The Q&A Archives: Small Holes and Worms in Peas

Question: In late May or early June, when my garden peas are beginning to bear, small holes appear in each pea, along with very small worms. What are they, and how can I prevent them from sharing my pea crop?

Answer: Pea weevils are a small, brownish insects that overwinter as adults in protected areas, such as outbuildings, tree bark, or fenceposts. When temperatures warm up the adults emerge and feed on pea blossoms, then lay eggs on young pods. The eggs hatch in 2 to 4 weeks, and larvae burrow into green seed.

To control them, plant as early as possible in the season, clean up all remnants of pea vines after they are finished bearing, and deeply cultivate the soil to expose overwintering eggs and weevils. Weevils can sometimes be controlled by actually shaking them off the plants. Put a cloth on the ground and shake the vines vigorously. Gather up and dispose of the weevils that fall on the cloth.

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