Weevils: Facts, Identification & Control
Weevils are actually beetles. Most belong to the family Curculionidae. There are more species in this family than in any other beetle group.
Weevil species occur in a wide range of colors and body shapes. 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. They are usually dark-colored—brownish to black. Some have scales or shiny hairs covering part of their bodies. 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.
Weevils feed on plants in the larval stage and as adults. Some weevils can be very destructive to crops.
Most weevils are found in fields, gardens or orchards. A few weevils attack stored grains and seeds. They can be very destructive, and their damage is often very expensive.
However, a few weevils 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.
Life cycle of weevils depends greatly on the species. For some, in spring, the adult weevils lay their eggs on the ground near the host plant. 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.
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. 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 re-infest the home.
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.
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.
The Eradico technician can help homeowners manage weevils. He will use Eradico’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 Eradico branch office to get The Eradico technician to help get weevils out of their home and keep them out.