There are about 40,000 different species of weevils and beetles throughout the world. Weevils may possibly make up one the world's largest family of animals.
What in the world is a weevil? Farmers may refer to them as evil beetles because they are known to destroy crops. In fact, a weevil is a tiny pest that can cause much damage to grains you may have stored in pantries or cupboards like cereal and rice. There's nothing like opening a box of Cheerios only to find little bugs crawling around inside.
The weevil is so small that it rarely grows longer than a half-inch in length. Many species have a long snout for a mouth, and the snout can even be longer than the rest of its body. Weevils that feed on seeds, though, do not have snouts because the bugs don't need them to bore through food. A
weevil's snout may be curved and can contain tiny jaws. The shape of the snout helps the weevil to dig into plants or seeds. No need to worry about the jaws, though. They are harmless to humans and are only used to nibble through food. The weevil also has antennae that fold up near its snout.
Weevils lay their eggs most any place they find suitable, including plants and trees. And we're not talking one or two little weevils. The average amount of eggs weevils lay is about 100. Fortunately, though, not all of the eggs survive as they grow into larvae due to competition of limited amounts of food.
Weevil larvae resemble tiny grubs. They are about 0.4 inches long and are usually white. The larvae do not have legs, causing them to squirm around for food.
After storing up enough food the larvae form little nests called chip cocoons. These are just like butterfly cocoons. The larvae rest in their cocoons for at least a month and emerge as adult weevils. It's amazing how many stages a tiny insect goes through in such a short amount of time.
If you notice weevils indoors, they most likely have invaded the grains in your home. Look for weevils in food, popcorn, bean bags and even Native American corn you may have used as a decoration for Thanksgiving. Who'd have thought holiday decorations are susceptible to pest damage?
The most common pantry pest weevils are the rice weevil and the granary weevil. These insects are often brought into a home in packaged foods. They are also capable of entering from outside sources.
Weevils can do damage to food, but there are ways of saving your groceries. For example, you can boil grains like rice for at least 15 minutes. Or, you can store the grains in your freezer for three days. These techniques will help to kill off the weevils. However, the very thought of bugs crawling around in my food is enough for me to throw it out.
So, thorough inspection is required of all grains, cereals and spices, whether the packages have been opened or not. You are looking for signs of damage to the grains or for the presence of the insect, itself. If you discover either, out goes the product. Bad infestations have the nasty habit of emptying a cupboard. Following the purge you must carefully vacuum all cracks and crevices where the foods were stored. Once everything is cleaned you may apply a light treatment of pesticides along the cracks and crevices of the cupboard shelves. I also recommend purchasing some tented glue traps to continue monitoring for new outbreaks. I strongly suggest being very careful with your initial inspection or you may find yourself repeating the process.
Grains are not the only things that weevils can infest. They can also be found in fruits, seeds and roots of plants. There is almost no limit to the types of plants weevils will invade. They can destroy plums, cotton, cherries, peaches, alfalfa, apples, grains and acorns. Adult weevils lay their eggs in these items. Their larvae emerge and feast on the host plants. This can cause a lot of damage to plants and flowers.
If you notice damage to your flower or vegetable garden and know that there are no rabbits nearby, weevils may be the culprits. You'll probably have to use a magnifying glass to identify them.
In order to eliminate weevils from your garden you may have to burn the infested plants. This will help salvage the remaining healthy plants before any larvae can get to them. Another option is to spray insecticide on the plants. Be sure to read the labels on any insecticides you use, as some are not suitable for use on vegetables meant for consumption.
21 Sep 2009, 09:48
How do i eliminate pantry weevils. We've tried the Raid (weevil included
as an insect it would eliminate). We've taken everything out of our
pantry, cleaned with beach water and left bare....still I have these little
weevil crawling around by kitchen floor, stove top and occasionally we've
seen one or two in the back bedroom.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
17 Oct 2009, 14:34
How in the world do i get rid of weevils not in my pantry...but my
bedroom..they are in the window seals..and some are flying around...I tried
some outdoor pectcide,...it kills them but they still come back...I need
help before they go all over the house....
06 Oct 2011, 22:56
how do i get rid of weevils in my cupboards where i have sugar, flour,
i need help
Ask the Exterminator
07 Oct 2011, 12:49
The weevils are coming from infested food in your pantry. Check every box,
looking for dates of expiration. Even boxes that have never been opened can
become infested if they are past their expiration. Check cereals, flour,
cookies, crackers, grains, pasta and spices. Throw out everything that is
06 Dec 2011, 15:22
Hi, I had grain weevil or beetle which ever they call it in my kitchen. I
tossed all my food except canned gravy and my apartment complex had an
exterminator come in and spray. These bugs were only found on the kitchen
floor. I never saw one in the cupboard. I did see one (on more than one
occasion) in the drawer where I keep my forks, spoons, etc. After they
sprayed there were only dead ones but now a week later, I saw another live
one last night. I'm so nervous to have them back full force and the complex
says they will not come back until a month after the initial spray. How can
I get rid of them once and for all? The infested food is gone bc I threw
out everything. What is the best spray for these bugs? Raid does not work
on them. Why are they on the floor and not roaming the counter or cupboards
if they are grain bugs?
Ask the Exterminator
12 Dec 2011, 22:02
If you tossed out all your food you should have resolved your issues. That
is, unless you have food under your appliances. Some people never move
their stove or refrigerator and you would be shocked to see all the food
that collects after years of neglect. That food residue can easily support
07 May 2012, 12:33
I've had Weevils in my basement for a few weeks, but was just able to ID
them today. The only thing I can think of is that they must have entered
from the garage into the basement. We have only seen a few on the other
levels of the house (split-level), while the majority are in the basement.
We don't store any food in the basement, but have chicken, dog and cat food
in the garage. Other than going through the food in the garage, should I do
anything else in the basement and garage to prevent them from reappearing?
Jo Anne Marshall
15 Aug 2012, 14:53
at the end of my rope, extremely stressed, and cannot find help.
some time in april my home became infested. I think the parasites have come
from vacated mouse nests in my apt building..they have invaded my body and
breed in me..up my nose in my ears up my anus and I'm eating them as well.
I've seen different stages of this parasite..at some stage they bite and
opening and go under the skin..
I have seen more of the babies..I have found cocoons on my stove top that
seem to come from nowhere, the stove top covered with tiny black
microscopic babies. These get all over me and feed on open sores created by
some stage of them on my head...They seem to be everywhere..I found another
cocoon in a closet that was just scrubbed a week ago .
The Cocoon looked like it had a brown worm coming out of it..there were
also some small maybe 1/8 in white worms with many short close to the body
legs and a black nose..Found one other cocoon that looked like a mouse poop
but was a hallow cocoon....I cannot seem to get any help from the medical
field or the pest control..pls. email me.
03 Oct 2012, 13:57
We too have found weevils in our basement only. We do not store any food
down there but found some sticky residue from maybe a juice box or
something of that nature in the toy box. That was where the majority were
but they are throughout my basement here and there. What kills them? I have
not let my kids play with the toys or in the basement since I found them.
What is your suggestion. I have been using the vacum like a mad woman but
see new weevils every day!
R. De Silva
26 Nov 2012, 21:44
We had good success with Raid Roach bait stations in the basement. Weevils
ate the bait and died. We still have a few weevils here and there and hope
they too will die off.
Found Weevils Food
28 May 2013, 12:19
We had HUNDREDS, if not thousands of those tiny black Weevils (long nosed
grain weevils) in our basement. We don't keep any food in the basement.
We were told by experts and exterminators, they were just coming inside to
get out of the cold. HOWEVER, I had a nagging feeling that there must be a
food source somewhere, but could find no food source for those little black
bugs. My family dealt with those bugs (and pesticides) for four months -
then FINALLY - I found their food source(after searching for months). We
bought a Bean-bag toss, and the bean bags were stored in the basement (and
filled with indian hard- CORN). OMG, finally, no more bugs. Who would
have guessed, the bean bags. ( I cut a bean bag open and found hundreds)
Just remember, if you are super infested, they must have a food source.
22 Jun 2013, 00:37
I got married in October. At the reception, my cousin made a corn hole set
for us. We just got the bags from a friend who took it home from the
reception a couple of months ago. Last night, we noticed a small black bug.
I didn't think anything of it. Then, my husband saw a few more on the floor
today. This sent me into cleaning mode. As I was getting the vacuum
cleaner, I noticed even more weevils. Apparently they were living and
feeding off of the corn in the bags. We immediately threw them out outside
and started vacuuming everything in the laundry room. Do we need to use
some type of pesticide to finish them off? I read on one site that if just
one is left,the whole process can start again. Any advice?
22 Oct 2013, 23:11
Jennifer did the weevils finally die off from the corn hole bags? We just
found weevils in our basement which I believe came from corn hole bag
source. They must have been living in there for over a year or two and
finally broke through. We threw away the cornhole bags and the carpet it
was siting on however we are still finding living ones! Did you have to get
rid of every single weevil? Does just one living one start the whole weevil
22 Oct 2013, 23:33
YES! There is a light at the end of the tunnel! We spent the whole evening
we found the weevils vacuuming up all of the ones we could find. Then we
washed out the filters in our vacuum. We still found them all over our
house so we bought a Raid house bomb. We still found a few living ones, but
within a few days they all died. We lived in a small one bedroom apartment,
so it was harder to contain them. I think the key is getting rid of the
source of food. They will eventually die if they don't have anything to
eat. Good luck!
23 Oct 2013, 11:44
Thank God there is an end to this! These tiny bugs have been driving me
insane! It's been almost two weeks since I noticed them, and a week since I
found the source and threw away the corn hole bags. Jennifer how long did
it take for you to eliminate them completely and start living a normal life
again? I just feel like I keep finding more and more of these little things
:( I do not think the Raid house bomb is an option, I have two dogs and a
small child at home.
Mr. Exterminator - Can weevils lay eggs without a food source? Will they
eat clothing/wood (baseboards) if they run out of their food source?
07 Nov 2013, 12:43
Check WILD BIRD FOOD!! I just found them in an unopened bag from the dollar
store and they were all over the bird food!! I never got around to using it
this summer and these little critters were having at it!