Weevils gobble up weeds

Published: Wednesday 31 December 1997

A tiny "hazardous" insect, weevil, considered a major threat to horticulture and floriculture sectors, is being successfully used to clear the weeds from Harke reserve lake in Amritsar. Ram Kishan, director of the Irrigation and Power Research Institute (IPRI), Amritsar, says that the insects do no allow the water hyacinth to grow. India is presently importing neochetina class of weevils from Argentina. The female weevil lays eggs on the leaves of the hyacinth plant that breed in nearly 10 days. The larva first feeds on the leaves and then moves down to the stems and roots. The insect again comes up when it is full grown to feed on the leaves. In this way, these weevils check the growth of the plant. A single female deposits 300 to 600 eggs and the total life span of a weevil is nine months.

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