NDSU Extension Service - Mercer County

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Sunflower Weevils

Sunflower Weevils

Submitted by Craig Askim, Extension Agent/Agriculture and Natural Resources

Sunflower weevils of the red and gray type and the banded sunflower moth have been found in Mercer County. Producers need to scout fields on a regular basis to make sure economic losses are not occurring in their fields. Below is some information on how to identify theses insects.

The red and gray sunflower weevil is the most common damaging insect group on flowering sunflowers. The red seed weevils are the more common of the two weevils and usually cause more damage because it lays more eggs than its cousin the gray weevil. Both are easy to scout, identify and control. The red weevil adults are 0.1 to 0.12 inch long and the gray weevils are slightly larger. Both weevils have pronounced ‘snouts' that make them recognizable. Adults frequently are found hiding under the brats of the sunflower buds either prior to, or during bloom. Larvae feeding within the developing seed cause a galling appearance leaving affected seeds swollen, but empty.

Craig Askim, Extension Agent,

Agriculture and Natural Resources

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