Weevils are a type of beetle belonging to the Curculionidae superfamily, and many weevil species are well known as being widespread crop pests in the US and elsewhere. One weevil species, the strawberry root weevil, is abundant in Massachusetts, and just as its common name suggests, this species feeds on strawberry plants. As a result of their feeding habits, strawberry root weevils damage and/or kill both cultivated and wild strawberry plants, but they also feed on brambles, evergreens and ornamental plants within residential yards where they are abundant. In addition to being destructive plant pests, strawberry root weevils frequently invade Massachusetts homes in large numbers during the spring, summer and fall.

Strawberry root weevil grubs feed on plant roots in yards, and although they are not readily seen, they can be recognized for their light-colored and crescent-shaped bodies that are usually between ¼ and ½ of an inch in length. The quarter of an inch long, wingless and dark-brown adults possess a bulbous abdomen, and they are frequently spotted in yards where they feed on the leaves of various plants. Unfortunately, adults are also in the habit of invading homes, sometimes in massive numbers. Adults are commonly found all over the interior and exterior of infested homes during the warmer months, especially during the spring and fall.

Strawberry root weevils enter structures through loose fitting doors, windows, screens, and small cracks and openings on the external walls of houses. While these household pests do not bite, sting or pose a medical threat to humans, their habit of gravitating into inaccessible indoor areas, like wall voids, and dispersing in large numbers throughout bathrooms, cupboards, floors, walls and ceilings make them a serious nuisance to affected residents. Strawberry root weevils can be prevented by sealing cracks, crevices and other entry points on exterior and interior walls, and indoor adults can be controlled with a vacuum. Serious infestations can be treated with conservative amounts of Permethrin insecticide.

Have you ever experienced a weevil infestation within your home?