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Weevils

General Facts

There are over 40,000 species of weevils throughout the world. They are some of the most destructive pests in Canada as they cause widespread damage to the agricultural industry, stored food products, garden crops, and lawns.

Types of Weevils in Canada

Different species of weevils have specialised diets and attack particular plants or food products. Some of the most common Canadian weevils include the sweet potato weevil, alfalfa weevil, rice weevil, and granary weevil.

Appearance / Identification

What Do Weevils Look Like?

image of weevil lying on its side
Weevil colouration ranges from vivid green or red to dull brown, black, or beige depending on the species. Adult weevils have rounded bodies, six legs, a pair of short antennae, and elongated mouthpieces. Larvae are generally lighter in colour and appear as small, fleshy, maggot-like creatures. While the average weevil measures less than 6 mm in length, some species can grow quite large.

View more images of Weevils

Habitat

Since weevils prefer warm, moist environments, they are mostly found throughout the southern parts of the country. Some species live among plants and lay their eggs in rolled-up leaves. Others feed and breed within stored food products like cereal grains. The main reason weevils invade homes is to escape unfavourable weather conditions.

Diet

As herbivorous creatures, weevils feed on various parts of plants, from leaves and stems to roots and fruits. Stored grains and flour can also be significant food sources for certain species.

Life Cycle

Female weevils can lay over 150 eggs in their lifetimes. Once the eggs hatch, weevil larvae feed voraciously on whatever plant-based food source is nearby. After some time, weevils morph into sexually mature adults with hard outer shells.

Problems Caused by Weevils

The tiny insects have a huge impact on agriculture, stored foods, and ornamental plants. In fact, large populations of weevils are capable of defoliating or severely damaging entire crop yields. In addition to eating plants, weevils bore into grains and other stored foods to lay eggs. This process increases the heat and humidity inside the packages they infest, which facilitates the growth of mold and fungus.

Infestation – Weevils in the Home

As infestations take place almost entirely inside packages of stored foods, weevils can be hard to detect. Homeowners should check for the presence of small, lightly coloured grubs in containers of cereal, flour, and similar food products. Additionally, if packages of grains contain mold or appear slightly wet, this can indicate the presence of weevils.

Prevention

Preventing weevil infestations is a difficult task since the pests are very small and persistent. Homeowners can avoid weevil damage in lawns by planting ornamental foliage, shrubs, and trees that are resistant to insect damage. In the home, individuals should store food products in tightly sealed containers.

Control / Removal

Professional pest control is the best solution to weevil problems. Neglecting weevil infestations or utilizing ineffective treatments may exacerbate issues instead of helping. The highly trained experts at Orkin Canada can combat the presence of weevils and protect homes and property from damage.

Learn more about the common species of weevils found in Canada:

Bean Weevils

Black Vine Weevils

Granary Weevils

Rice Weevils

White Pine Weevils