Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers
Cultural control of mango pulp weevil
Recognize the problem
Mango pulp weevil is a small beetle that
feeds inside mangoes. It is closely related to the mango seed weevil, but is
slightly different. The difference is that the mango pulp weevil and its
larvae destroy the pulp, whereas mango seed weevils destroy the seed. The
weevil larvae are white, legless grubs with a brown to black head that feed
inside the pulp. The larvae are tiny when young (1½ mm) but grow up to 1½ cm
when older. Adult weevils are ½ up to 1 cm in size and are dark brown with light
brown backside patches and fine hairs. They have a long nose like all weevils.
There are no easy-to-see outward signs of infestation. Only when adults
emerge is a circular emergence hole visible on the skin of the fruit. Fruit
drop may also indicate infestation. Some dropped fruits must be sliced open
to check for infestation inside the pulp and seeds. If you see many larvae in
the fruit flesh, then these are fruit fly larvae and not weevil larvae.
The mango pulp weevil mainly spreads by transported infested
fruits. This is because the weevil eggs, larvae, pupae and adults develop
within the mango pulp so infested mangos are transported unnoticed from one
place to another by farmers and sellers.
Chemical control is not very effective against this pest
because it feeds inside the fruit, and so is protected against sprays.
Therefore, a variety of cultural control methods are used to control the
pest. The simplest among these methods are orchard sanitation and early
harvesting of fruits. This destroys the eggs, pupae and larvae as well as the
adult weevils. Early harvesting reduces further damage on the fruits because
the soft skins of ripe fruits make them more prone to weevil damage than the
still hard skins.
mature fruits much earlier than usual. This means, before they are fully ripe.
sanitation which involves removing debris like fallen fruits and burying them
- Damaged fruits should be buried at least 50 cm
below the ground to prevent adult weevils from hatching and attacking new
fruits. Compositing also helps when composted
deeply, meaning under a 1 m layer of other plant materials, or manure, or soil.
The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to:
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