Pepper weevil has become a severe pest in multiple fields in south Georgia. The pest is present in damaging numbers in both pepper and eggplant fields. One field visited last week proved to have the worst infestation I have ever seen in pepper. A severe infestation was also seen in an eggplant field with no pepper in sight.
Control of weevils is difficult at best. Confounding this problem is the suspected reduced efficacy of the pyrethroid insecticides. Dr. David Riley ran a bioassay this last week which shows that the pyrethroid tested provided no control. While pyrethroids can provide other benefits (repellency), the poor performance would definitely suggest use of other materials until we are certain of this poor performance.
As previously indicated, Vydate (or ReTurn) generally provides our greatest efficacy, particularly with repeated applications. Assail and Actara are good rotation partners. Exirel is the newest product with reported activity on weevils. In Dr. Riley’s test Exirel showed obvious impacts on the weevils, but many were still alive (although not healthy) at 72 hours after initial exposure.
Dr. Riley’s full report should be attached.