In some parts of the boll weevil’s, Anthonomus grandis grandis (Boheman) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), distribution from the United States to Argentina, insecticides are applied after cut-out (end of square production) when bolls are the predominant stage of fruiting body. This study demonstrates that the standard spray regime in southern Texas, which involves insecticide applications after cut-out, did not result in more bolls than a nonsprayed control. An alternative “proactive” spray regime focusing on protecting large squares before cut-out resulted in 1.9- to 2.5-fold more bolls in the lower half of the canopies than the control. At one of two experimental field locations, the percentage of damaged boll carpels was 3-fold greater in the standard spray regime’s lower canopy than in the proactive spray regime, and the percentage in the control was 1.6-fold greater than in the standard regime. At both experimental field locations, the upper canopy control had 2.1- to 2.3-fold greater percentages of carpel damage than the proactive spray regime. The standard spray regime resulted in 2.3-fold greater percentage of carpel damage than the proactive regime. In the control and the standard spray regime, percentages of upper canopy nondamaged bolls were mostly lower than or not different from percentages of bolls with one, two, three, or all four carpels damaged, but in the proactive regime, percentage of nondamaged bolls in the upper canopy was greater than percentages of bolls with one or more damaged carpels. Reasons for the ineffectiveness of the standard spray regime and the benefits observed in the proactive approach are discussed.
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Vol. 99 • No. 4