Learn All about the Life Cycle of a Weevil

Worldwide there are more than 60,000 different species of weevils. The life cycle of a weevil can vary from species to species, but they do have some things in common. For instance, weevils eat a variety of plants. Certain species of weevils are considered an agricultural pest, while others may enter homes in search of stored foods and can become pantry pests.

Not all the same

Because there are so many species of weevils, there is still a lot that scientists do not know about the weevil life cycle. On average, adult weevils have a lifespan of two to three months, during which they mate and lay eggs multiple times. There are also a few species of weevils that are parthenogenetic, which means they can produce eggs without mating. The adult lifespan is dependent on species and environmental conditions.

Many species of weevils lay their eggs on the ground near a host plant, but for some species, the females will bore a hole directly into the plant stem or seed. She then lays her eggs in the hole, and cements it shut. Generally, a female can lay up to 250 eggs at one time, and the eggs take up to three days to hatch. Weevil larvae are worm-like grubs that do not have legs. When the larvae hatch, they burrow into the soil and eat the plant's roots, or begin eating the plants around them. The larval stage can take up to two months before the weevils enter the pupal stage, which typically lasts about three weeks. As adults, the weevils emerge and feed on the aboveground portions of the plant. Because they eat all parts of the plant, a weevil infestation often results in a dead or badly damaged plant.

Now you see them

For many of the crop-infesting species of weevils, once you begin to see them on your plants it is too late for control methods. Weevils reproduce quickly, and some species are capable of flying great distances in search of food or a place to lay eggs. Studies have shown that some species, like the red palm weevil, can fly more than half a mile per day.

If you are seeing weevils in and around your home, consider calling in a pest management professional to help you choose the best option to make sure the life cycle of a weevil stops at your door.