An Ounce of Prevention: Agave Snout Weevil

Agave Snout Weevil infestationOne of the horticulturists at the Desert Botanical Garden told me that there are only two chemicals that she uses in her Phoenix desert garden:  glyphosate to kill off Bermuda grass (love that stuff!) and imidacloprid to prevent Agave Snout Weevil infestations.

Agave Snout Weevils are sneaky little pests.  The females will burrow into the base of an Agave, leaving behind a trail of bacteria, and lay their eggs.  When the larvae hatch, they continue to burrow in and feed on the base and roots of the plant.  By the time you notice the leaves wrinkling, the damage will have been done.  Your only recourse is to dig up the plant and all its little friends, seal them in a plastic bag and throw it in the trash.

So prevention is key.  Apply  imidacloprid around the base of the plant in early April and again in late May.  It’s a systemic insecticide so it will translocate throughout the plant and keep females from feeding on it.

By the way…Agave Snout Weevils appear to affect larger Agaves, such as A. americana, more than the smaller varieties such as A. macroacantha and A. victoriae reginae.  Something to think about next time you’re at the nursery!


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