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Goathead weevils

 
Posts: 86
Location: Zone 7a, Paulden, AZ
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Anyone have experience with using goathead weevils to get rid of goatheads?  And before you scold, I know all plants have a place, but weevils need to eat  We're trying to get a plan together for our 2.5 acres, but I just can't deal with the goatheads anymore.  The goathead weevils are suppose to be specific to the goatheads.  I just can't find what happens to them after they eradicate them.

Bonnie
 
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Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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Bonnie Kuhlman wrote:Anyone have experience with using goathead weevils to get rid of goatheads?  And before you scold, I know all plants have a place, but weevils need to eat  We're trying to get a plan together for our 2.5 acres, but I just can't deal with the goatheads anymore.  The goathead weevils are suppose to be specific to the goatheads.  I just can't find what happens to them after they eradicate them.
Bonnie



I also battle this obnoxious plant, but luckily it's not too rampant here. I was able to weed it out of our gardens every summer before it set seed, until in 2015 there were very few in the garden. But then in late 2015 summer, we got rain several times, and huge amounts sprouted in the desert all around. I pulled up as much as I could stand to, but probably didn't get it all, and now there's a bit of a new wave. Bonuses of pulling it up: it's pretty when small, and the tap root comes very satisfyingly out completely, easily. Bad side of pulling it up: if you let it go just a little too long and it starts setting seeds, it's too painful to pull with bare hands. Also you inevitably track some back into the house, where they'll nail you underfoot just when you're least expecting it.

Back to your question, most of those bugs that help us keep pests in balance, I think, probably never eradicate the target completely, and hopefully don't die out completely either. If these weevils only eat goatheads like they say they do, I expect they'd reduce the plants a good deal but not eliminate them, and then the weevils would remain in low numbers waiting for the plants to return. If you have any time at all I'd you might want to try to pull what you can, as well.

If you've had an infestation, I'm afraid there may be a big seed bank in your soil, so you might face resurgence for a long time. I don't know how long they last, but those seeds are very hard and dense. When I find a seed underfoot, I take vengeance by putting it on the ring of the gas burner on the stove, and watch as it goes red hot. After it cools down, it's still hard to the pinch!
 
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Goathead, does look pretty when young and looks like a nice INNOCENT groundcover. Then it mutates. We learned and an extended program of pull it out and discard it far-far-farrrrrrr away.

I have pulled caltrops of it out of ponds after three years and the little spiny seed cases are still just as hard and as sharp. Hubby likes to wear shoes in the house and if he brings one in and it gets left elsewhere for me to hit in bare feet he's a dead dodo.

Pulling is about the only thing that seems to faze it.
 
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