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 growing.

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.














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The Mile-a-Minute Weevil
Stewart State Forest, Orange County

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MAM Weevil on Notebook (above)
and on hand of volunteer (below)
(Click to enlarge photographs)

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