There are many pantry pests which can infest homes and businesses. Though Meal Moths, Grain Beetles and Flour Beetles are very common, Maize Weevils are just as likely to be the unwanted insect in such areas. Maize Weevils are small and easy to kill, but they can complete their life cycle quickly. Adult females will start laying eggs almost immediately so once you have some activity in a structure, its sure to blossom into a problem which will need attention.
Found throughout the world, Maize Weevils are a pest which can be controlled like many other pantry pests. Find the route of entry, discard infested food or belongings and treat with both residual insecticides and traps.
MAIZE WEEVIL BIOLOGY ^
Maize weevils are a small insect, about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch long. They are mostly brown to black in color and can have spots on their thorax and abdomen.
As the name implies, they like maize (corn). However, Maize weevils can be found eating just about anything in the home. More common food stuff they like include seeds of all types, dried beans, cotton, nuts, cereal, any wheat product, corn, flour, pasta, bread and other grain products found in any home.
But their tastes don’t end in the pantry. Maize Weevils will readily feed on cotton fabric found in furniture and clothing. Since they love dried flowers and plants, decorative ornaments found in the home such are wreathes and dried flower arrangements can harbor and feed local populations. It is not uncommon to find them living in or on Christmas ornaments, dried flower collections and stored clothing. Furthermore, adults love apples, pears, grapes and other fruits found in and around homes. Since they are great flyers, it is not uncommon for them to fly their way into any home hot on the scent of some fruit or grain.
Maize weevils start their life as a small caterpillar like larva which hatches on some type of food like a wheat grain, seed or nut. Eggs will hatch within a couple of days of being laid and feed immediately. Feeding will occur for 1-3 weeks and then larva will spin a cocoon in which they will pupate to an adult.
Pupation takes about 1 week at which time adults will emerge. Maize weevils present more of a nuisance than other pantry pests because adults feed just as much as their larva preferring a wider range of things to eat. Since they fly well and are small, maize weevils can move throughout the home easily finding all kinds of things to eat.
Adult females wills start laying eggs within 3 days of emerging from their pupa cocoons. Most will lay 300-600 eggs during their 3-6 month life span.
And since maize weevils can grow from egg to egg laying adult in less than one month, they can be a formidable foe in and around the home. If you suspect you have maize weevil activity, there are several things you must do to knock out current activity and insure new populations won’t quickly emerge.
MAIZE WEEVIL TREATMENT PROGRAMS ^
Here are the guidelines and treatments which are needed.
First, if the problem is in the home, empty all cabinets, shelves and closets where they have been seen or thought to exist. Any food stuff which has them active must be discarded in sealed plastic bags. This will help contain them until the garbage is picked up.
If you are not sure if something has activity, store it in a plastic bag and check it every day to two. If there are any Maize Weevils in the food, they will try to get out within a week or two. If some are found, throw away the entire bag immediately.
Since this pest is temperature tolerant, don’t waste your time trying to freeze adults, eggs or larva. Though you can certainly kill some of them by freezing, you’ll need to keep the material stored in sub zero temps for a week or two to have a significant impact. The average refrigerator/freezer found in most homes gets down to just 20-25 degrees Fahrenheit. In other words, they aren’t nearly cold enough to provide a fast and complete kill.
Plus, do you want to be feeding your family something that’s laced with dead maize weevils? Probably not.
In most cases, it’s best to discard anything found to have live activity. This insures you won’t be feeding family members a mouthful of bugs.
If the weevils are out in the garden, it would be wise to get them where they’re growing before you harvest your corn and/or other vegetables.
MAIZE WEEVIL CONTROL IN THE GARDEN
If you’ve found maize weevils on your corn or other vegetables, apply MULTIPURPOSE INSECT KILLER directly to the affected crops. This organic concentrate is fast acting and safe enough to use on corn, tomatoes and more with just one day to harvest.
Add 6.4 oz per gallon of water and plan on getting about 500 sq/ft of coverage per gallon.
TREATING MAIZE WEEVILS IN THE HOME ^
Once in the home, the treatment option best for your problem will depend on the extent of the problem. We always suggest that you first vacuum of all the closets, shelves, cupboards, pantries and baseboards about to be sprayed. This will help remove eggs and pupae which are too small for the eye to see.
Maize Weevils lay eggs with a glue like excretion which helps to attach them to surfaces where food is likely to be available. This helps to keep them in place so that just “wiping” a damp rag over the area is never enough; vacuuming will no doubt help but not get them all which is why you need to spray.
MAIZE WEEVIL AEROSOL SPRAY ^
Once everything has been removed from the cabinets and the area has been vacuumed, you can start treatments.
The first product to use is FS MP AEROSOL. This comes in a spray can with a straw attachment which makes it ideal for applying to cracks and crevices where both adults and larva like to reside. Be sure to treat all the cabinets – not just where you think weevils may be hiding.
Treat all cracks and crevices, inject wall voids if possible, get under appliances and topically treat baseboards or other surfaces where they’ve been seen crawling.
MAIZE WEEVIL LIQUID SPRAY ^
Once the cabinets and pantry areas have been treated, you may want to spray other areas of the home if activity has been noted throughout the home. Foraging adults do nothing but mate and lay eggs. Any that did so in other areas of the home like laundry rooms, garages, basements and other areas where pet food and grain products like grass seed might be are prone to problems. One or two rooms like this will be easy to treat with Dforce but if you have several which need an application, get BITHOR which will be much more effective and thorough for large applications.
Add 1 oz to a gallon of water and spray all baseboards, carpets, under applicances, etc. using 1 gallon of mixed material per 800 sq/ft of surface area. Since rodenticide is one of their favorite foods, be sure to check any bait placements you have done in the last couple of years. Attics are common areas where Maize Weevils thrive and then find their way inside living areas. If you have an attic with rodenticide, be sure to remove any suspected of feeding Maize Weevils and treat with Defense to insure migrating adults won’t be able to find their way inside.
MAIZE WEEVILTRAPS ^
Now that you’ve treated all cabinets, pantries, rooms and baseboards where adults may be hiding, install MAIZE WEEVIL PHEROMONE TRAPS where you have or suspect activity. These traps use strong pheromones and sex attractants to lure adults. Once they crawl or fly into the holding tray, the thick catching oil will hold them for good.
Set traps in the back of any shelf or cabinet area. They’re quite discreet and easy to conceal. However, the weevils will surely find them.
Be sure to place some in any room where activity has been noted and as a general rule, try to get at least one trap per shelf. Traps will remain active for 1-2 months but you will need to replace them once they fill with insects so inspect them weekly if you have a bad problem.
Now if you’ve been seeing maize weevils foraging on kitchen counter tops or the floor, the XLURE TRAP will be better suited for these “out in the open” placements. The Xlure trap has a protective, hard plastic body to the trap and the catching gel, bait and pheromone is located safely inside out of sight. Maize weevils will readily find their way inside and get caught but because of it’s design, the Xlure traps are best suited for trap placements that need to be done out in the open.
Maize Weevils can be a persistent pest once they are established in the home. To break their life cycle, you will need to remove any food which is infested. Next, clean and vacuum all cabinets or closets where they have been found. Treat with FS MP Aerosol to kill off hatching larva and migrating adults. The FS MP will provide several weeks of protection should any new eggs hatch or if any new adults come into the area. If you have them throughout the home, treat with the Bithor to get better coverage. Finally, set some of the Pheromone based traps out in cabinets and pantries where activity has been noted. Be sure to keep the traps fresh so they are always helping by catching adults before they mate and try to reproduce. This program will help to break the cycle so that it will eventually run it’s course and disappear.
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