Pea & Bean Information Sheet (Pea & Bean Weevil)

Why do my pea & bean seeds have unsightly holes in them?

Europe's hot summer of 2018 has meant that a large proportion of Pea & Bean seed that we are currently purchasing and putting into our packets have unsightly holes and the occasional dead pest. This is typical for these species when produced in these conditions. As long as the damage isn’t from where the shoot emerges, the plants will grow as normal.

The crops have been passed under a ‘needle machine’ to remove as much damaged seed as possible, but this isn’t a perfect process. All the pea and bean seeds have been subject to one of two techniques, and sometimes both.

  1. Deep frozen for a period of two weeks at minus 20 degrees Celsius.

  2. Fumigation - The process itself uses Phosphine, which may be used to fumigate a wide range of seeds without impairment of germination, the phosphine packaging to target the beetles that are hidden inside. The process kills the beetles which stop further contamination of the seeds but we would still be left with the tell-tale holes which beetles have used to exit the seed and the dead beetles would remain in the bag.

Find out more about broad bean seed beetles on the RHS website.

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