LET US TALK ABOUT WEEVILS
One of the least known yet equally as troublesome pests is the weevils. Such a fancy and awesome name, in my opinion. However, they are simply just a member of the huge bug family. Do not worry, physically they do no harm, nor do they transmit diseases. They are just a nuisance to your household and that truly makes them such unwelcome pests.
Weevils are among the small types of beetles and are characterized by their long snouts which they use for making holes on grains, pasta, timber, flour, and cereal. They have mouths that are at the end of their snout. They are dark in color.
Weevils attack homes and usually in great numbers. Since they are small enough to pass through tiny holes around the house, sealing these holes off can be a good deterrent. You can also often find them on the walls hiding in cracks and crevices.
Description of weevils
There are more than 60,000 identified species of weevils and from different families. The most common of these families is the Curculionidae family, where the true weevils belong. They are found in many different parts of the world, except for Antarctica. They are known not only for attacking rice, grains, cereals, pasta, and flour in the kitchen but also for destroying crops
Weevils are not aesthetically pleasing, to say the least. They are tiny insects that are less than 6 mm long. They come in red, brown, grey, or black in color. The main characteristic of weevils that distinguishes them from all the other beetles is their two spurs that are found on the femur of each of their front legs. There are more than 60,000 species of weevils and from different families. The most common of these families is the Curculionidae family, where the true weevils belong.
Weevils as pests
Several types of weevils are pests to crops. Boll weevils destroy cotton crops. It got its name from the cotton bolls they destroy. It is perhaps the greatest pest ever faced by cotton plants in the South. The grain weevil, also known as wheat weevil, destroys stored grain. What they both have in common is that they inflict economic damage to their victims – the household owners and farmers.
Weevils are only interested in stored dry foods like rice, grains, pasta, flour, seeds, nuts, and cereals. They enter homes through holes, cracks, and crevices. They are also more likely to come in from the food packages directly bought from the grocery store. Since they inflict food, pest control must be done with utmost care.
Types of weevils
Out of the 60,000 types of weevils, 1000 are found in North America. Here are the 9 types of weevils:
- Boll weevil – Their name is derived from their habit of laying their eggs in the boll of the cotton plants. Their diet is mainly made up of the cotton plants, and that results in reduced fibers of plants, making them such dangerous pests to cotton farmers. Boll weevils feed on buds and little balls of the cotton, making them such troublesome pests in all parts of the world. The size of the boll weevils is usually 6 mm in length. They have long snouts and are grayish in color. Their long snouts allow them to dig holes into plants, and plenty of damage 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. Fortunately, boll weevils can feed only on cotton plants. They produce many offsprings before hibernating during the winter.
- Rice weevils – Make no mistake about it, but rice weevils do not just attack rice, they can also be found in flour and other grains. They are nuisance pests. They are small in size, adult rice weevils are only 2 to 3 mm in length. They come in reddish-brown to black in color. They have long snouts, which could be about 1 mm. These rice weevils use their snouts to bore holes on rice, cereals, or grains. If you find rice weevils on your rice, pour hot water on it. You will then see the dead weevils floating. Do this every time you are about to cook the rice. They do not pose any physical harm, nor give us any medical problems.
- Wheat weevil – Also known as Sitophilus granarius, they also go by the name grain weevil. Their size is about three to five mm in length, with chewing mouthparts, and an elongated snout. These kinds of weevils have immature wings so they are unable to fly. For this reason, they could only eat stored foods and not those in the fields. Adult female weevils can produce as many as 6,000 offsprings a year. As an act of self-defense, adult weevils play dead when they are threatened.
- Flour weevil – Flour weevils are said to be the not true weevils, but are actually beetles. They are mostly known as the red flour beetle. The flour weevil is named as such due to the fact that they are found in places where they are near flour. A flour weevil’s size is about 3 to 4 mm. Because of the tint of its outer covering, they are metallic in appearance. They are ovoid in shape and flour weevils have two pairs of wings, They also like to eat nuts, cereals, and dried fruit. They can invade any place as they can be found in homes, groceries, and even in the mills that manufacture dry foods. Flour weevils also aid in developing molds. When they die, their bodies produce fouls smell which effectively damages the dry foods, rendering them useless.
- Bean weevil – Similar to the flour weevils, bean weevils are not true weevils. Instead, they are seed beetles. Unlike real weevils, they do not have snouts. They have compact and oval-shaped, hairy bodies. Their colors can be black, brown, or pale olive. Their size range from 1 mm to 2 mm and have slightly rounder bodies as compared to rice and wheat weevils. Adult bean weevils lay their eggs on seeds, which the larvae chew ongoing into these seeds. Signs of their presence in the presence of empty bean covers that they have already consumed.
- Rose weevil – Rose weevils area combination of black and red in color and about 5 to 6 mm in length. They are called as such because they eat mainly flowers, especially roses. Their larvae feed on flower petals too. They can drill holes using their pointed snout.
- Cowpea weevil – Cowpea weevils are ⅛ inch long, they come in reddish-brown color with gray marks. They look like weevils, but they are not. They have chewing mouthparts. They only have short snouts and not the typical long weevil snout. They also eat 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 your cowpeas.
- White Pine weevil – They are also known as Pissodes strobi, white pine weevils are 6 to 7 mm long in size, with white and brown colored scales. They have long snouts. They feed on spruce and pine trees.
- Black vine weevil – The black vine weevil’s size is about 12 mm in length and has ovoid bodies covered with lots of hair. They come in brown or gray in color. They have short snouts and antennae attached to their heads. They are nocturnal and they do not fly. They feed on ornamental plants, shrubs, trees, and herbs.
Nobody wants to have weevils in their food. Not to worry though, because there are several ways to get rid of them. According to the trusted Insect Control Services in North Carolina, the following are some tips you can follow for a weevil-free home.
- Before buying dry foods from the grocery store, inspect the dry foods. You would not know if the packages were already infested by weevils until you inspect them. In case you were able.
- Seal cracks and crevices by caulking to prevent weevils from entering via this route.
- Store dry foods like rice, pasta, flour, grains, cereals, and dried fruits inside a sealed plastic or metal container. Weevils can bore holes in cardboard containers.
- Get a piece of cloth and pour water on it so it would be damp enough. You can use this as a trap. Place this damp cloth in areas where you think there are plenty of weevils inside your house. Weevils will be attracted to it. Once you find enough weevils on the cloth, wash them away with water. Repeat as necessary.
- As much as possible, do not buy dry food that is more than you need. Storing too much for a long time will attract weevils and render them useless.
If you still find weevils too much to handle, then it is time to send in the pros. Of course, you would only want the best; for the best in pest control management, pick Go-Forth Pest Control.
Go-Forth Pest Control has been in this business for 60 years, earning the trust of residents and businesses in North Carolina.