Weevils are a species of small, pear-shaped beetle most known for infesting and seriously damaging important agricultural products such as cotton, wheat, corn, beans and nuts. They are a serious concern for farmers and commercial operators of granaries and food processing facilities. But weevils also have the potential to become an unwelcome guest in your home.
Q: CAN WEEVILS BITE?
A: Yes and no. Weevils lay their eggs inside their preferred food sources. Weevil larvae then develop inside the infested foodstuff, literally eating their way out as they mature. Mature weevils are equipped with a snout that almost resembles an elephant’s trunk. The insect’s mouth is located at the end of this snout, and it uses this appendage to bite off and chew its food.
Q: DO WEEVILS BITE HUMANS?
A: No. Weevils feed exclusively on grains, seeds, nuts, roots and even some fruits. Unlike fleas or ticks, they do not have a parasitic relationship to either human beings or common household pets. And, unlike ants or wasps, weevils will not attack when threatened.
Q: HOW DO WEEVILS DEFEND THEMSELVES?
A: Weevils have a flight over fight instinct. When threatened, weevils will scatter and attempt to find the quickest route of escape. Some weevils, such as the rice weevil, have wings and are capable of actual flight. Many weevils also have a defense mechanism that allows them to play dead. They’ll fall on their backs and curl up their legs.
Q: ARE WEEVILS DANGEROUS?
A: No. Though they are intimately associated with some of the basic foods we consume, weevils are not associated with the transmission of any infectious diseases affecting human beings. Disgusting as it may be, even accidentally ingesting food containing weevil eggs or larvae is unlikely to result in sickness.
If you’re concerned about weevils on your property, remember that a Terminix® pest control specialist is always ready work with you. They understand these pests and have a plan to combat them.