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Pink Bollworm

Scientific Name

Pectinophora gossypiella (Saunders) (Naranjo et al. 2002)

Common Name

Pink bollworm (PBW)

Native To

Possibly the eastern Indian Ocean region (Henneberry and Naranjo 1998)

Date of U.S. Introduction

First detected in Texas in 1917 (Henneberry and Naranjo 1998)

Means of Introduction

Arrived from northern Mexico naturally or through infested shipments (Henneberry and Naranjo 1998)

Impact

Adults lay eggs on cotton bolls; once hatched, the larvae eat the seeds and damage the fibers of the cotton, reducing the yield and quality (Henneberry and Naranjo 1998)

Current U.S. Distribution

Southwestern U.S.

Pink bollworm

Pink bollworms emerging from a damaged cotton boll

Credit

Peggy Greb, USDA, Agricultural Research Service

Find more images

Spotlights

  • USDA Announces Pink Bollworm Eradication Significantly Saving Cotton Farmers in Yearly Control Costs

    • Oct 19, 2018
    • U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    • U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today that U.S. cotton is free — after more than 100 years — of the devastating pink bollworm. This pest has cost U.S. producers tens of millions of dollars in yearly control costs and yield losses. Thanks to rigorous control and regulatory activities carried out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), state departments of agriculture, the U.S. cotton industry, and growers, pink bollworm has been eliminated (PDF | 176 KB) from all cotton-producing areas in the continental United States. As a result, USDA is lifting the domestic quarantine for pink bollworm, relieving restrictions on the domestic and international movement of U.S. cotton.

Federally Regulated

Videos

  • YouTube - Eradicating the Pink Bollworm

    • Sep 2018
    • Google. YouTube; California Department of Food and Agriculture.

    • Following a Pink Bollworm quarantine and eradication program that endured for more than 50 years, the USDA lifted regulations for the cotton pest in September 2018. In this video, the California Department of Food and Agriculture examines the history of the program and the innovation that brought it at long last to a conclusion.

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source.

Partnership
Federal Government
International Government
State and Local Government
Academic
Professional
Citations