Weevils

Stored Product Insects

Pests commonly found in food, also known technically as Stored Product Insects, covers a large number of insects. They can infest a variety of stored products in particular foodstuffs such as grains, cereals, dried fruit, nuts, seeds and even tobacco.

Stored grain insects are a health hazard in both private homes and businesses like food processing plants, warehouses, bakeries, stores, restaurants, mills, farms and silos. They can also cause enormous economic losses through damage and contamination of food products. Any contamination will make your food unfit for human consumption.

Identifying and removing the source of the infestation is a critical part of effectively controlling these pests. Businesses like food processing or grain storage can greatly benefit from an ongoing professional pest management program to contain and eradicate infestations along with high standards of hygiene and sanitation, including stock rotation practices in accordance with any applicable regulations.

Stored Product Pest Control Treatments for your business

Stored product pests often live within food for human consumption. In order to control insects within food, the food must be removed or destroyed in such a manner that it will not disperse the infestation, or treated in a way that presents no hazards in its end use.

Aerobeam Professional Pest Management can help your business with effective management, ensuring minimum disruption to your operation and full compliance with health and safety and any food legislation obligations.

Signs of a pests in food

Common signs of stored product insects include:

  • damage to store product, live or dead insects (small beetles and moths), larvae, pupae or silken webbing on food storage bins on shelves
  • infestation, holes, larvae or webbing on the outside of packets or bags
  • larvae, pupae or silken webbing in food harbourages in cracks and crevices around shelves or on machinery
  • larvae, pupae or silken webbing in food spillages
  • larvae, pupae or silken webbing on beams and window sills
  • Indications of the pests in insects traps or rodent stations

Where to find stored products insects

If you suspect a problem, it is also worth knowing where these pests may be hiding. Stored product insects can live in dried products such as:

  • Stored grain
  • Dried fruits
  • Milled and processed cereal products
  • Sweets
  • Cheese
  • Meat
  • Dry ginger
  • Dried fish and any other dried food

Bean Weevil

Bean Weevil identification
2.0 – 3.0mm long, mottled brown in colour. They have a ‘tear drop’ like body shape and are covered in short hairs. Saw-tooth like antennae and elytra that do not cover the entire abdomen
Description

Bean weevil larvae feed mostly inside beans. These weevils attack all legumes, including kidney beans, green beans, peas and lentils. Heavily infested peas are often reduced to shells.

Lifecycle usually lasts 2-4 months. The larvae feed within the beans as they mature. The larval stage can take from a few weeks to many months to complete, depending upon temperature and moisture of the bean. Pupation is within the bean. Circular holes are cut for the adult to emerge. Development and breeding goes on as long as there is any food left in the bean and the temperature is right (warmer temperatures are preferred).

Distribution
Australia-wide
  • Bean Weevil
    Bean Weevil
  • Bean Weevil
    Bean Weevil

Coffee Bean Weevil

Coffee Bean Weevil identification
Adults: 1.5-4mm in length. It is a dark brown beetle with light brown spots and long antennae. The footless, slim larvae are curved and hairy and grow to a length of 5-6mm.
Description

They mainly infest corn, cocoa, coffee beans, dried fruits, nutmegs, ginger etc. The beetle flies to fields and lays its eggs on damaged cobs. The larvae bore into coffee beans in which they pupate.

Distribution
Australia-wide
  • Coffee Bean Weevil
    Coffee Bean Weevil
  • Coffee Bean Weevil
    Coffee Bean Weevil

Granary Weevil

Granary Weevil identification
Dark brown-black in colour. It is about 2.5 - 5 mm in length. They possess a long slender snout and cannot fly. In the larval stage the weevils are legless, humpbacked, white to creamy white, with a small, tan head. Weevils in the pupa stage have snouts like the adults.
Description

The Granary Weevil is among the most destructive of all stored grain insects. The larvae develop inside kernels of whole grain in storage. This makes an infestation difficult to remove in the milling process.

Most of their life is spent within the grain kernel. Both larvae and adults feed on grain. Grain weevils will also attack hard cereal products, e.g. macaroni and spaghetti.

The egg, larva, and pupa stages of these weevils occur in the grain kernels and are rarely seen. Emergence holes of the granary weevil are fairly large and tend to be more ragged than smooth and round. Females drill a tiny hole in the grain kernel, deposit an egg in the cavity, then plug the hole with a gelatinous secretion. The life cycle is about 30 to 40 days during the summer, and 123 to 148 days during the winter, depending on temperature.

Distribution
Australia-wide
  • Granary Weevil
    Granary Weevil

Maize Weevil

Maize Weevil identification
The Maize Weevil is about 2.5 - 4 mm long. The head has a long slender snout. Resembles rice weevil, only bigger and the red-brown spots on wing covers are more clearly marked. It is a stronger flier than the rice weevil.
Description

Also known as the Greater Rice Weevil. Maize Weevils are frequently regarded as primary pests of grain since they are able to infest otherwise undamaged grain. They have also been seen to infest buckwheat, peas, acorns, chestnuts and cottonseed.

Both larvae and adults will feed upon grain. Weevil-damaged grain can be readily recognised by the presence of large holes which are the exit holes of the emerging adults.

The egg, larva, and pupa stages of these weevils occur in the grain kernels and are rarely seen. Females drill a tiny hole in the grain kernel, deposit an egg in the cavity, then plug the hole with a gelatinous secretion. The egg hatches into a young larva which bores toward the center of the kernel, feeds, grows, and pupates there. New adults bore emergence holes from the inside, then leave to mate and begin a new generation.

Distribution
Australia-wide
  • Maize Weevil
    Maize Weevil

Rice Weevil

Rice Weevil identification
The adult rice weevil is 2.5 - 3.5 mm long and has a slender, hard-shelled bodies that appear pitted or scarred with tiny holes. They are brown-black in color and possess a long slender snout. Rice weevils have four faint red-brown spots on the back of the abdomen.
Description

The rice weevil adults can feign death by drawing up their legs close to the body, falling, and remaining silent when disturbed. Emergence holes of the rice weevil are smaller than those of the granary weevil, and tend to be smooth and round. There is generally no external evidence that the larvae have been eating and growing inside the seed until after about one month when the adult weevil chews through the seed coat and emerges.

The adults live 3 to 6 months, infesting grain in the field. The egg, larva, and pupa stages of these weevils occur in the grain kernels and are rarely seen. Females drill a tiny hole in the grain kernel, deposit an egg in the cavity, then plug the hole with a gelatinous secretion. The egg hatches into a young larva which bores toward the center of the kernel, feeds, grows, and pupates there. New adults bore emergence holes from the inside, then leave to mate and begin a new generation. Female rice weevils lay between 300 to 400 eggs, with the life cycle requiring about 32 days for completion. Two larvae can develop in one wheat kernel.

Distribution
Australia-wide.
  • Rice Weevil
    Rice Weevil

Having trouble with stored product pests?

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