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The been weevil


Have bean weevils invaded your reserves ? In this dossier, you'll find all the answers and tips you need to combat this insect as effectively as possible. 

Who's the bean weevil ?

The bean weevil - Acanthoscelides obtectus

Latin name : Acanthoscelides obtectus
Order : Coleoptera
Family : Bruchidae
Size : 2 to 5 mm
Location : kitchen and storeroom
Period : all year round 

What you need to know about the bean weevil

The bean weevil

This insect only attacks beans. The adult female lays her eggs (up to 40 eggs) on pods that are still standing. After 3 to 15 days, the larva develops in the beans. It grows for around three weeks, then cuts a circular exit hole in the wall of the bean and pupates, producing an adult capable of reproducing again 12 to 25 days later. There can be up to three generations in a single year.

Contamination can therefore spread quickly throughout the dried bean supply.

The larvae only get into the dried beans, so fresh beans have nothing to worry about. By digging galleries inside the beans, they become unfit for consumption. Nor can you use them as seed. So the harvest is lost! There are several varieties of bruchid that attack different plants. Acanthoscelides obtectus affects beans, while other Bruchidae attack lentils, broad beans or peas.

This is a real scourge for professionals, particularly cooperatives, storage organisations and processors. 

How can I get rid of the the bean weevil ?

Control is most effective at the larval stage, when the bean leafminer starts to develop in the pods.

1 - Take a close look at the beans and pods when you hull them and burn them (don't contaminate your compost) if you see eggs or traces of larval attack (their holes are much smaller than those of adults).

2 - As far as possible, store your grains in airtight jars. If you have one, the freezer is a very effective weapon, as the larvae do not survive beyond 24 hours (in the past, bunches of beans were hung up to dry and freeze to kill the weevils during the winter).


Other effective control methods :

- a few cloves of unpeeled garlic in each container

- decoction of tansy : You can use a decoction of tansy to deter insects from laying eggs in your beans. The smell of tansy has the ability to repel these pests. To do this, harvest 300g of tansy, chop it finely and place in a non-metallic container. Pour a litre of boiling water over it, then cover. Leave to infuse for 24 hours. All that's left to do is pour the solution into a bottle using a strainer. Use your decoction as a spray at the base of your beans.

- set fire to a cotton wool pad soaked in alcohol just before sealing the jar (this will condemn the bruchids to asphyxiation by burning oxygen).


Here's what the bean weevil looks like in motion