Pecan weevil threatens pecan production in New Mexico


An emergency quarantine remains in effect for people buying pecans in New Mexico after an insect known as the pecan weevil infected pecans in four different counties.

New Mexico’s multi-million dollar pecan industry is being threatened by the weevil.

Now there’s a quarantine to keep weevil from spreading into Dona Ana County.

After the recent discovery of pecan weevil infecting production for farms in the eastern part of the state, a 180-day emergency quarantine remains in effect for Chaves, Curry, Eddy and Lea counties.

New Mexico Department of Agriculture Secretary Jeff Witte said the pecan weevil has not spread into Dona Ana County.

"We've had weevil creep into the state on the east side of the state, and so we've got some treatment protocols in place. We're working hard to eradicate the pecan in those counties,” Witte said.

The pecan weevil is an insect that damages the meat of the pecan, Witte said.

"If you're gonna bring pecans into Dona Ana County, which is a clean county, you have to treat the pecans or send them directly to treatment in sealed containers,” Witte said.

According to the Department of Agriculture the pecan weevil is unfit for human consumption, and can easily spread if not treated.

The emergency quarantine will stay in effect until May 20, 2018.

Witte said if you believe your pecans are contaminated by the pecan weevil, you should freeze them for seven days before disposing of them.

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