The boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis grandis Boheman (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), can remain inside dry and deformed reproductive structures of cotton, Gossypium hirsutum Linnaeus (Malvaceae), known as dry bolls, during the cotton fallow to infest the next cotton crop. In this study, the influence of cotton cultivars and sowing densities on the formation of dry bolls was evaluated. In addition, dry bolls were dissected and internal structures that were related to boll weevil development were estimated. Finally, the presence and survival of boll weevils inside dry bolls were evaluated. The results indicate that the number of dry bolls, empty pupal cells, and emergence holes was influenced by cultivar and not by sowing density. Almost one-quarter (22.53%) of adult boll weevils examined was found alive inside the dry bolls after 10 weeks, which is slightly longer than the duration of cotton fallow in Brazil’s main cotton-producing regions. Therefore, remaining inside the dry bolls is an important survival strategy for boll weevils during the cotton fallow period, and cotton cultivars with a greater propensity for the formation of dry bolls might favour survival of the pest during this period.