Widespread distribution. Central and South America, Caribbean, parts of US and Asia. An important pest.
Adults lay eggs in base of stem ('crown') and in storage roots, and larvae do the damage by making tunnels. Same damage as sweetpotato weevil (Cylas).
Does not fly; crawls from weedy borders.
Spreads in cuttings and storage roots, same as Cylas.
Cultural control: early, deep rooting varieties; plant only tip cuttings; remove wild morning glory; hill-up, covering cracks during dry times; ideally, make one-time harvest; 3-4-year crop rotation; after harvest, collect and destroy vines and infested storage roots.
Chemical control: treat vines (bifenthrin); treat plants in field every 3-4 weeks (bifenthrin or fipronil).