Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What's eating your acorn?

A tale of how gross your child's acorn collection could be...
Unless you are me, then you find it rather interesting and share your passion with your preschooler!

  Have you ever been picking up acorns and noticed a small hole in the shell of the nut? 

These holes are made from emerging larvae of the acorn weevil.

We were at the park, Squirrel (4) was picking up and collecting acorns. He was reluctant to play because he didn't want to loose his collection. So I let him put them in my purse (it is small, not much in it), knowing full well that some of them had these grubs in them.

We got home (just before noon) and I threw my purse on the counter, forgetting about the acorns. Later that evening I was making dinner, using ground hamburger. I stepped on something squishy on the floor, thinking I had lost some burger from the pan I quickly bent down to pick it up. As I was about to toss it in the sink I realized it was a grub! I looked at the kitchen floor and saw another. After tossing the second one out I grabbed my purse, took out my wallet and the few loose coupons I had.

I dumped the the acorns out on to a plate and turned my purse inside out. I found two more grubs.  

Basically, once they were out of the acorn they were finding their way out of my purse and onto the floor. I bet they weren't too happy to find linoleum rather than soil. When these guys leave the acorn they dig their way into the soil where they live for 1-2 years before emerging as an adult weevil

Here is one in the process of emergence and the perfect hole left behind.

This is what you find if you crack one open. You'll find the galleries (holes in nut) from the grub, to poo it has left behind and if it hasn't escaped yet, you'll also find the grub. One acorn can have multiple grubs. This one here had three of them.

Squirrel has really enjoyed watching and taunting the grubs. Maybe he'll grow up to be an entomologist!
After I got my degree I thought about going back for entomology, but decided against it. 

We love bugs (grubs, insects, arachnids etc)!

If you are not the bug lovers we are... take caution and tell your child to leave their acorns outside and not in your purse!


  1. Um, gross. I am not a bug lover of sorts so REALLY gross. I would've maybe just thrown my purse away :)

    1. Well I searched high and low for this purse, it would take a lot more than a grub for me to throw it away! :)

  2. I am a bug lover too and also survived raising 4 boys. Loved this story.