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Grain Weevils Control & ID

Classification: Insect
Other names: wheat weevil, granary weevil
Color: Reddish-brown
Size: .12 to .2 inches long, elongated body
Eats: whole grains: wheat, oats, rye, barley, rice, corn
Hazard to humans: Can create dust that causes asthma and allergy symptoms
Interesting fact: When threatened, adult grain weevils like to play dead, pulling their legs close to their bodies and lying very still.

The Grain Weevil May Make Itself at Home in Your Pantry

Grain weevils are a serious agricultural pest, but since they live in whole grains they are found more often in crop storage facilities than in your home. But that doesn’t mean they never invade a kitchen pantry; grain weevils like wheat, oats, rye, barley, rice and corn, so they sometimes enter with infected whole grain products.

These insects are tiny and hard to detect:

  • Only .12 to .2 inches long
  • Reddish-brown, elongated body
  • Elongated snouts
  • Equipped with vestigial wings, although they cannot fly
  • Larvae are white with a tan head and humpbacked

Lightening the load

Females lay between 36 and 254 eggs at a time. They chew a hole in a grain kernel, place one egg inside and then seal the grain with a sticky secretion. The larvae feed on the inside of the grain, leaving it lighter. They bore a hole to the outside once they have emerged from the pupa stage.

It takes about 5 weeks in the summer for grain weevils to go from egg to adult, but it may take 20 weeks in cooler weather. Adults live up to 8 months.

Allergy symptoms

People who are exposed to the dust left behind after a grain weevil has devoured the inside of a grain may have symptoms of allergies or asthma. To prevent them from getting a hold in your home:

  • Buy only small quantities of grain at a time and use it up quickly
  • Store grains in metallic, glass or plastic containers with tightly covered lids
  • Try freezing grains until you need to use them

Since these pests can be difficult to detect, give Brody Brothers a call. We have the tools and the experience that will get rid of grain weevils and other pantry pests, and we’ll share our tips on how you can avoid future problems.

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