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Weevils are instantly recognisable by their elongated snouts and the grain weevil is widely accepted as the most common pest of stored grain. The female weevil bores a small hole into a grain kernel and deposits a single egg into the hole. She seals this hole with a gelatinous material and then repeats the process on kernel after kernel until she deposits 300-400 eggs. Open, round exit holes in the grain are a sign of weevil infestation. When disturbed, a weevil "plays dead" by drawing their legs close to the body. They then lie still for several minutes before resuming movement. Control is best achieved by smoke bombs or the use of silica dust.

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  • Domestic and small shop/store premises can usually be treated DIY
  • Large industrial units and some large loose grain stores need professional input, especially if the infestation is so bad as to require fumigation.

In domestic or small commercial situations:

  • Do not use insecticides in pantries, kitchens, dining rooms or food stores. Insecticide contamination of food may have toxic effects and is a potential health hazard.
  • Follow the advice given in 'Pest Proofing' section to ensure hygiene is good and contaminated food is destroyed.
  • If potential harbourages still exist within the premises, treat these areas with a suitable non-insecticide dust or spray.
  • In areas away from food, suitable insecticides may be sprayed into cracks and crevices where the larvae or adult beetles may have secreted themselves.
  • There are a number of effective trapping techniques available which include pit fall traps, bait stations, insect probe traps and adhesive traps.

In large commercial grain or food product stores:

  • Follow the advice given above regarding hygiene
  • If in any doubt about your ability and time available to control an infestation, call on the services of a pest control company qualified in fumigation techniques.

Use pesticides safely and always read and understand the label.

Weevils are instantly recognisable by their elongated snouts and the grain weevil is widely accepted as the most common pest of stored grain. The female weevil bores a small hole into a grain kernel and deposits a single egg into the hole. She seals this hole with a gelatinous material and then repeats the process on kernel after kernel until she deposits 300-400 eggs. Open, round exit holes in the grain are a sign of weevil infestation. When disturbed, a weevil "plays dead" by drawing their legs close to the body. They then lie still for several minutes before resuming movement.

There are three principle species of weevil that cause damage to stored food products in Britain. (Grain Weevil, Rice Weevil and Maize weevil)

All these weevils share certain characteristics:

  • they have hard, leathery wings meeting along the mid-line of the back whilst at rest
  • biting mouthparts in the form of a distinctive long snout
  • well developed thorax
  • most can fly

Life cycle:

  • all beetles lay eggs
  • the eggs hatch into larvae that will damage stored foods
  • the larvae pupate and then emerge as adults to continue the cycle

Stored Food Product Weevils are found throughout Britain and are common in shops and domestic larders.

They are pests associated with stored grain, flour, bread, cereals, spices, nuts and even drugs.

They tend to move between their food source and suitable local harbourages.

The best way of avoiding problems with stored food product pests is good hygiene.

In domestic or small commercial situations:

  • Areas where food is prepared, eaten and stored should be cleaned regularly.
  • Leaving food exposed in open packets or spilt food on floors or surfaces attracts and harbours these pests.
  • With good hygiene, attention to detail and regular inspection, you will be most unlikely to have a problem with stored product beetles and moth pests.
  • Dried pet foods are a very common harbourage.
  • If you find any food infested with moths or beetles, place the bag/container in a deep freeze for about a week, which will kill any insects, then dispose of the container and all contents.
  • Wash the container before reusing. If you even just suspect contamination of a bag of foodstuffs - be ruthless - deep freeze and throw it out.
  • Transfer as much food as possible into glass containers.
  • Seal all cracks and crevices with a suitable sealant.

Within commercial units:

  • Stores should be constructed so as to be easily cleaned and free of cracks, crevices and damp spots.
  • They should be well insulated and ventilated.
  • Commodities should be stacked off the floor on pallets and not touch either the walls or the ceiling. Space should be allowed between pallets to allow ventilation and enable inspection.
  • Packaging should be within thick, tough and preferably smooth/shiny well sealed materials.
  • All food residues should be cleaned up on a daily basis.
  • Ensure there are no birds nests within the building as these frequently harbour beetles and moths. All contaminated material should be destroyed.
  • Seal all cracks and crevices with a suitable sealant. Ensure ventilation openings are covered with an insect exclusion grid