This weevil is a serious pest of citrus, but also feeds on more than 279 plants in 50 plant families, including corn, sugarcane, and many ornamental and other agricultural plants. Adult beetles live for up to 5 months, and females can deposit an average of 5,000 eggs in their lifetime, attaching these to protected areas of leaves in batches of 30 to 260 eggs, often gluing the edges of leaves together to form that secure oviposition site. The larvae drop to the soil and burrow down to feed extensively on the roots of the plants, ultimately girdling the crown area of the root and killing the plant. The adult beetles emerge and may walk or fly to new plants nearby, and generally remain on the chosen plant unless disturbed. The complete life cycle may take from 5 to 18 months, depending on temperature and soil conditions. Dry, compacted soils deter the larvae from moving to the roots and deter the adults from exiting the soil.
Managing the beetle combines sanitation and the removal of leaf litter, monitoring with traps or visual sightings, and chemical applications to kill adult beetles on the foliage. Insecticides have very limited effectiveness on the larvae in the soil. The use of parasites and predators for the larvae is being tested, with varying degrees of effectiveness.