A weevil is any beetle from the Curculionoidea superfamily. They are usually small, less than 6 millimetres (0.24 in), and herbivorous. There are over 60,000 species in several families, mostly in the family Curculionidae (the true weevils). Some other beetles, although not closely related, bear the name "weevil", such as the biscuit weevil (Stegobium paniceum), which belongs to the family Anobiidae.
Many weevils are damaging to crops. The grain or wheat weevil (Sitophilus granarius) damages stored grain. The boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis) attacks cotton crops. It lays its eggs inside cotton bolls, and the young weevils eat their way out.
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. Their presence is often indicated by the granules of the infested item sticking together in strings, as if caught in a cobweb.
There have even been statues built in the name of the weevil. Roadsideamerica.com writes, "The official story is that a bad swarm of boll weevils came and destroyed the cotton crop one year and the towns people decided to grow other crops and thus avoid another economic disaster.
The better story is that in 1919 they were building the new main street in Enterprise and had the road all torn up, and were putting in a Statue of Lady Liberty or some other overdone statuary. Local folks got tired of answering the same question all the time, "Whatcha gonna put there?" One wit started saying it would be a monument to the boll weevil, and some traveling salesman got told this and went back to Montgomery and told a newspaper editor that this little hick town was putting up a monument to a boll weevil. So they did a big write-up, and of course the town couldn't back down, so they but up a nice monument to the boll weevil. The bronze plaque reads, "In profound appreciation of the Boll Weevil and what it has done as the herald of prosperity, this monument is erected by the citizens of Enterprise -- December 11, 1919. [THX1138, 10/11/1997]
[RA: This story may be true, since the "Boll Weevil Monument" was just a lady statue and a fountain for the first 30 years of its life. It didn't get its bug until 1949.]"
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