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Strawberry Root Weevil
Description of strawberry root weevils
The strawberry root weevil (Otiorhynchus ovatus) is a very common insect found throughout Iowa. The shiny black, hard-shelled adult weevils develop from larvae that live in the soil and feed on the roots of strawberry plants, evergreen trees and shrubs. In mid-summer, the adults emerge from the soil. They feed on plant foliage but cause no significant damage to the plants. They would go unnoticed except that large numbers regularly crawl into houses by mistake as "accidental invaders." They are harmless and do not damage the house or furnishings. They do not harm people or pets, and are a nuisance only by their presence.
Strawberry root weevils have a distinctive "light bulb shaped" and rather long, elbowed antennae. They are approximately 3/16 inch long (5 mm).
Management of strawberry root weevils
Some of the invasion by strawberry root weevils and other accidental invaders can be prevented by exclusion techniques that close their routes of entry. Look for and seal cracks and gaps in the foundation and around windows and doors through which the adults can crawl into the building. Spraying a residual insecticide on and along the foundation and in outdoor areas of weevil abundance may reduce the number of weevils outside and thereby reduce the number wandering in. Unfortunately, spraying of large areas (10-foot perimeters up to the entire lawn) and frequent reapplication may be required. For more information on insecticides please see this article.
Adults already inside need only be vacuumed or swept up and discarded. Household aerosol insecticides are not very effective for controlling these weevils.
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