ARE WEEVILS DANGEROUS?
Its name alone sparks confusion, and even fear. Hearing its name makes you think they probably are creatures from hell. Weevils – tiny little insects that infest rice, flour, pasta, and any dry foods we buy from the grocery – are everywhere. They are pests, bothersome pests that are truly not welcome in our homes.
Weevils are considered nuisance pests, but can also hit us right in our pockets because they damage stored grains and other dry foods. But one question that needs to be answered is, are they harmful physically? This needs to be asked since there are some other household pests that do transmit diseases. Mosquitoes, for one, transmit diseases like dengue fever, malaria, yellow fever, and encephalitis. Cockroaches deliver food poisoning, asthma, and cholera. Mice transmit leptospirosis, salmonella, and rat bite fever. So what diseases do weevils transmit, if any?
Weevils are classified as small beetles and are identified by their long snouts which they use for boring holes on grains, pasta, timber, flour, and cereal. Their mouths are at the end of their snout, and they are dark in color.
Weevils also infest homes and usually in great numbers. Since they are small enough to pass through little openings around your house, sealing these off can be a good deterrent. You can also often find them on the walls hiding in cracks and crevices.
The good news
The truth is, weevils are NOT harmful to humans. Accidentally eating them along with your food does not cause any ill effects. What could happen is that they can simply add a different crunch to your food when eaten, something unpalatable even? Food would also not look appealing at all with some weevils as garnishing.
The bad news
It is in the agricultural sector that they do their most damage, and thus they are tagged as dangerous. Farmers abhor them for their destructive nature. Weevils damage crops like corn, grain, and cotton. Weevils also kill garden plants.
What are the types of weevils?
- Flour weevil – Flour weevils are said to be the not so real weevils. They are mostly identified as the red flour beetle. The flour weevil is so called due to the fact that they are found in places where they are near flour. The size of this type of beetle is 3 to 4 mm. They are metallic in appearance because of the tint of its outer covering. They are ovoid in shape and. Flour weevils also have two pairs of wings, They also feed on nuts, cereals, and dried fruit. They can invade any place; they can be found in homes, groceries, and even in the mills that manufacture such dry foods. Flour weevils also aid in developing molds. When they die, their bodies produce fouls smell which effectively damages the dry foods.
- Rice weevil – These are tiny insects found in rice, flour, and other grains. The size of rice weevils is about 2 to 3 mm in length. They come in different colors; they could be from reddish brown to black. These rice weevils use their snouts to bore holes on the rice, cereals, or grains. Pour hot water on rice if you see weevils on it. You will then see the dead weevils floating so it would be easier to pick them out. Do this when you are about to cook the rice.
- Boll weevil – The size of the boll weevils is usually 6 mm in length. They have a long snout and are grayish in color. They feed on buds and little cotton ball plants. In fact, their name comes from their penchant to lay their eggs in the boll of the cotton plant. Due to this, they cause huge damages to cotton crops. They are originally from Mexico, and came to the United States in the 19th century and immediately attacked all cotton growing areas during the early 20th century. The bright side of this is that boll weevils can feed only on cotton plants. If you are not growing cotton, then you are safe from them.
- Rose weevil – Rose weevils are about 5 to 6 mm in length and have a red and black color. They can drill holes using their pointed snout. They are called as such because they eat mainly flowers, especially roses. Not only do the adult rose weevils feed on flower petals, but their larvae too.
- Wheat weevil – Also known as grain weevils, they are three to five mm in length, equipped with chewing mouthparts, and an elongated snout. They have immature wings, so they are not able to fly. Wheat weevils can only eat stored foods and cannot go out to the fields to eat plants. Adult female weevils can produce as many as 6,000 offsprings a year.
- Cowpea weevil – Cowpea weevils are a ⅛ inch long, reddish brown with gray marks. They appear like weevils, but the truth is they are not. They have short snouts and feed largely on cowpeas. They have chewing mouthparts which they use not only for eating cowpeas but for beans and peas as well. That is also where they lay their eggs. You would know if you are attacked by cowpea weevils if you see round holes on those peas.
- Bean weevil – Like the flour weevils, they are not true weevils. They also do not have snouts, which is the basic feature of a weevil. Their bodies are compact and oval in shape. They are very hairy and their colors are black, brown, or pale olive. Their size range from 1 mm to 2 mm. They eat anything that is available. Adult bean weevils lay their eggs on seeds, which the larvae chew on going into these seeds. Signs of their presence is finding empty bean covers that they have already consumed.
- Black vine weevil – The black vine weevils feed on ornamental plants. Their size is about 12 mm in length and has ovoid bodies. They have short snouts and antennae attached to their heads. They are nocturnal and they do not fly. During the day they rest.
- White Pine weevil – White pine weevils are 6 to 7 mm long in size, with white and brown colored scales. They feed on spruce and pine trees.
How to control the weevil population?
Your house will never be big enough to accommodate both humans and pests. There will never be room for weevils there. Here are some ways to get rid of these pests:
- Seal off all cracks and openings in your house. Weevils are small enough to fit into these and can make these their entry points as well as hiding places.
- Store dry foods like grains, rice, pasta, flour, and dried fruits inside a sealed plastic or metal container. Weevils can bore holes in cardboard containers. This will cut off their food source.
- Set a trap. Get a piece of cloth and pour water on it to make it damp enough. Place this damp cloth in dark places within your house. Weevils will be attracted to it, trapping them eventually. Once you find enough weevils on the cloth, wash them away with water. Repeat as often as needed.
- You may also freeze the weevils to kill them. If the weevils are already in your flour and cereals, you should put these items in the freezer in a ziplock and let it stay for at least a week. This will surely kill the weevils and their eggs.
- Buy dry food products only as much as you need. Do not buy too much of it. Storing too much of these items would attract more weevils.
- Get the services of the best pest control management in North Carolina, Go-Forth Pest Control.
- You may try using Diatomaceous earth. These are tiny fossilized aquatic organisms composed of diatoms. They are like small shards of broken glass. When crawled on by weevils, it causes several tiny cuts on their bodies, causing them to bleed to death.
- If your dry foods are already contaminated by the weevils, throw them away. Dispose of these products properly to prevent them from coming back to your home. If there are weevils in food products that you just bought from the store, return them to the store immediately. Make sure it will be thrown away or destroyed so that they would not have to spread to other areas.
Go-Forth is simply the best
Go-Forth Pest Control – operating since 1959 – is a family owned commercial service solution provider of modern pest control services and techniques. We use only the latest and most advanced technology in the business, making our service to you more efficient, safer and convenient. We have a team of expert professionals who can provide the best pest control services to residents and business establishments all throughout North and South Carolina.
We bring a fresh and innovative approach to the pest control industry, using family-friendly and pet-friendly methods of extermination that caters to your specific needs. Our expert experience in exterminating pests like weevils, mosquitoes, mice, flies, termites, ants, and spiders can really make you say goodbye to these pests in your house. We are also the best-reviewed company; you may check our Facebook or Google us to find out what our satisfied customers have to say about us.
Go-Forth Pest Control has earned the trust of residents and businesses in North Carolina for more than 50 years. For more information, or to set an appointment, just dial 336-841-6111. Our friendly operators are standing by.