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5 October 2021 Boll Weevil Eradication: A Success Story of Science in the Service of Policy and Industry
Tyler Jay Raszick
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The boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis Boheman (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is an infamous pest of commercially cultivated cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L. (Malvales: Malvaceae). Once the most important agricultural pest in the United States, the boll weevil spurred an unprecedented mobilization of federal support and cooperation among stakeholders, culminating in the eventual eradication of the species from 98% of its invasive range in the United States. The US Boll Weevil Eradication Program, a joint effort of local, state, and federal governments and agencies, university and agency researchers, and the cotton producers themselves, is a prime example of a successful implementation of a community-wide integrated pest management (IPM). The program also dramatically reduced the use of insecticides in cotton production which led to further positive economic outcomes for producers and reduced the non-target impacts from those chemicals. Though the boll weevil has been mostly eradicated in the United States, the insect remains one of the most important and impactful cotton pests in Central and South America. In this review, we will revisit the agro-economic history of the boll weevil and examine the success of the US Boll Weevil Eradication Program. In doing so, we will learn how we can apply those lessons to boll weevil management abroad and community-wide management of other agricultural or invasive pests. Finally, we will conclude with a brief summary of the ongoing science that continues in service of eradication today.

© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:
Tyler Jay Raszick "Boll Weevil Eradication: A Success Story of Science in the Service of Policy and Industry," Annals of the Entomological Society of America 114(6), 702-708, (5 October 2021).
Received: 5 October 2020; Accepted: 21 July 2021; Published: 5 October 2021

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agricultural entomology
cotton insect
crop protection
invasive species
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