Root Weevils The strawberry root weevil the black vine weevil and
the Sciaphilus weevil may become household nuisance pests because of their tendency to invade homes in the early summer. The strawberry root weevil begins to migrate into homes early to mid July, and for one or two months afterwards may be found in cupboards and bathtubs and on walls and ceilings. It is a brownish-black beetle, 5-6 mm
long, with a short, blunt snout protruding from the front of the head. The body is hard-shelled and the bulbous wing covers are pitted with many small punctures. These beetles are unable to fly because the wing covers are joined together. The larvae and adults feed on the roots and foliage of strawberry and related plants.
The black vine weevil is very similar to the
strawberry root weevil, except for its larger size (10-12 mm). The wing covers have small, scattered patches of whitish or yellowish hairs. The immature feed on the roots of many evergreens and shrubs.
The Sciaphilus weevil, is mostly a problem in the
Upper Peninsula. They are 8 mm in length and more slender than the preceding two weevils. The body is tannish-gray with a slightly lighter colored head. This weevil is also associated with strawberries. It is often first seen in May, and attempts to control it should be made at this time.
None of these three weevils attack foodstuffs,
furnishings or woodwork, nor are they dangerous to humans or pets. They are strictly a nuisance invader. Since these weevils can not fly they must gain entry into buildings by crawling or by hitch-hiking on plant materials. At the first sign of weevil activity treat the outside foundation of the building with diazinon, paying particular attention to the sides and bases of steps and porches and around doorways and basement windows. Also, treat the grass for a distance of 10 feet from the foundation. Repeat the applications again in mid July, and a third time in three weeks if the weevils persist or reappear. Do not use diazinon inside the household.
Control of weevils inside the home is more difficult.
They are usually found in widely scattered places, so it would be difficult to use an insecticide. Therefore, it is best to remove the offending beetles with a vacuum cleaner or a broom and dustpan. Also, the removal of wild strawberries, brambles and related plants may help reduce problems with these weevils.
For a complete listing of suggested control options
for all home, yard and garden insect pests contact your local Extension Service, found under local government in the phone book.
Read and follow instructions on the pesticide label.
Heed all warnings. Check with your physician if you have any concerns regarding your personal health risk.
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