Boll Weevil, a small, grayish-brown snout beetle. It feeds on the bolls (unopened seed pods) of the cotton plant and on cotton buds. Since 1892, when it invaded Texas by way of Mexico, the boll weevil has caused great damage in cotton-raising regions of the United States. Because of the boll weevil, the South was forced to diversify its crops. This helped improve the standard of living there.

The boll weevil and its larvaThe boll weevil and its larva feed on the cotton plant and its buds.

The boll weevil is about one-fourth of an inch (6 mm) long and has a long, sharp beak, or snout. The female uses the beak to pierce cotton flower buds and then deposits within each bud an egg that hatches into a larva. The larva feeds upon the inside of the bud, causing it to wilt and drop off the stem. The larva develops into a beetle that continues to feed on the buds and bolls. Later, the weevil eggs are laid inside the boll itself, with the result that the larvae devour the interior, blighting the boll.

The boll weevil is combated by dusting fields from the air with insecticides.

The boll weevil is Anthonomus grandis of the snout beetle family, Curculionidae.