEVILS BITE HUMANS? A: No. Weevils feed exclusively on grains, seeds, nuts, roots and even some fruits. Unlike fleas or ticks, they do not have a parasitic relationship to either human beings or common household pets.