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The New Mexico Department of Agriculture says pecan weevil has been identified in residential trees in Artesia, Roswell, Hobbs and Clovis.

A small number of residential pecan trees are being affected by pecan weevil, a significant insect pest of pecan that is not recognized as being established in New Mexico commercial orchards.

The NMDA and New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service recognize the economic importance of the pecan industry to the region and the negative impact pecan weevil would have on the industry. Over the past 10 years, both organizations have cooperated on annual surveys and outreach programs as part of an early detection and eradication approach to prevent weevil establishment in the western region.

Recently, pecan weevil was identified in one residential tree in Clovis and one residential tree in Roswell. Additional pecan trees were identified with pecan weevil in Artesia and Hobbs.

As a result of the recent findings, the NMDA has implemented a 60-day quarantine effective Jan. 27. To limit the spread of weevil from infested residential trees to commercial orchards, movement of pecans produced within the city limits of Artesia, Roswell, Hobbs and Clovis are restricted. This restriction requires a certificate from the NMDA stating specific pecans meet one or more of the following requirements:

  • Pecans that are sold, traded or gifted in a manner that meet the phytosanitary requirements of the receiving location and are transported in a department approved manner;
  • Pecans treated at 0 degrees for 168 continuous hours, or other department approved treatment methods;
  • The inspection of a pecan sample in which no pecans exhibit signs of the pecan weevil or exhibit the presence of the weevil; and/or,
  • Pecans originating in the quarantined area but believed by the department not to have the presence of the pecan weevil.

Specifics regarding the certification of pecan nuts can be found within the quarantine rule at nmdaportal.nmsu.edu/nmda/laws-regulations. Information is also available at the affected area’s County Cooperative Extension Offices. Residential and commercial pecan tree owners should be on the lookout for pecans with round, BB-sized holes in the shells, or legless, white grubs inside the pecan nut.

Anyone who suspects they have pecan weevil in their residential pecan trees are urged to contact their local County Cooperative Extension Office. Residents in Eddy County should contact Woods Houghton at 575-887-6595.

The NMDA and New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service will continue to work with city elected officials and residents of affected areas on education and eradication efforts.