There are many pantry pests which can infest homes and businesses. Though Meal Moths, Grain Beetles and Flour Beetles are very common, Weevils are just as likely to be the unwanted insect in such areas. 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, it is sure to blossom into a problem which will need attention. Found throughout the world, 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.
Other pantry pests: CIGARETTE BEETLES CONFUSED FLOUR BEETLES DRUGSTORE BEETLES HIDE BEETLES MEAL MOTHS RED FLOUR BEETLES SAWTOOTH GRAIN BEETLES
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. 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. 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.
Weevils start their life as a small caterpillar like larva which hatches on some type of food like rice, 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. Weevils present more of a nuisance than some other pantry pests because adults feed just as much as their larva preferring a wider range of things to eat. Since adults fly well and are small, rice 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. Since rice 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 rice weevil activity, there are several things you must do to knock out current activity and insure new populations won’t quickly emerge.
HOW TO TREAT WEEVIL INFESTATIONS
First, 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 once a week. If there are weevils in it they will try to get out within a few weeks. If any are found, throw the item away 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 really want to be feeding your family something that’s laced with dead rice 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.
WEEVIL MANAGEMENT AND TREATMENT OPTIONS
Once the infested product is discarded, you’re just about ready to treat. We always suggest that you first vacuum of all the closets, shelves, cupboards, pantries and baseboards about to be sprayed. This definitely will remove eggs which are too small for the eye to see. 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 but a thorough vacuuming should help to remove some.
HOW TO TREAT WEEVILS IN YOUR PANTRY
Once prepared, all cracks and crevices should be treated with FS MP AEROSOL. This fast acting spray is ideal for use when you know where nests might be located or where foraging adults have been active. They tend to focus on cracks and gaps around baseboards too so treat any room where they’ve been seen.
It includes a straw attachment which makes it ideal for applying to cracks and crevices where both adults and larva like to reside. FS MP kills target pests immediately and treatments can last 2-4 weeks. One can will be enough to treat the average pantry and kitchen cabinets several times.
BEST WEEVIL SPRAY FOR TREATING THE WHOLE HOUSE
If the problem is extensive and involves the whole house, you’ll be better served spraying with a liquid instead of an aerosol. Liquid sprays can cover large areas more efficiently, are more economical and overall, do a better job. In fact laundry rooms, garages, basements and other areas where pet food and grain products like grass seed are stored are prime locations for Weevils to reside and you’ve been finding them in other areas, you’ll need to more than just treating the kitchen.
A good liquid concentrate for the rest of the home is BITHOR. Its odorless, long lasting and can be sprayed on furniture, carpeting and baseboards. Mix 1 to 2 oz per gallon of water and apply the gallon over 1,000 sq/ft.
To insure you get all the key areas, add GENTROL to the tank mix. Gentrol is a juvenile growth regulator and will work on eggs and larvae. Basically it prevents the larvae from maturing properly so they die before they reach maturity and reproduce. Gentrol will outlast Bithor so you can effectively extend the length of residual and help insure faster success with less treatments needed.
The other big advantage using Gentrol is that it will translocate from where its applied. So if you spray the baseboards with Bithor and Gentrol, the Gentrol will actually “move around” and end up being active on the ceiling and far into the room. Since its just a protein, it can’t hurt people or pets (remember, it doesn’t actually kill anything). But this trans-locating action insures a bigger area is protected which in turn insures you get any hatching eggs otherwise missed by the Bithor alone.
Gentrol can be added to the tank mix with the Bithor and applied at the same time. Use 1 oz per gallon per 1,000 sq/ft too.
When spraying, focus the application on baseboards, moldings, carpeting, the bottom side of fabric covered furniture and area rugs. Use a good PUMP SPRAYER to do the application. It needs to have a wide spraying “swath” that distributes the mixture equally and smooth without mess or waste.
INSTALL WEEVIL TRAPS
Lastly, install WEEVIL PHEROMONE TRAPS in treated cabinets and pantries. These small, triangular traps rely on a scented oil you add to the catch tray. They fit nicely in the back corners of the cabinet and once in place, will trap entering weevils who are attracted to the pheromone and food smell lure. Place one trap per cabinet and inspect them once a week. Any cabinet or area which has a trap that keeps catching weevils after 2 weeks following the initial treatment should be treated again. Continuing activity is a sure sign you missed something important and need to retreat.
For open areas along baseboards and under furniture, install some XLURE TRAPS. This trap has a protective cover on it making it ideal for sensitive areas where pets or children might be present. Xlure contains powerful food and pheromone attractants that appeal to a wide range of other insects too like cigarette beetles, confused flour beetles and drug store beetles.
Weevils can be a persistent pest once established in the home. To break their life cycle, you will need to remove their food supply. Next, you’ll want to clean and vacuum all cabinets or closets where activity has been seen. Treat cabinets with FS MP Aerosol to kill hatching larva and migrating adults. FS MP will provide several weeks of protection should any new eggs hatch or if any new adults come into the area.
For large scale problems, spray the rest of the home with Bithor and Gentrol. Finally, set some Pheromone based traps 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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