Reintroductions of the boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis grandis Boheman, into areas of the United States where it has been eradicated or suppressed are very expensive to mitigate. There is concern that a cotton gin in an eradication zone may serve as a site of boll weevil reintroductions when processing cotton harvested in a neighboring infested zone. Similarly, there is a question whether weevil-free areas can safely import gin products, such as cottonseed and baled lint, from infested areas without risking an introduction. Many countries require fumigation of imported U.S. cotton bales to protect against boll weevil introductions, costing the U.S. cotton industry millions of dollars annually. In previously reported experiments, we quantified the potential for boll weevils to survive passage through precleaning machinery in the gin. In this study, we quantified survival potential of boll weevils passing through the gin stand and segregating into the cottonseed, mote, or lint fractions. We also examined boll weevil survival when passed with ginned lint through a lint cleaner. We present a flow chart of experimentally determined survival potentials of boll weevils passing through the various subprocesses of the gin, from which one can calculate the risk of a live boll weevil reaching any point in the process. Our data show that there is virtually no chance of a boll weevil being segregated alive into the cottonseed or of one surviving in the lint to approach the bale press. Therefore, quarantine or fumigation of cottonseed and cotton bales to guard against boll weevil introductions is unnecessary.
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Vol. 97 • No. 6