What is this?
February 10, 2015 11:48 PM   Subscribe

It's a bug, in my place, in February. Beyond that, I don't know.

It's brownish-grey, if the lighting doesn't help - pic and another and one more. City in southern Ontario, Canada.

It was still enough to allow me to trap it with a glass and piece of paper. Please tell me it's not the kind of creature that's going to require some more complicated removal process!
posted by cotton dress sock to Science & Nature (13 answers total)
It's a weevil. Harmless and adorable, enjoy!
posted by detritivore at 11:50 PM on February 10, 2015 [5 favorites]

It's a weevil. Generally speaking they eat wood and leaf detritus. They live in the forest, and not typically where humans do.
posted by Nevin at 11:53 PM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Whew! Thank you!

(I wonder why it's here... there's some construction going on below me, maybe that's it..)
posted by cotton dress sock at 12:02 AM on February 11, 2015

When they walk around the house like that, they seem to be solitary most of the time, too. I usually throw them out because I always thought "I don't want them to get the idea of eating my wood." But I am now reading, that they actually eat grains and cereals and stuff:

Wee-evil? From Wickipeevila: Weevils are often found in dry foods including nuts and seeds, cereal and grain products, such as pancake mix. In the domestic setting, they are most likely to be observed when a bag of flour is opened. They can even chew through bags such as Ramen Noodles. Their presence is often indicated by the granules of the infested item sticking together in strings, as if caught in a cobweb.

So perhaps check your breakfast supplies in any case.
posted by Namlit at 4:50 AM on February 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

A few times I've had bugs of the eat grains and flour variety in my house, they've ultimately been sourced from bits'n'bytes (the Bulk Barn knock-off ... never any problems from Bulk Barn itself). If you have anything you've bought there, look in the bags and see if there are any A) bugs or B) little thready cocoon-y like bits. Obviously discard with extreme prejudice if you find anything like that. Proceed to Bulk Barn, do not pass Bits'n'Bytes, do not collect $200.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:52 AM on February 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've gotten these in the house when they've piggybacked in on birdseed -- as others have said, harmless, more annoying than troublesome, and they can't move in unless you've got a source of seeds or grains like oatmeal for them to live on.
posted by AzraelBrown at 6:04 AM on February 11, 2015

Weevils at one point were thought to be the most numerous (species-wise) insect. Not anymore, but they're still considered the most numerous type of beetle. It's remarkable that we don't see them more often. They're a very common garden pest. But, they also mostly come out at night, they're mostly dirt colored, and many of them "play dead" as a defense against predators.
posted by sevenless at 6:23 AM on February 11, 2015

I read that as well... I have (had, soon) one small bag each of flour and oatmeal that have been here for a few months, no issues that I've noticed (although it's possible I might just have missed them), and that's it for grains/cereals. This guy was way at the other end of the apartment, as well, just over a radiator, a few feet from a window. No garden. I'm over a retail space that's been in the process of being renovated (extremely slowly) since the summer, with restaurants on either side, maybe that's where he's from?

I'm glad he's only annoying and not a pest-pest. Worth mentioning to the landlord?
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:56 AM on February 11, 2015

Wait, am I going to have to chuck all my spices, too? :/ How do I interact normally with packaged foodstuff from now on...
posted by cotton dress sock at 9:11 AM on February 11, 2015

You are vastly, vastly over-thinking this. It is a single insect. You eat thousands of them in your lifetime.

(I wonder why it's here...)

Because you don't live in a cleanroom? You live in the real world and dirt, insects and pests are part of that.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:36 AM on February 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Well, yes, but why this one, now?
posted by cotton dress sock at 9:51 AM on February 11, 2015

Well, yes, but why this one, now?

That's really one for the philosophers, not the entomologists.
Just remember that weevles wovvle, but they don't fall down.
posted by third rail at 10:24 AM on February 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

Nah, don't worry. If you're soon seeing more of them, and closer to the kitchen, you will want to look for a single place where they come from. My guess is that this is a loner. Ran away from the retirement home or something.
posted by Namlit at 11:07 AM on February 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

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