April 3, 2007
In 1892, the beetle known as the boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis) entered the United States from Mexico through Texas. By the 1920s, the insect, described as the most destructive cotton pest in North America, had entered all of the nations cotton-producing regions, including Arkansas. In 1996, the year before Arkansas joined in a national eradication program, the pest had caused over $29 million in damage. Since joining the program, the infestation is under control in many areas of the state and near extinction in others.