The Mile-a-Minute Weevil
Traditional control of the Mile-a-Minute vine
in the United States has involved hand-pulling, mowing, targeted
grazing, and herbicide application, each method having its benefits and
issues. All of these methods must be done early and often
to avoid seed production. The Mile-a-Minute plant, itself, is an
annual vine whose roots do not survive the winter. Mile-a-Minute
seeds, however, remain viable up to 7 years and, therefore, must not be
spread when hand-pulling, mowing, or during targeted grazing.
Green seeds, as well as the more ripe, blue seeds, are also capable of
As of 2004 a new biocontrol was introduced in
the United States. This insect, a 2 millimeter, stem-boring
weevil (Rhinoncomimus latipes
L.), is a host-specific enemy of the
Mile-a-Minute vine and has shown promising results where
released. By using the vine as their feeding and breeding
grounds, the Mile-a-Minute weevil causes defoliation and stress in the
plant, decreasing seed quantity and quality.
A significant amount of research on the Mile-a-Minute weevil has been conducted at the University of Delaware.