Strawberry root weevils are at it again

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

August is the month when strawberry root weevils begin their invasion of Michigan homes. Known scientifically as Otiorhynchus ovatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), this weevil is about a quarter of an inch long and dark brown in color. The abdomen is quite rounded and when viewed in profile, the weevil’s short snout can be easily seen. The larvae feed on small roots of wild and cultivated strawberries, brambles and some ornamental plants. Adult weevils are wingless and enter dwellings through loose fitting doors, windows, screens and other small cracks and openings. They crawl everywhere through the home: bathrooms, cupboards, floors, walls and ceilings. The good news is that they don’t do anything else. They don’t bite or sting, eat your house or stored food, infest your pets or transmit diseases. The best, long-term way to control these pests is to caulk and seal the outside of the house to prevent them from entering. The best method of controlling the weevils inside the home is to vacuum or sweep them up. If they become terribly numerous and a more aggressive method of control is desired, a persistent insecticide can be applied to the foundation and ground around the outside to help prevent their entry.

Be sure to read and follow all instructions and safety precautions found on the label before using any pesticide.

Strawberry root weevil
The bulbous and intrusive strawberry root weevil.
Photo by Howard Russell, MSU Diagnostic Services.

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