Why Weevils Keep Winning
Weevils have been annoying kitchen hands and granary keepers for generations. If you want to learn about why and how, then you’re on the right page.
The first thing to know is that Pantry Moth Larvae and Moths will survive and reproduce at any temperature over 10°C / 50°F.
If your house gets colder than 10°C / 50°F in the Winter then your Weevil problem stops spreading… You’ll stop seeing Pantry Moths flying through your home, Larvae will die off and stop casting their web colonies in and around your pantry.
But when the warm Spring arrives the Weevil colonies come alive again, with dormant eggs now hatching in between 2 to 14 days and the spread of Weevil web colonies starting again.
The newly hatching Spring Larvae in your pantry were laid by the Autumn moths, with a single female laying from 60 to 400 eggs in her lifetime.
So where does she lay, so you can clean out her colonies before they hatch? Apart from Spring cleaning out your food containers, keep an eye out for beige-coloured webbing in the cracks in and around your pantry. Check the ceiling, and fill in the gaps that lead behind your pantry to places you can’t clean.
Fending Off Weevils
So why and how are Weevils so talented at returning to your cupboard and ruining all your dry food?
Yes it’s a lot to do with the females laying 60 to 400 eggs all throughout your pantry. And the fact that those eggs will turn into Larvae that are surprisingly mobile.
But it’s also got a lot to do with how adept Weevils are at getting into your food containers and packaging.
Pantry Moths will bite through think plastic packaging to lay her eggs on dry food… Incredibly small, young Larvae are capable of getting into containers that aren’t perfectly hermetically sealed. Once you’ve got a Weevil in your food they’ll feed and create new colonies so long as the temperature allows them.
And when the temperature is right, Weevil Larvae will hatch in the seams of your pantry and ceiling then travel into your food. Another Weevil source to be careful of is the. bulk bins at Supermarkets or Organic stores. Because shop-keepers are so powerless against Weevils, dry-food bins are a major source of Weevils in your home.
Growing Up Larvae
Once the tiny Larvae have found your food they start growing up. Their development is a rapid matter of weeks as they grow toward a half inch or 13 millimeters and their eventual cocoon or pupation.
It goes without saying that Larvae are the small maggots or wax worms in your cupboard. Really they’re a caterpillar and if you look closely you’ll see a brown headed creature with a pink or green hue.
Once on a food source and thriving the breeding Weevils remain motivated to find different food sources. It isn’t uncommon to see the small maggoty problem children traveling between jars, particularly in the Autumn.
Once in pupation, a Larva doesn’t exactly resemble the cocoon of the Butterfly or a common moth, though it is a similar process. In p upation the maggot-like Larvae shrinks in size, turns yellow, and takes on a hard, crusty and shiny exterior.
The Circle of Life
After pupation comes the Moth of the Indian Meal Moth and the obvious sign that you’ve got a problem !
Adult moths leave the pupal case fully developed. Their wingspans are between 16–20 millimetres or 3/8 of an inch. Their bodies are 8–10 millimetres or 3/8 of an inch.
They have grey wings often with a dirty brown part near the wingtips. If you can not recognize the Indian Meal Moth by it’s size, then capture one and look for this distinctive bronzing on the tips of its wings.
Once a moth they must mate before the female can lay eggs. To mate the females release pheromones to attract males, which is why you had poor luck trying to rid yourself of Weevils using pheromone traps. After all that effort you’ve only gone and captured the male and left the females remain at large, chewing through your plastic food packaging and laying eggs in the seams of your kitchen.
Altogether the Pantry Moth life cycle takes between around 25–55 days. Rapid breeding takes place in warmer conditions, which is when a lifetime will take the optimum of 28 days. If you live somewhere colder, you can of course expect a slower developing problem and a longer Weevil life cycle.
In the past you may have used fumigation to get rid of the weevils. Nowadays you probably think it unacceptable to chemically fumigate where your food sits. So chemical fumigation is off the menu.
You may have used pheromone Moth traps in the past, too. To totally clear out your food with traps will take a long campaign as you slowly whittle down a population through time. This slow decimation is tricky in the face of high birth rates, and you’ll always be left with a residual problem.
And once you rid yourself of Weevils you are likely to get new additions in the food you buy.
No More Weevils addresses both of these problems. The NZ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agrees with us that the compound is non-toxic and even safe for human consumption. Our product is a constantly active deterrent against Weevils.
In fact strange as it may seem, No More Weevils doesn’t kill Weevils, but it does effectively push them out of your pantry. If you put No More Weevils in a space with Weevils their first course of action is to escape — out of the tiny crevices and into the open space of your home where there’s no sustenance and the circle of life comes to an end.