What are these bugs in my pointe shoes?

What are these bugs in my pointe shoes?

Have you opened your pointe shoes bag and found one or more little bugs in there too? It’s an age old problem that has been around for as long as there have been pointe shoes, and these little bugs are could be grain beetles, but are more likely to be weevils.

Why are there weevils in my pointe shoes?

Weevils feed on grain based products such as flour, and of course traditional pointe shoes are made from paper mache with a paste made from flour. The weevils are drawn to your pointe shoes by odor of the flour in the paste. No matter how well you store or hide your pointe shoes, if you have weevils in the building, they will find your shoes!

How to get rid of weevils from your pointe shoes

It’s important to state that the makers of pointe shoes will have added insecticide to the paste so, in theory, any weevils that dine on your pointe shoes will not be around for very long. But, to be sure of eradicating them follow this advice:

  1. Freeze all the pointe shoes you have on hand overnight to kill all the adults, but any larva that they might have laid in your shoes will not be killed. You will have new adult weevils in about a month.
  2. Buy some moth balls and add them to your pointe shoes
  3. Continue to freeze your shoes once every three weeks to kill any hatching larva. If you can eliminate all the adults, there will be none left to lay new eggs. After 3-4 months of repeating this cycle, you will eventually dispose of all the larva.

What does a weevil look like?

There are many types of weevil and grain eating beetle but to give you an idea of what they look like here is a video of one we found in a pair of Freed pointe shoes:

What damage can weevils do to my pointe shoes?

Weevils don’t just nibble the extremities of pointe shoes, they burrow deep in to the box and leave pretty big tunnels that severely weak the shoes and make them unusable. The photograph below shows a Freed pointe shoe cut in half to reveal a network of tunnels left by feeding weevils.

Weevils weaken pointe shoes with their tunnels

See how weevils tunnel through pointe shoes making them weak

How to stop weevils being attracted to your pointe shoes

The only way to get rid of weevils for good is to get rid of the food source, which with paste based shoes means getting rid of all your pointe shoes!!!

The great news is there is an alternative to paste based pointe shoes – there is no need to have pointe shoes made using out-dated methods and materials – you can have pointe shoes made with modern materials and adhesives that do not attract pests like weevils.

Gaynor Minden pointe shoes are modern shoes made with the latest materials to exacting standards and weevils don’t like them because there is absolutely nothing they can eat. Perhaps it’s time to buy a pair.

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