Evil Pea Weevils

I’ve never grown peas; we aren’t big pea-eaters and frankly, supermarket frozen peas are so convenient.

Last spring I bought a bale of pea straw to mulch a new food-growing area and after a shower of rain a large crop of peas appeared. I harvested quite a lot; we ate some, I froze some and put aside a bottle of dried peas for re-sowing.

In February I decided to sow a small early crop. They germinated quickly and are now flowering. So yesterday, I thought I’d sow a second batch. Imagine my surprise as I opened the bottle and a dozen or so beetle-like insects flew out. I inspected the peas and several of them had neat little holes drilled in them. I selected some hole-less ones to sow and put the rest (minus insects) back in the bottle.

Later on, I thought I’d spread them out on my desk and remove any with holes. More insects appeared! They were still coming! I turned to Google, wondering incidently, how we ever did without it. The little blighters are Pea Weevils. They infest only peas. The adult lays her eggs on the pea pods and the hatched grub burrows straight through the pod and into the developing pea. In there it completes its life cycle, eventually changing to an adult weevil which bores its way out of the pea (bet they wondered where they were when they emerged inside the bottle), lays eggs and so on.

Since less than 5% of the peas were damaged and no more insects have appeared in the bottle, I don’t think I’ll worry too much about it, just note it as something new learned.

Pea weevil exit holes

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