Sitting at my computer desk one day, I spotted a small maggot crawling along. Now a couple of hours earlier, I had a couple of apples sitting there, so I wondered if they were the source of the maggot that came from those, possibly a fly maggot. No, they were not.
Now in the fall, which this is, I gather seeds from various plants, to dry them and put them away for next year. Among these are sunflower, hot pepper, and zinnia seeds. I know no maggot in its “right mind” would make its home in a Serrano pepper. And I hadn’t gathered the zinnia seeds yet. Then again, there was no evidence of maggots in the thousands of sunflower seeds.
Source of the Maggot
What was left? Well, I had three chestnuts (Castanea sativa) sitting on my desk, but there was no hole in any of them. However, I’d forgotten about the small bag of chestnuts I had set aside to roast in a cast iron skillet. I checked that out and it was jam-packed with maggots!
I majored in chemistry at Drexel University in Philadelphia. I commuted, getting off the bus in Center City, Philadelphia. Not far away were street vendors hawking, in cooler weather, chestnuts. Tender, soft, sweet and delicious hot chestnuts. Oh, my!
Protecting the Chestnuts
But a tiny creature lays its eggs in some of the chestnuts. Immediate roasting and eating prevents the forming of maggots, but if it is desired to eat them later, the chestnuts should be quickly frozen or boiled after gathering.
This pain-in-the-neck creature is the much-hated chestnut weevil (Curculio eliphas). Note the photos of the chestnuts and the adult weevil. Also, enjoy the video. It is silent, so you may wish to provide a little mood music of your own… perhaps this popular song about the boll weevil!
Note: You might also enjoy Spring Webworms, Fall Webworms – What’s the Difference?