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Oracle Web Applications: PL/SQL Developer's Intro by Andrew Odewahn

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The animal on the cover of Oracle Web Applications: PL/SQL Developer’s Introduction is a boll weevil. The boll weevil is one of several snout beetles with a small beak or snout, which it uses to puncture the flower buds of the cotton crop as well as the fruits, which are known as bolls. The boll weevil is regarded as a notorious pest-possibly the most destructive insect in North America-for its devastation of cotton crops in the southern United States since its migration from Mexico in the late 1800s. Although 90 percent of adult boll weevils die over the winter, the egg cycle from larva to adult takes only three weeks, so in one year between four and seven generations can be born. It’s estimated that boll weevils destroy 10 percent of the cotton crop per year, which amounts to over $200 million in damage and affects at least 13 states in the U.S. Controlling the population of this small beetle is very difficult, as the chemicals that can eradicate them often cause too much environmental pollution to be safely used.

These beetles are not despised everywhere, however. The town of Enterprise, Alabama, is home to the Boll Weevil Monument-the world’s only known monument to a pest. When boll weevils proved so destructive to their cotton ...

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