Pest Of The Week: The Wheat Weevil
Also known as the grain weevil, wheat weevils occur all over the world, and are considered a common pest in many places. This species of weevil is approximately 3 to 5mm in length, with an elongated snout and chewing mouthparts.
Female wheat weevils can cause problems for farmers, when they lay their (between 36 and 254) eggs in wheat, oats, rye, barley, rice or corn. In most instances, the female will only deposit one egg, in each grain kernel and seal the hole with a gelatinous secretion. However once inside, the wheat weevil’s larvae will feed on the grain until pupation, and then bore a hole out of the grain, and emerge.
Researchers estimate that a single pair of wheat weevils can produce up to 6,000 offspring per year, creating a serious pest control problem for farmers. This often results in significant damage to harvested grains; and drastically reduced yields.
How To Get Rid Of Wheat Weevils
There are many ways to attempt to get rid of the wheat weevil. There are pesticides, different methods of masking the odor of the grain with unpleasant scents, and introducing other organisms that are predators of the weevils.
Inspection and sanitation are the two solutions to stop wheat weevil infestations. Grains need to be kept in containers with secure fitting lids, inside your fridge or freezer. For best results, buy grains in smaller quantities. If you suspect you have wheat weevils, cautiously inspect your grain for the adult insects (or holes in the grain kernels). You can also submerge your grain in water. If you notice any insects floating to the surface, you obviously have an infestation. Even if you identify an infestation early, disposal is the safest and most effective solution.
All stages of the wheat weevils can be killed by either super heating or cooling. Heat your dry grain in the microwave for 5 minutes, or freeze at 0 °F for 4 days to get rid of them.
Weekly Pest Control Round-Up: December 21, 2012
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