Weevils are tiny beetles that can infect grain and rice foods stored in your buffet, like biscuits, rolls, cereals, crackers, and more. Infection occurs when a female weevil invisibly burrows and lays eggs deep in the kernels of grain or rice. Although you won't notice any infestation at first, after a few weeks or months, when the eggs hatch, you will see tiny black bugs. There are steps you can take to prevent weevils from flooding your pantry and contaminating your food.
Step 1. Regularly clean your pantry and cupboards that hold food
- This procedure will remove and kill any weevils that are present in the places where you store food.
- Vacuum the shelves, any cracks or gouges where flour or food particles may have gotten.
- Clean the shelves, door, walls, and ceilings of the pantry with a solution of soap and water or a cleaning solution to sanitize the pantry and kill any weevils eggs.
- Wipe up all liquid and food stains as soon as they occur.
- Throw away old or spoiled food that you have forgotten about or that you are not going to eat.
Step 2. Inspect grain and rice for weevils before purchasing
- The length of the weevils ranges from 3, 17 to 4, 76 mm and they have a reddish-brown tint. The common barn weevil cannot fly, has long oval notches on the sternum and is found in areas with cool weather. Rice weevils can fly, have roundish notches on their sternum, and live in warm climates.
- While it may be difficult for you to inspect packaged, processed food, any grain or rice that you buy from the farm or in clear packaging should be checked for these bugs.
Step 3. Transfer all perishable food from the pantry to containers with lids, into which weevils cannot penetrate
This applies to packages of food that have already been opened, such as bags of rice
Step 4. Fill up existing gaps in the pantry shelves with putty to prevent flooding of the weevils, especially if the gaps are very deep and difficult to clean
Step 5. Freeze purchased flour, grain and rice for at least a week to kill live weevils and their eggs
- It will be safer to eat your food after you freeze it, as this will kill all live weevils and their larvae.
- It is advisable to keep such food in the freezer at all times to eliminate the possibility of weevil infestation.
- If your freezer has little room for permanent storage of rice and grains, sprinkle the grains on a baking sheet and put them in the oven at 50 degrees Celsius for an hour. This will kill all live weevils and their eggs.
Step 6. Buy less food and eat it right away to prevent weevils from growing up and reduce the risk of infestation
Step 7. Place bay leaves or garlic cloves in a container of grain or rice to naturally scare away weevils
You can also mix bay leaves and garlic in different places in your pantry to provide extra protection for your food
If weevils have already entered your pantry, discard all contaminated and nearby food. This will prevent them from spreading and returning to the pantry
- If you are using the stove method to kill existing weevils and their eggs, do not reheat cereals, flour, and seeds as this will burn or ignite them.
- If you decide to treat your pantry with weevil control as a preventative measure, remove all food from the pantry and do not spray the insecticide directly on it.