Weevils are a type of beetle belonging to the family Curculionidae which has more than 3000 species in North America. Most are plant feeders of some type and a few of these may be attracted to and enter buildings. Often called flour bugs, these snout-nosed beetles infest and feed on flour, whole grains, rice, nuts, beans, seeds and cereals.
Weevils are slender and oval-shaped and small in size, ⅛ to ¼ inch long. They are easily distinguished by their elongated head that forms a long snout. Some weevils have a snout that is as long as it’s body. Most weevils are reddish-brown to black in color and cannot fly. They can live up to 8 months and may venture far from the food they originally infested.
Beginning life stages of weevils are rarely seen as the stages of egg, larva and pupa occur within grain kernels. Feeding takes place within the grain kernel and adult weevils cut exit holes to emerge. Emergence holes of weevils are quite large and have jagged edges rather than round and smooth. Females hone a tiny hole into the grain kernel, deposit and egg into the cavity, then seal the hole with a gelatin-like secretion.
Weevils do not harm people, pets, or home furnishings, but they do damage grains and seeds, and large populations can destroy food. Similar to pantry pests, weevils will infest and feed on whole grain and rice, as well as nuts, beans, cereals, seeds, corn, and other similar foods. However, unlike beetles that live and feed on foods, weevils actually live, breed and feed inside the food.
Weevil Extermination & Control
Weevils feed on almost every processed, grain-based food consumed by people and their small size makes it possible for them to hide in tiny cracks. They can also enter even the smallest opening in a package, making them a relatively common household pest. The following prevention tips can help to reduce problems with weevils and prevent a weevil infestation:
- Keep a clean kitchen and pantry. Weevils can survive on even the smallest bits of grain, so cleaning is a crucial part of controlling these pests.
- Closely examine the foods these insects prefer to eat: whole grains, seeds, rice, nuts, dried beans, cereals and corn.
- Pick up uneaten pet food and store dry pet food in plastic containers with tight-fitting lids.
If you have tried all the above measures and still experience weevil issues, it is best to consult a licensed pest control operator for interior pesticide treatments.