There exists numerous insect pest species that can infest both backyard gardens and indoor areas of houses. Many of these insect pests are beetle species, and one of the most significant of these pests in the northeast is the Otiorhynchus ovatus species, better known as the “strawberry root weevil.” Strawberry root weevils are difficult to notice within gardens due to their tiny size. The strawberry root weevils round and dark-colored exterior often leads people to assume that they are ticks, but of course, ticks are eight-legged arachnids, while weevils are six-legged insects. Strawberry root weevil adults feed on leaves, while larvae feed on roots below the ground. Adults appear as tiny black dots on leaves, but meticulous gardeners won’t miss the small trunk-like mouthpart that is common to all weevil species. Unfortunately, the strawberry root weevil is also a common nuisance pest within households.
Strawberry root weevils are often spotted in large number within areas of a home where moisture levels are relatively high. Some of these areas include bathtubs, sinks and laundry rooms. However, it is also common for homeowners to spot numerous weevils slowly crawling about on walls and ceilings. Although the insects are small, they can become an indoor nuisance during the spring, summer and fall when large numbers find access into homes. The strawberry root weevil does not fly, and they will not bite or eat stored food items, but surprisingly, insecticides are largely ineffective for combating indoor infestations. Rather than resorting to insecticides, pest control professionals address weevil infestations by modifying indoor environments to be less attractive to the insects. Minimizing indoor moisture retention and fixing water leaks can prevent indoor infestations, and taking a vacuum to the insects can also sometimes suffice to eliminate indoor infestations of strawberry root weevils. The similar looking, but much larger May beetle may also become an indoor nuisance, but these insects tend to be a greater nuisance on porches due to their attraction to artificial light sources. It is not uncommon for decks to become inundated with these insects during the summer months.
Have you ever experienced and indoor beetle infestation?