A pest throughout most of the United States, black vine weevils (Otiorhynchus sulcatus) attack over 100 different kinds of ornamental plants including rhododendrons, azaleas, yews and hemlocks. When weevils enter your house, greenhouse or indoor gardens they can be damaging to begonias, ferns and other popular potted plants. They are particularly damaging to cyclamens and are often called the “cyclamen grub.”
Adult black vine weevils (3/4 inch long) are large slate-gray to black insects that cannot fly. They have short, broad snouts, bent or “elbowed” antennae and patches of short hairs on their wings. Adults feed at night, damaging plants as they chew small notches in the edges of leaves. During the day, they hide in soil cracks, garden debris and mulch.
Larvae cause the greatest level of injury to plants. They are small (1/2 inch long), white, C-shaped grubs that tunnel through roots as they feed. Leaves will often wilt (even when properly watered) and plants may be stunted or die. Larvae may also girdle the main stem just below the soil line.
- Natural Controls for the Evil Weevil
- Garden weevil in vineyards
- Damage and loss
- What Do Weevils Eat?
- Weevil Lifecycle
- 9 Types of Weevils
- Damages Caused by Weevil
- Facts, Identification & Control
- Types of Weevils
- What Do Weevil Eggs Look Like?
- Garden grubs
- Pantry pests
- How to Get Rid of Flour Mites and Weevils
- What Do Flour Mites & Weevils Look Like?
- Are Weevils/Bugs in Flour Safe To Eat? Can Flour Mites and Weevils Make You Ill?
- How Do Mites/Weevils Get in Your Flour and Kitchen?
- How To Get Rid of Flour Weevils & Mites
- Prevention of Flour Bugs
- Home-invading weevils
- How to Get Rid of Weevils in Bedroom
- 4 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Weevils in the Kitchen
Black vine weevils overwinter as nearly grown larvae in the soil around the roots of host plants. In spring they change to pupae and begin emerging as adults. In two or more weeks (depending on temperature) they begin depositing eggs near the crowns of the host plants. Hatching occurs in about 10 days, and the tiny larvae burrow into the soil and begin feeding. One generation per year.
Vine Weevil Control
- Remove mulch and other hiding places from around plants and water only when necessary (larvae and adults prefer moist soil).
- As non-flying insects, weevils travel from plant to plant by walking. It stands to reason then, that Tanglefoot Sticky Barrier should form the first line of defense.
- Apply 100% organic Diatomaceous Earth for long-lasting pest protection. Made up of tiny fossilized aquatic organisms, DE kills by scoring an insect’s outer layer as it crawls over the fine powder. Contains NO toxic poisons!
- Immature stages of the black vine weevil are particularly vulnerable to attack by beneficial nematodes, especially in potted plants.
- BotaniGard ES is a highly effective biological insecticide containing Beauveria bassiana, an entomopathogenic fungus that attacks a long-list of troublesome pests – even resistant strains! Weekly applications can prevent insect population explosions and provide protection equal to or better than conventional chemical pesticides.
- Fast-acting crack and crevice sprays, like Don’t Bug Me, can be used around windows, doors and vents to prevent adult weevils from entering structures.
- Least-toxic botanical insecticides should be used as a last resort. Derived from plants which have insecticidal properties, these natural pesticides have fewer harmful side effects than synthetic chemicals and break down more quickly in the environment.
Tip: Place burlap fabric at the bases of trees and shrubs to trap weevils that hide under it during the day.
Natural Controls for the Evil Weevil
The tell-tale signs are there: C- shaped notches in leaves; stunted growth; and even yellow, wilting leaves – a black vine weevil infestation! This insect infects over 200 plants but the most common include rhododendrons, azaleas and yew. There are few garden pests that are as difficult to get rid of as this weevil but by targeting the young and vulnerable larvae and using a few cultural practices, gardeners can get good control of this nuisance.
The adult weevil is a dark, oval-shaped insect, ½” in length with a blunt snout and distinct antennae. In North America, all of the adults are females so every insect has the ability to cause and infestation. Feeding occurs at night; the adults do not fly but instead need to crawl up plants. The larvae are off-white in color with dark heads and can also do extensive damage as they feed on plant roots.
The adult weevils emerge from the soil in late May or early June through mid-July. These adults feed for 4-5 weeks in order to produce the 300+ eggs that are dropped into the ground under the plant. The eggs hatch within 2 weeks and the larvae then tunnel into the soil where they feed on plant roots. They then tunnel deeper into the soil to protect themselves from frost and pupate in the spring.
Understanding the lifecycle and feeding practices of the weevil is the key to keeping the pest under control. Since adult weevils feed on leaves during the night and look for dark, moist spots during the day to rest, trapping them in these areas can be quite effective.
With the aid of a flashlight, pick-off the adults in the evening as they come out to feed.
*Simply placing a white drop cloth under your plant in the evening or early morning and shaking the leaves will help to catch many of the adults.
*During the day, place a board under the plant. Check the board for hiding adults and scrape them off into a bucket of soapy water.
*Place a wrapper around the trunk of the plant and coat it with a sticky substance such as Tanglefoot. The wrapper should be at least 6″ wide.
The eggs and larvae of the black vine weevil require moisture to survive. If your plants are heavily mulched, pull back this mulch to allow the surface of the soil to dry out and do not water plants unless necessary.
Rather than attacking the adults, beneficial nematodes go after the larvae in the soil and are a safe & natural method of controlling black vine weevil. A few things are critical in order to get good control:
Timing & Temperature – Beneficial nematodes require a soil temperature of at least 60 F to work. Gardeners often miss the critical period in the spring since the weevil larvae pupate fairly early, before the soil warms. The late summer and early fall is the best time to apply nematodes.
Moisture – The root zone around the plant must be moist since nematodes don’t swim and require water to carry them through the soil. Water the area before and after application.
Arzeena is an agronomist and garden writer with Organic Living Newsletter. Subscribe to this free e-newsletter at http://www.tvorganics.com
Rutgers Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet – http://www.rce.rutgers.edu/pubs/pdfs/fs667.pdf
Ohio State University Fact Sheet – http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2016.html – Black Vine Weevil information
Terra Viva Organics – http://www.tvorganics.com – source of beneficial nematodes
Garden weevil in vineyards
Larvae of the garden weevil tend to occur in the soil in the drip zone of vines, with comparatively fewer in the mid-row, unlike observations in Victoria where inter-rows are more heavily infested.
Weeds such as sorrel, capeweed, dock and dandelion can support large numbers of garden weevil larvae and the presence of such weeds may influence the distribution and abundance of larvae across the vineyard floor.
After emergence, adult garden weevils enter the vine canopy and tend to stay there. Adult weevils feed at night. They are inactive during the day and shelter under bark, in the crotch of branches and the main stem and around posts or plant limbs supported by wires. They can also be found under plant debris on the vineyard floor and in curled up dead leaves and in grape bunches in the vine canopy. When disturbed they remain still, feigning death and may fall to the ground. Adult weevils climb into the vine canopy via the trunk, posts, trailing canes or where weeds touch the canopy.
Damage and loss
Weevil larvae damage to roots
Larvae feed on the roots of vines and other plants growing in the vineyard. Larvae feeding on vine roots can severely damage young vines such that they become stunted and appear water-stressed. The root system of mature vines would be more tolerant of feeding by weevil larvae. Control of adults would help reduce the abundance of larvae.
Adult garden weevils attack foliage, flowers, buds and fruit. Leaves usually have distinctive round holes and scalloped edges. Adult weevils can scar grapes but also destroy bunches by ringbarking the stalk. Feeding around growing tips can kill them and this can affect the structure of vines and reduce the number of buds the following season.
Garden weevil is also a pest in deciduous fruit tree orchards, especially apples, nectarines and cherries, as well as strawberries, root vegetables, asparagus and ornamentals. This insect is not a major pest of vineyards in the Swan Valley although it occurs there. It is also found in the Perth metropolitan area.
Weevil is a name commonly use for specific beetles that belong to the family Curculionidae or snout beetle family. Weevils contain more than 60,000 species in total, and the family Curculionidae contains the maximum number of species among all beetles’ families. According to one research, there are more than 1000 species of insects from the family Curculionidae is present in North America. They are usually very small in size, and the body size varies from just 3 mm to 10 mm in total. Weevils’ species exhibits a wide range of body shape and colors. Their body shapes are oval or lean, and body colors are usually dark like gray, reddish-brown or black. However, few weevils’ species have also bright, intense colors. Their body may also contain scales or shiny hairs. The most noticeable feature of adult weevils is their head shape that is elongated enough to make a snout-like shape. This is the reason they are sometimes also known as ‘snout beetles.’ Few weevils also contain a snout that is equal in length with their remaining body. The mouth of weevils is present at the tip of snout. Though almost all weevils contain snout, however, there is a family called Bruchidae that doesn’t contain snout. The curved antennae of weevils are located at the center of the snout. Another remarkable feature of weevils is their spurs that are present on the femur of both front legs.
What Do Weevils Eat?
Weevils are herbivores by nature, and they feed entirely on plants from larval phase till they reach their adulthood. Little larvae of many weevil species only feed on specific types of plants parts like seeds, fruits, flower head, root or stems. These larvae either eat a single type of plant species or those species that are strongly related to each other. However, adults prefer to eat from different plants. They have a habit of consuming a wide variety of plants and grains. While eating, their snout helps them a lot. It assists not only in eating plants and penetrating the different eating material but also in drilling holes. As weevils can be fed on the variety of plants parts, grains, and crops, therefore, they can also be proved as very destructive insects too. They consume important crops and grains and destroy them. Different species of weevils consume different types of grains and crops that result in a huge economic loss.
Weevil lifecycle varies from species to species. Few species of weevils lay their eggs during spring. They lay eggs on the ground close to the host plant. The larvae hatch from eggs and feed on the roots of plants while staying underground. This is the reason; people can hardly see them. There are other weevil species, which stay underground during winters and comes out of the ground on subsequent summers. Those larvae that come above the surface during fall and summers attacks home mostly for shelter.
9 Types of Weevils
There are a variety of weevils that consume different types of crops and grains. Here, we will discuss types of weevils.
1. Boll Weevil
Boll weevils whose scientific name is Autonomous grandis are those weevils who fed on buds and little balls of cotton plants. Their body size is only 6mm in length. Its diet consists entirely of the cotton plant that results into reduced fibers of plants. Due to this reason; they are considered very dreadful for any country. Boll weevils hibernate in winters and before hibernating they produce many further generations.
2. Flour Weevil
Another destructive weevil is flour weevils that belong to the Family Tenebrionidae. Their name contains word weevil, but in reality, they are not right weevils. This insect is assumed as red flour beetle or confused flour beetle. Their bodies are quite oval in shape and have a body length of 3 to 4 mm. Their body has metallic touch with a reddish-brown color. Red flour beetle and confused flour beetle looks similar regarding their behavior and appearance. However, the only difference lies in the shape of their antennas. As their name depicts, their diet relies mainly on flour and other stored edibles. They can not consume other whole grains. Consequently, they can be found in different dusty minced products like flours, powdered milk, cornstarch, and cake mixes.
【Read more about Flour Weevil】
3. Rice Weevil
Rice weevil also is known as Sitophilus Oryza is a type of weevils that like flour weevils contain reddish-brown body color. Their bodies are 4 mm long and wings contain red or light yellow color patterns. Their snouts are long and can reach the length of 1 mm. They do not bite humans or irritate them directly, but they cause serious problems with their troublesome eating habits. Unlike their name, they consume not only rice but also a huge variety of other grains too. They can consume wheat, oats, corn, rye and whatever grain they found resulting in serious grain loss.
4. Bean Weevil
Bean weevil is also known as Acanthoscelides obtectus like flour beetles are not true weevils. They rather belong to the team of seed beetles. Their bodies are slightly rounder as compared to wheat and rice weevils. Also, they lack the presence of snout that is a most remarkable feature of true weevils. Their bodies are intensely hairy with pale olive color along with dark-colored wings. Bean weevils can consume any available food. Their diet may include lentils, cowpeas, and other seeds. They usually consume beans in a hidden way, and it is very difficult to identify their presence. The only indication of their attack is the presence of empty beans covers among crops.
5. Wheat Weevil
Wheat weevil (Sitophilus granaries) also known as granary weevil, is notorious for its destructive perspective in agriculture. Their body size is usually less than 5 mm with dark brown color all over its body. They also contain extremely marked bumpy patterns on its head.Wheat weevils contain immature wings making them unable to fly. Because of this inability, they can usually be found consuming stored food products rather than those in fields. The adult wheat weevils also play dead on any interruption.
6. Black Vine Weevil
Black vine weevils that are also known as Otiorhynchus sulcatus can be seen in most parts of northern United Stated and exist in all over the state of Ohio. These weevils are 12 mm in length with ovoid body shape covered with plenty of little hairs. Their body color varies from brown to gray. Their snouts are quite smaller in size and wings possess small pits. They usually consume different plants, shrubs, trees and herbs. The food choices of adults vary from larvae. The adults feed on leaves and stem of plants, while larvae consume major roots. Therefore, it can be said that little black vine weevils cause more damage as compared to adults.
7. Rose Weevil
Rose weevils are also known as Merhynchites bicolor. Their body length varies from 5 to 6 mm in length with red and black color. Their snout is quite prominent and pointed making them able to drill holes. Their major diet consists of flowers. They make holes in flower buds and attain their food. Regardless of having a small sized body, these tiny creatures can cause a serious threat and irreplaceable loss to horticulturists. They are dangerous for horticulturists at their all stages of life. Adult rose weevils make holes in flower buds to get food and to lay eggs there, and larvae produced feed on flowers petal. Adult weevils also feed on stems and shoots of plant the if they do not get any flower buds.
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8. White Pine Weevil
White pine weevils are also known as Pissodes strobi. Their bodies are 6 to 7 mm long with white and brown colored scales present all along their wings. They also contain long snouts. Their rust color body can easily recognize adult white pine weevils. As their name depicts, these weevils normally consume spruce and pine trees as major part of their diet. However, they can also be seen consuming lodge pole pines and black spruce. They start affecting trees by making holes in the bark of the tree. Like black vine weevils, their larvae also cause more damage as compared to adults because of their habit of consuming roots.
9. Cowpea Weevil
Cowpea weevil is also known as Callosobruchus maculatus. These weevils lack elongated snout with the body color of reddish-brown with gray or black marks. As their name shows, they feed largely on cowpea and accumulated soybeans. They also lay their eggs on beans on which they are feeding. The larvae produced also starts eating those beans while growing.
Damages Caused by Weevil
There are different species of weevils that attack different parts of plants like stems, barks, roots, flowers, seeds, and leaves. Besides feeding on plant parts and other edibles, weevils also lay their eggs on that food, which later on becomes the source of food for their larvae. In this way, the cycle of plant destruction continues. Different weevil species can attack grains, plants, beans, vegetables, fruits, seeds, cotton, and even stored food products. Besides attacking crop fields and open food sources, weevils sometimes also invade homes and consume food from different accumulated items. They can even destroy cereals, dry fruits, barley, cake mixes and other powdered items. They are very deadly pests and they can cause a huge economic loss for farmers and can be a source of great irritation for homeowners. Food once contaminated with by weevils should be discarded away as it can cause several infections and diseases if ingested by humans.
Weevils become more active during summers and can create trouble for humans along with other pests. Therefore it is necessary to eliminate them as soon as possible from your locality. Otherwise, they can reproduce plenty of weevils and can make a situation even difficult for you. Here, we will discuss few tips to get rid of these tiny beasts.
1. Freeze and kill it
The best and reasonable way to kill weevil is to freeze your food. As soon as you buy any food item, freeze it for at least four days. Food can be stored in a freezer for the longer period. However, if there is a space issue, then four days (96 hours) with maximum coolness is enough to kill any larvae, eggs or weevils already present in the food. After four days, keep your food stuff out of a freezer, check it for dead weevils and store it in a normal place.
2. Bay or Neem Leaves
Another most effective and easy remedy to get rid of weevils is to use bay or neem leaves. They are easily available. If you do not have enough space to store food items in freezer or food item is stored in containers rather than in packets like flour, then it can work best for you. Normally, unsealed food is more vulnerable to pests attack. Therefore, put few leaves of bay or neem and put inside your container.
Cloves are another best remedy to get rid of weevils. Cloves are used almost in every other home. They have the sharp smell, and this is the thing that works effectively against weevils. To get rid of weevils, put few cloves on every corner and part of your kitchen where weevils are suspected. Try to cover all parts of the kitchen. Cloves sharp smell will force weevils to leave your area. Furthermore, cloves can be put in the jars of food items to eliminate weevils.
Another weird and effective tip to kill weevils is to use matchbox. Put the opened box of matchbox near the grains infested with weevils. The smell of sulfur will force weevils to leave your food items.
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5. Keep the Infected Grains in Sunlight
The natural and free source of eliminating weevils from your home is sunlight. As weevils like dark and moist places to live, and light and heat are something, they would never like to face. Therefore, to get rid of weevils, put your infested food items in direct sunlight for a day or so. It will irritate weevils, and they will be forced to leave that place.
Other Home Remedies
- Cleaning your kitchen area properly and regularly can help eliminating these insects
- Flour sifter can be used to eliminate weevils
- Cleaning kitchen with white vinegar can also help in eliminating weevils
- Wet clothes trap can be used to attract insects towards cloth, and then they can be removed
No matter how small its body size is, they can cause a huge loss to whole agricultural fields and entire food storage. Therefore, it is necessary to take immediate steps to get rid of these tiny creatures.
- The Black Vine Weevils -Their Life Cycle & the Damages Done By Them
- 10 Best Black Vine Weevils Repellents Worth To Buy (2018)
- Weevil: 9 General Types and How to Get Rid of Them
Facts, Identification & Control
What Are Weevils?
Weevils are actually beetles. There are more species in this family than in any other beetle group. Scientists estimate that there are over 1,000 species of Curculionidae in North America.
What Do They Look Like?
Weevil species occur in a wide range of colors and body shapes:
- Size: Many are slender or oval-shaped insects. Depending on the species, weevils range in size from about 3 mm to over 10 mm in length.
- Color: They are usually dark-colored (brownish to black).
- Head: The most distinctive feature of weevils is the shape of their head. An adult weevil has an elongated head that forms a snout. The mouth is at the end of the snout. Some weevils have a snout that is as long as the body. Another family of beetles called Bruchidae, such as the cowpea weevil, have a different appearance from the typical weevil. They lack the elongated snout found in the Curculionidae.
How Did I Get Weevils?
While weevils can find their way into a home from the yard, these pests usually come indoors inside packaged foods or bulk products. Weevil eggs are almost invisible to the naked eye, so it’s easy to buy tainted goods without realizing those goods are infested. Weevils usually infest grains and starches like rice, flour, pasta, and cereals.
Weevil infestations that start outside may be the result of fruit trees or gardens, which are also food sources. The insects often gather on the sides of homes and move into cracks and gaps that lead inside.
How Serious Are Weevils?
Outdoors, weevils can kill garden plants. Indoors, the pests are more of a nuisance than a danger. Weevils contaminate infested food with their feces and cast skins, causing more damage than they eat. So, an infestation may render entire packages or pantries of food inedible. Stored product weevils do not bite and they do not cause damage to dry, decay-free wood inside homes.
Stored Product Weevils
A few weevils attack stored grains and seeds. They can be very destructive, and their damage is often very expensive. The most common stored product weevils are:
- Cowpea weevils, Callosobruchus maculatus (F.)
- Granary weevils, Sitophilus granarius (L.)
- Rice weevils, Sitophilus oryzae (L.)
Some weevils can become structural pests. These are the weevils that upset homeowners because they invade homes often in great numbers. Some of them invade in the fall. They hide during the winter and leave in the spring. Others invade in the summer when the weather starts turning hot.
Signs of Infestation
Homeowners might not notice weevils when they are gathered on the outside of the home. But if the weevils manage to find an opening and invade the home, the homeowner often finds hundreds of insects crawling on the walls and windowsills.
How Do I Get Rid of Weevils?
What You Can Do
Most likely, homeowners seeing weevils are dealing with the stored product species. The most important control methods are to find the infested material and eliminate it. Careful inspection of items before purchasing can help prevent getting a new infestation. Products with holes or signs of damage on the packaging should not be purchased.
A vacuum cleaner is a quick way to remove weevils from the walls and furniture. Be sure to take the vacuum outside to empty it so the weevils don’t reinfest the home.
What Orkin Does
The Orkin Man™ can help homeowners manage weevils. He will use Orkin’s exclusive A.I.M. system—Assess, Implement and Monitor. He will design a treatment plan for your home’s situation. By focusing on the source of the problem—outside or inside of the home—he will be able to help keep weevils from invading again.
When weevils invade, they can come in large numbers. Homeowners often feel more confident calling the local Orkin branch office to get The Orkin Man™ to help get weevils out of their home and keep them out.
If weevils haven’t invaded, there is time for some prevention. Check outside for any openings that weevils could use to get inside. Look around doors and windows for missing caulk and damaged weather stripping. Check attic vents and crawl space vents for torn screens.
Biology, Diet, & Habits
What Do They Eat?
Weevils feed on plants in the larval stage and as adults. Some can be very destructive to crops. For many years, one of the most destructive weevils was the cotton boll weevil. The black vine weevil, Otiorhychus sulcatus (F.), is found in many parts of the United States. It feeds on a variety of plants, including hemlocks and rhododendrons.
Where Do They Live?
Most weevils are found in
Weevil life cycles depend greatly on the species. For some, in spring, adults lay their eggs on the ground near host plants. When the eggs hatch, the larvae burrow into the ground and feed on the roots. Since the larvae are underground, people seldom see them.
Many of the larvae spend the winter in the ground and emerge as adults the following spring. However, the adults that emerge during the summer or fall may invade homes for shelter. Some, like the Asiatic oak weevil, are attracted to light, so they are drawn to homes at night. Others may be attracted by the warmth from the house.
More facts about weevils:
Weevils are small beetles that have a long snout, kind of like a teeny-tiny elephant’s trunk. These little insects are typically brown to black in color and come in around 1/16” to 1/8” in length. The pesky weevil will just about eat anything in your home or office. They enter homes through cracks in the foundation as well as open windows and doors and enjoy foods like dried beans, nuts, cereal, corn, pasta, rice, and bread.
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Types of Weevils
Most weevils can are found in fields and gardens. Some will attack where there are stored grains and seeds. These weevils can wreak havoc and cause a lot of damage. However, some weevils will invade homes and raid your pantry like a group of hungry teenagers on spring break.
The Bean Weevil is not a weevil either; they belong to the seed beetle family. The adults deposit their eggs on seeds, and eventually, the larvae chew their way out of the seeds.
Black Vine Weevil
This weevil is a threat to nurseries and established landscape plantings. They are highly destructive to plants at the larval stage during feeding in the early spring, and again in the mid-summer through fall months.
The Boll Weevil is a type of beetle that causes significant damage to cotton crops. The boll weevil comes in around 6mm in length, and it dines on the flowers of cotton plants.
The Cowpea Weevil likes to infest cowpeas and stored soybeans. They lay eggs on the stored beans that they eat, and the larvae feed on the beans as they develop.
If flour is present, these little pests will find it. Two interesting facts are the Flour Weevil can not feed on whole grains, and these beetles are not weevils.
The Rice Weevil is harmless, but it can wreak havoc on humans due to their ability to compromise food supplies. They might not be able to sting or bite, but they do have the ability to cause massive and expensive destruction to valuable food sources.
The Rose Weevil is a serious threat to horticulturists. They love wild and domestic roses, blackberries, and raspberries. Their tiny snouts can drill right through flower buds too.
The Wheat Weevil is usually called the granary weevil. They are known for their destructive potential in agriculture. This is one of the most formidable pests for farmers.
White Pine Weevil
The White Pine Weevil will infest up to 20 different tree species, including pine and spruce trees.
Please don’t let these pests hurt your business, or infest the kitchen cabinets of your home. We have the professional team who can take care of business and make sure your property is weevil free!
The adult Strawberry Root Weevils are harmless but can become a pest if they move into your home during the summer months. Some years, the population can be very high and very annoying indoors. Because they are wingless and crawl – try using Diatomaceous Earth on all hard surfaces that they travel to control their population. It is best to caulk or replace broken screens that provide entry points for them.
The larvae feed on the roots of wild and cultivated strawberry plants, bramble bushes and some ornamentals. They can completely devour small rootlets and destroy the bark and cortex of larger roots. Injured plants often wilt because the roots can no longer provide moisture for leaves. Weevil larvae can also be found burrowed into the lower portion of the plant’s crown. Adults feed on foliage and remove large scallops from the leaves. Such leaf damage is a good indication that weevils are present, but is not economically damaging to the plants. Root weevils have a single generation each. They overwinter as mature larvae in the soil. In the spring, they resume feeding and can cause extensive damage before they pupate. While the larvae are in the soil, treat with beneficial nematodes. The species Heterorhabditis bacteriaphora are recommended by universities.
Photo courtesy of: Oregon State University, IPM
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Posted by Brian Sparks|November 5, 2013
A low-cost, easy-to-implement on-farm solution for controlling a highly destructive alfalfa pest is now expected to pay off for New York strawberry growers.
The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) has granted funds to Cornell University entomologist Elson Shields to evaluate the use of alfalfa snout beetle-controlling nematodes to manage two strawberry crop pests. Strawberry root weevils and black vine weevils attack a wide array of plants from woody ornamentals in the urban landscape to commercial cane berry crops, including raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries.
“Strawberry root weevil and black vine weevil are very closely related to alfalfa snout beetle, and, like alfalfa snout beetle, these weevils are difficult to control with conventional pesticides, but they are very susceptible to attack by the biocontrol nematodes,” Shields says.
Shields developed a protocol for using native New York nematodes to control alfalfa snout beetle, which had become the single most limiting factor for alfalfa growers in nine New York counties. Similarly, the two weevils are causing economic havoc for strawberry growers.
In the fall of 2013, with assistance from Shields’ research and Extension team, Rulfs Orchards applied biocontrol nematodes to most of a 12-acre strawberry field at the Peru, NY, farm business. The untreated areas will serve as a control for evaluating the true effectiveness of the nematode treatment.
Shields estimates weevil damage at the farm was causing $20,000 to $30,000 worth of economic loss due to the loss of fruit and plants and the cost of reestablishing the strawberry planting.
Robert Rulfs says, “Strawberry root weevil and black vine weevil larvae feed on the strawberry plant roots, killing the plants, and they have been causing large scale crop losses. This Northern New York Agricultural Development Program project is addressing a big problem for our farm business.”
To apply the nematodes, a crop sprayer already on the Rulfs’ farm was used, with only a nozzle change, removal of all screens and filters, and a good cleaning of the equipment to reduce any pesticide residue required. The early September application allowed six to eight weeks for the nematodes to attack the weevil larvae that are active in the strawberry root zone until the soil temperature cools as winter approaches.
In October, the researchers will collect soil samples to be analyzed at the Shields Lab at the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, NY, to confirm the presence of the nematodes. The soil sampling will be repeated in May 2014 to confirm the successful overwintering of the nematodes that will become active to continue their attack on the remaining weevil larvae as the soil warms and to document the nematodes’ impact on the weevil populations. The goal of the treatment protocol is to prevent any further strawberry plant root damage by the weevil larvae that persist through the Northern New York winter.
The nematodes applied to the Rulfs’ strawberry field are two native New York strains of nematode; each strain occupies the soil at different depths. Since the nematodes used are native to the region, they persist after application for many years. Northern New York farmers are reporting the long-term recovery of the alfalfa crops so valuable to the dairy industry and as a cash crop.
The NNYADP-funded project work in the Northern New York strawberry crops has implications for the berry industry elsewhere. Shields says, “Strawberry root weevil and black vine weevil are found nationwide because they impact the potted plant nursery industry and shipments across the U.S.”
Shields expects the 2014 data from the strawberry trial will be significant on the success side. If the data bears him out, his research team is ready to extend the treatment protocol to growers across New York and in the Northeast. Updates will be posted on the NNYADP website at www.nnyagdev.org; the Alfalfa Snout Beetle Control Manual developed by the Shields’ team for use by alfalfa growers is already posted on the NNYADP home page.
The farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program funds research, technical assistance, and outreach for agricultural producers in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties.
Source: Northern New York Agricultural Development Program
Brian Sparks is senior editor and senior online editor for Greenhouse Grower, a Meister Media Worldwide publication. See all author stories here.
The major root weevil species attacking mint is the strawberry root weevil, Otiorhynchus ovatus. However, the black vine, O. sulcatus, rough strawberry, O. rugosostriatus, and obscure root weevil, Sciopithes obscurus, also may be present in some mint fields.
Most strawberry root weevils overwinter as larvae in the soil, but a few adult weevils also overwinter in protected areas. These adults are the first to deposit eggs the following spring. Overwintering larvae mature during the end of April and early May and form earthen cells in the soil where they pupate. Adults begin emerging during mid-May and early June and are usually present in mint fields through late September (Cacka, 1982; Emenegger and Berry, 1978; Emenegger, 1976). All adults are females and, in the absence of fertilization by males, begin depositing eggs around the bases of plants about 2 weeks after emergence. Most of the eggs are deposited during late June and July. There is one generation each year. Select Development Model from the contents menu to calculate a degree-day model for strawberry root weevil.
The accumulation of day-degrees (DD) may be used to predict the occurrence of the different life stages of strawberry root weevil using a base temperature threshold of 8.8oC (48oF) and accumulating DD above the threshold beginning January 1. For instance, in central Oregon, overwintering larvae are found in soil samples until late May or early June (Cacka, 1982). Pupae are present in samples from late April to early June (350 DD). Peak pupation occurs from mid-May to early June. Teneral adults are present in late May to early June (500 DD) and peak adult emergence occurs in mid-June and early July (700 DD). Development of ovaries and subsequent egg laying usually begins about 2 weeks after adult emergence or after about 950 DD have been accumulated. Control of adults with insecticides in central Oregon should be timed to coincide with the accumulation of about 700 to 800 DD in early July. Development of all stages of strawberry root weevil occurs earlier in western Oregon; pupae and teneral adults are present in soil samples in early May and most adults have emerged by early June. Therefore, applications of insecticides for adult control in western Oregon should be made in mid-June.
Larvae begin feeding on small mint roots very soon after emerging from the eggs (the majority of larvae emerge during late July and early August, 1300 to 1400 DD). Larvae feed through the summer and early fall, at which time they reduce activity until the following spring when feeding is resumed. In western Oregon and Washington, where winters are mild, the larvae may continue feeding during the winter months.
Adult damage, which may be evident during late May, June and July, consists of small notches on the leaf margins and stems, particularly near the soil line. Adult feeding on mint is usually inconspicuous and is not economically important. Adults are active on mint foliage at night after sunset and by dawn have usually descended to the soil surface and become inactive during the daytime in cracks or under sheltering debris.
Natural spread of root weevil infestations in and among fields is gradual because adults do not fly. Serious infestations can originate when roots and rhizomes are dug from infested fields and transplanted in uninfested areas. Obviously, growers buying mint rhizomes for new plantings should purchase “weevil free” rootstock, or at least remove as much of the soil as possible from rhizomes to be transplanted.
What are they? Tiny worm-like insects (from grain/rice weevil larvae) and web-like silken threads (produced by the meal or weevil moth) that appear in our produce in the pantry are commonly referred to as weevils. The most common pests we find in our pantry here in Australia are Indian meal (or weevil) moths and grain/rice weevils. Grain weevils attack hard cereal products such as macaroni and spaghetti, whilst rice weevils attack grain and seeds. Indian meal moth larvae can be found in grain products as well as dried fruits, nuts, seed, biscuits, chocolate and dry dog food.
There are, in fact over 60,000 species of weevils and they can range in size from 3mm to 10mm in length.
Where do they come from? Weevils have been known to find their way into the home from outside (in the form of adult beetles or moths depositing their eggs in a food source). However in most cases, they are already present in produce, originating at the processing plant, a warehouse, in a delivery vehicle or even at the store of purchase.
What to do in the case of an infestation
The first signs of rice or grain weevil infestation is the presence of tiny, squirming larvae, which is most likely going to be found in produce such as grains, cereals, pastas, nuts, tea bags and pulses. In the case of meal moth infestation, it will usually be in the form of silken threads throughout the produce and possibly signs of larvae. Unfortunately, you will have to dispose of the produce, and most importantly, find the source of the contamination, which could be in another container. Finding the original source is the key to eliminating further problems and food spoilage. Until you find the source, you will continue to have pantry pests.
Once you’ve identified and removed the infestation, take everything out of the pantry, give it a vacuum and wipe down all the cupboards, pantry shelves and surrounding areas. Make sure you get into every corner and crevice. Rather than using chemicals, use natural cleaners such as eucalyptus oil, tea-tree oil or vinegar to wipe down the shelves.
Tips to prevent further infestations:
• Ideally, if you have room in your freezer, place items such as flour, grains, cereals and pulses in freezer bags and place the items in the freezer for a minimum of four days. This will kill any eggs that may be present in the produce. Once removed from the freezer, keep the items in airtight containers.
• Dried bay leaves discourage grain and rice weevil infestation, so place one in each airtight container.
• Purchase non-toxic, pesticide-free pantry moth traps if you continue to have pantry moth infestations. Lures can last for up to three months.
What Do Weevil Eggs Look Like?
Perhaps you’ve found a sole weevil wandering around your home, or perhaps you’ve already discovered that the flour container has been taken over by weevils and you’re not sure if your other pantry products are safe. Either way, now you are determined to see if there are more, but how will you find them?
If you are concerned about finding weevil eggs in the garden, you might be able to identify the grubs, also called larvae. Weevils that feed on plants and roots can sometimes be found in a less mature form somewhere near the plant. Check in the soil about 4 to 6 inches deep or near the roots of the plant. These C-shaped grubs are a cream color with a light brown head.
If you are looking for weevil larvae in your pantry, they may be hard to spot. Searching for weevil eggs in a box of rice may be all but impossible. Signs of an actual infestation will be obvious – you should be able to identify more than one weevil in the area or see them feeding on a specific item in your panty. If you cannot find any full-grown weevils, but still feel concerned about weevil larvae, you can either throw the product away or kill any potential larvae. To kill the larvae, place the suspect food product in the freezer for at least six days or put it in an oven at 140 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 15 minutes.
Weevils are occasional invaders and unlikely to cause long-term concern. However, if dealing with seasonal pests is one more thing you don’t want to worry about, call Terminix®.
How to Get Rid of Flour Mites and Weevils
Flour mites and weevils are common kitchen pests that are often found in pantries and dry food cupboards. They thrive in dark and humid conditions, making your kitchen cupboard the perfect breeding ground. If you’ve discovered tiny bugs in your flour, it can be rather alarming; this article will provide guidance on how to deal with an infestation of flour weevils or mites, and prevent it from happening again!
What Do Flour Mites & Weevils Look Like?
Flour mites and weevils are completely separate pests, although they display rather similar habits. Flour mites are very small insects in flour that are almost invisible to the naked eye. They have white bodies and brown coloured legs and usually live in flours, grains and cereals.
Weevils are larger than flour mites and so are easier to spot. They also have a darker body, being brown in colour. They are a form of beetle and so are slender and oval shaped, with scales or shiny hairs on their bodies. Adult weevils have a distinctive snout shaped nose and are between 3mm and 10mm in length.
Are Weevils/Bugs in Flour Safe To Eat? Can Flour Mites and Weevils Make You Ill?
Neither weevils or flour mites bite, sting or poison, so aren’t dangerous to touch. But what happens if you eat flour mites or weevils – are they harmful? If you eat flour with weevils they are unlikely to harm you, so don’t be too concerned if you’ve used the contaminated product beforehand. If you’re using products in baking, the high temperatures would help to have made the flour safe to eat. That said, it’s not recommended to make a habit of this – if you find any products with mites or weevils, it’s best to dispose of them immediately and take steps to ensure the infestation is dealt with.
Flour mites can spread fungal spores and cause mould, so it’s possible it can cause people to get sick if you used a contaminated product. It is also possible to be allergic to mites, which can make the skin itch and, in very rare cases, cause swelling of the throat and difficulty breathing if consumed. In this case, call a doctor immediately for medical attention.
How Do Mites/Weevils Get in Your Flour and Kitchen?
Both flour mites and weevils will have come into your kitchen through your flour or wheat products. A few flour bugs can lay many eggs, and if your products are being stored for a long time, these eggs can hatch and cause an infestation. Other factors, such as heat, can increase the reproduction rate of kitchen mites and weevils, making the problem much worse.
How To Get Rid of Flour Weevils & Mites
The best way to completely eradicate the problem is to throw out any packets in your cupboard or pantry that may have come into contact with the infestation as the flour insects could have crawled into any of the packaging and begun another infestation.
Thoroughly clean the cupboard with soapy water – you can use bleach, but be sure to take care – and make an effort to get right into the corners of the cupboard. Pesticide is the most effective way to get rid of the pests, although it can be very dangerous to use the chemical around food supplies and should only be handled by a professional.
Prevention of Flour Bugs
To prevent the problem reoccurring, store your products in clean airtight containers. You can even try some simple home remedies such as freezing the produce for a few days to kill any flour bugs present and prevent the eggs from hatching, or adding a few bay leaves into your wheat products, which will act as a deterrent for the pests.
Whether in a commercial or domestic setting, Pest Defence can assist you in completely ridding your property of flour mites and weevils in order to ensure that your kitchen is safe for food preparation. Our expert team will work quickly and efficiently to remove the problem with minimal disruption.
As a trading standard and local authority approved company, you can be assured that all of our work is completely safe and 100% effective. For more information on how we can eradicate your pest problem, get in touch with us today.
- It is 1/5 inch long with a dark brown or black body covered with brownish or tannish scales.
- When these scales are rubbed off, the weevil seems to be brown with irregular blackish markings.
- Adults are seen from May into November.
- These weevils feed at night on the leaves of sugar and red maple, yellow birch, hazel and hophornbeam.
- The larvae feed on the roots of these plants, although they are not considered a pest.
- It is reddish brown and between 1/8 – 3/16 inch long.
- Not much is known about this weevil’s habits, although it appears to feed on trees.
- Adults are common in June and July.
Imported longhorned weevil
The imported longhorned weevil (Calomycterus setarius) looks similar to Sciaphilus asperatus but is a little smaller. This weevil is found primarily in southern Minnesota.
- It is about 3/16 inch long.
- This weevil has a dark colored body covered with grayish brown scales.
- Missing scales give the appearance of irregular black patches.
- Adults are present in homes in July and August.
- Larvae feed on the roots of aster, clover and turfgrass, while adults chew on the leaves of a variety of annuals and perennials.
The Polydrusus weevil (Polydrusus impressifrons) is common in the northeast and north central areas of Minnesota in forested sites.
- It is a slender 1/4 inch weevil with a dark colored body covered with lime green, or irridescent-looking scales (different colors are seen in different angles of light).
- Weevils often appear to be green with black patches when scales are missing.
- Adults chew the leaves of rose, strawberry, birch, poplar, willow and apple during June through August, while larvae feed on the roots of these trees.
- The feeding damage only affects the appearance of plants.
How to Get Rid of Weevils in Bedroom
If you’ve come across little black bugs in your pantry or kitchen, it’s likely that the bug is a weevil. They are small, dark and snout-nosed and can be a creepy sight to see in the kitchen since they are notoriously found lurking in sources of human food.
There are times, however, when weevils can go past the pantry and make their way to your bedrooms and can be found in closets, on the walls, the carpeting and even your bed.
If your bedroom has been invaded by weevils, our expert guide will give you the knowledge and tools necessary to rid them from your home entirely.
Weevils are a small pest, about 2 to 3 mm in length and can range from reddish to brown to even black in color. They have wings and a long distinctive “nose”. There are many different species of weevil that you can encounter in your home and they typically include the following more common ones:
- Rice Weevils
- Seed Weevils
- Granary/Grain Weevils,
- Maize Weevils
- Seed Bean/Pea/ Weevils
However, the ones that you are liable to find in your bedroom would be the snout-nosed, stubby little insects that are usually known as rice, granary, or maize weevils.
As a general rule, they are not parasitic in nature, nor do they prey on humans or carry the kinds of harmful germs that many other insects do. However, having a bedroom full of these creatures can be unpleasant.
First and foremost, you have to figure out how they got into the bedroom in the first place. Remember that unlike bedbugs, the bedroom is not their natural habitat, which means there is a source of infestation nearby.
Where To Look
Since weevils seldom leave their food sources behind, check your bedroom (and all other rooms especially the kitchen and the pantry) to see where they are breeding. Remember, unlike beetles, roaches, and other insects, the do not only live ‘on’ food, but ‘inside’ it as well. Start by inspecting your food storage areas. Check your pantries, shelves, cabinets, garages, and where pet food is stored. Inspect every product packaging that holds pasta, starches, cereals, grains, flour, spices, herbs, and even pet food packaging.
Chances are the infestation started in the pantry and moved over to the bedroom. In bedrooms, focus your search around the closet, where the carpet meets the wall and around your bedding.
What To Look For
Adult weevils and any damage caused to food items. The larvae resemble small white grubs with brown heads. Larvae are very small and may not be easily seen. Wherever you have found a large gathering of adult weevils and larvae, that is where to focus your treatment.
Step 1 – Conduct a Thorough Clean Up
Before applying insecticides, it is important to first do a detailed cleanup of not only your bedroom but the kitchen and pantry as well. In your pantries, check every food item you have and toss out any that you suspect has been contaminated by weevils, is old, or at risk of being infested. You will need to locate the source of the infestation and if you do find the source, you should throw out all your dried foods regardless if they’ve been infested or not to eliminate the risk of reinfestation.
Once items are thrown away and your pantry is cleaned out you should then thoroughly vacuum your home. The pantry shelves should be vacuumed from top to bottom as well as the floor and the ceiling if possible. Use a crevice or a brush to ensure that there are no areas that are left over. Pay close attention to the edges of the shelves as well as the wall and floor junctures.
Once the vacuuming is complete, proceed to wipe the shelves and countertops clean with a mild detergent or germicide. Make sure that you get the cleaning product in the darkest nooks and crannies and also beneath furnishings and the space under heavy appliances, such as the fridge, the microwave, and the washing machine.
Step 2: Apply Novacide Flea & Tick Killer
Novacide is our top recommended insecticide to control weevils in that can kill adult weevils and comes with an IGR (or Insect Growth Regulator) which affects weevil larvae and eggs. The best part about Novacide is its residual effect as it can remain effective for up to 7 months so you don’t have to apply often.
Wearing gloves, a safety mask and protective eyewear, apply a light mist of Novacide in short bursts in the crevices of your emptied pantry shelves where the shelving meets the wall. Next, spray along the baseboards and flooring of your pantry, kitchen, carpeting in your bedroom and the baseboards of your bedroom and bedroom closets in a downward sweeping motion. Apply in any other areas you may be suspicious of to be on the safe side.
Step 3: Pro-Pest Pantry Moth and Beetle Traps
The Pro Pest Pantry Moth and Beetle Trap is a ready to use, pesticide-free trap that uses a pheromone scented glue board to trap weevils. Simply remove the protective paper from the pre-baited glue and fold the trap into a pyramid shape.
The trap’s pheromone bait will lure weevils to the trap where they will get stuck in the glue. This is a great, low effort tool that will last between 60 and 90 days. One trap will cover around 100 square feet. Place the trap on the pantry shelving where it won’t get smashed and will be left generally undisturbed. For added convenience, these traps can also be hung in pantries away from food.
Once treatment is complete and there are no weevils left in your bedroom or anywhere else in your house, you should make sure that all food items (especially those with a high starch content) are kept in tightly sealed boxes and containers. You can even try storing them in either the refrigerator so as to make sure that the infestation has been completely eliminated. This has to be done because weevil larvae or eggs cannot survive in a very low-temperature environment.
Aside from this, a preventative application of Novacide every 7 months will make it less likely for a reinfestation to occur.
- Weevils are a common pantry pest that are known to contaminate pantries but can also travel to other areas of the home like the bedroom.
- Conduct a thorough inspection to locate the item the weevils have infested and then do a detailed comprehensive cleanup and vacuuming of your home, focusing on the kitchen and bedroom areas.
- Apply Novacide inside your pantry and place Pro-Pest Pantry and Beetle Traps to control weevils and eliminate the infestation for good..
4 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Weevils in the Kitchen
Get rid of the small beetles by using these four natural remedies. Weevils can make their way into your kitchen from outside or from infested food sources (e.g. flour and rice).
1. Set up a Pheromone Trap
Pheromone traps, such as Dr. Killigan’s Trap, can kill weevils by luring and trapping them to the sticky layer of the trap. Set up the traps where the weevils are like to be found such as the pantry or the kitchen cabinets.
2. Freeze or Toss out Infested Food
Toss out all food items that are infested with weevils. You should also freeze any other items that were in the vicinity of the infested food. You will want to leave them in the freezer for at least two or three days to kill the weevil eggs and larvae.
3. Use Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Clear out everything from your kitchen cabinets and pantry then sprinkle a generous amount of food-grade diatomaceous earth along the edges of the shelves. Let the powder sit for a day or two before you vacuum every inch of the kitchen.
Food-grade diatomaceous earth can kill weevils by piercing and drying out their exoskeletons. The food-grade version of the powder is safe to use around pets and children.
4. Check Your Groceries
Prevention is the most effective form of pest control. Before you store away the grocery, check every container, box, and bag for signs of weevils. Pay special attention to rice, cereal, oatmeal, and other grain products.
Other Pest Control Guides
- How To Get Rid Of Head Lice
- How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites
- Portable Bed Bug Heater
Sam Choan is the Founder of Organic Lesson. He started this site to share tips on using natural remedies at home when such options are available.