The boll weevil proved a formidable foe in the past. When it first entered the United States from Mexico across the Rio Grande in 1892, it spread rapidly through the South, laying waste to many fields and costing the region an estimated $13 billion in lost production through the years.
The Boll Weevil Eradication Program began with trials in Virginia in 1978. Working state by state, the program has forced the boll weevil back to Mexico.
The last boll weevil found in South Carolina was found in 2000, most likely a hitchhiker on machinery making its way east. Despite the presence of boll weevils in South Carolina, growers remain vigilant and the South Carolina Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation, a farmer-run organization, meets annually to evaluate the the status of the eradication program.