The Q&A Archives: Chestnut Fruit

Question: A landscaper was telling me that his chestnuts are being pierced by some type of insect and the egg is being laid inside the chestnut. There is a black dot as if touched by a felt tip pen and the shell is shiny where an unaffected chestnut is dull colored. He believes the pest is laying the egg after the fruit has matured and just before the husk has begun to open. He has gotten the run around fron our local agent. I told him of the great info I have received in the past and he asked me to inquire concerning this problem. Thank you so much. He also stated he has seen the grub and if he puts a lot of them in a bucket, they seem to come out of the chestnut.

Answer: Based on your description, it sounds like it might well be a chestnut weevil problem. Take a look at the following web site for more in-depth information and photographs of this pest. Your local agent should be able to provide the most up-to-date chemical control recommendations for your area, but according to the University of Kentucky, Sevin is registered as a control for this pest. Be sure to follow the label instructions carefully as timing is important. Picking up infested nuts is also extremely helpful in interrupting the life cycle of this pest -- it is important to do it for several years in a row or even every year as they live for more than one season. I hope this helps.

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