What You Need to Know About Weevils

With more than 60,000 species in the world, it comes as no surprise that there is a wealth of weevil information available. But here are some weevil facts that you might not know.

Names that matter

One interesting fact about weevils is that in many cases, their name gives you a heads-up as to what type of plant they can be found on. For example, red palm weevils feed on types of palm trees (including sago, date and coconut palms). Vine weevils are often found on ornamental and container plants and are considered to be a major pest in gardens. The adult vine weevils eat the leaves of these plants, while the grubs destroy the roots, leading to plant decay and death. Root weevils are also major garden pests, and they, too, destroy the leaves and roots of plants. Another weevil fact is that the damage they cause along the edges of plant leaves is often mistaken for grasshopper damage.

And, these pests are sneaky. Stopping control methods when you see their numbers dropping can leave the door open to their return when you least expect it.

Two if by sea

Many species of granary and seed weevils, which are often found in agricultural areas or as a common pantry pest, are not native to the United States. Scientists believe that these types of weevils were transported accidentally in stored grains on ships from Europe, and flourished once they reached land.

Facts about weevils often include how granary and seed weevils may be found in your stored dry goods, but weevils in your home might not be searching for food. Many of the weevils common to gardens are often found inside homes during the summer and early autumn months. Scientists are not sure why these insects enter homes in droves, but believe they are attracted to the moisture and cooler temperatures. If you are seeing weevils near sinks, in bathrooms or in other areas where water is present, they are likely vine or root weevils. These pests do not cause damage to your property and will typically leave on their own. However, you can vacuum them up and dispose of them outside if they are a bother.

Here, there, everywhere

Weevils are technically also beetles. But unlike most of their beetle relatives, several species of weevils can fly. One of the most prolific flyers is the red palm weevil. Scientists have observed adults flying more than one-half mile per day in search of locations for feeding and mating. By contrast, most species of root weevils will drop to the ground if they are disturbed. Instead of flying, the root weevils climb up plants at night to feed, and stay in the dirt during the day.

Armed with this weevil information, you can take stock of your home and garden. If you are seeing large numbers of weevils on your plants or in your home, consider calling a pest management professional to help you identify the type of pest.