|On larger stems the cut is even crisper than this|
Mr. Weevil (apion occidentale) isn't considered enough of a sunfower crop threat here in the Plains to treat by commercial growers, but for those of us with one perennial sunflower--and a few seed-planted yellow and chocolate annuals--it's like aramageddon.
|About the size of a pea|
I've finally caught 3 weevils, all in the morning, sitting snuggly in the limp and freshly cut bloom--until I smoosh them good with mulch. Adults overwinter in stems and leaf litter, emerge in late spring, and eventually migrate to lovely gardens like mine. These adults lay eggs, and then a fresh batch of adults come out in August, just in time for the helianthus blooms.
Why do they cut the stems? To lay eggs in the bloom which falls on the ground. And to make me cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle (that, folks, was Shakespeare and G.I. Joe working in elegant tandem).