Rice Weevils: Our Worst Kitchen Enemies
Weevils are one of the worst pests that can infest our homes. Although they do not cause diseases to human beings, they can pose a nuisance in the household. You may be wondering what infest your rice often. Isn’t it annoying how often we have to clean and filter out these pests from our food?
To know how to prevent the infestation of weevils, we need to understand what they are and what they do. These creatures come from the family Curculionidae. They are actually beetles with over 1000 species in North America alone.
Weevils appear in a wide array of colors and shapes. Many weevils are slender and oval in shape. They can grow up to 3 mm to over 10 mm in length depending on the species. Usually, weevils appear in dark colors. You can find some in brown or black. Sometimes, a combination of both.
The most unique part of a weevil is the unusual shape of its head. If you look carefully, adult weevils have an elongated head that forms a snout with a mouth at its end. Did you know that some species of Weevils have snouts as long as their bodies?
The Problem with Weevils
Weevils can pose problems indoors and outdoors. These creatures can kill garden plants and crops which can be detrimental to the holistic health of our lawns. Many farmers use several methods to prevent weevils from infesting their farms because they can significantly affect food production and revenue.
Furthermore, weevils can also cause problems indoors. They infest food by tearing up its entire packaging. Did you know that these creatures can contaminate our food using their cast skins and feces? This causes more damage to our stored food than their presence. When weevils are not eliminated immediately, stored food will become inedible and must be disposed at once. If the weevils spread from one package to another, it will only be a matter of time before it becomes inedible as well.
How Did I Get Weevils?
This is the most common question we hear from homeowners. Weevils can find their way into your yard. It is not a surprise they can enter your house. See, weevils can hide on leaves, bushes, mulches, dried wood, and rocks. They can even live on fruit trees and flowering plants. If they see a potential entryway to get inside, they are likely to take the chance. Weevils gather on the sides of your home, looking for gaps, fissures, or crevices where they can enter. These creatures are usually found infesting grains and starches such as rice, pasta, flour, and cereals.
Signs of Weevil Infestation
To see weevils in small numbers, you need to become a very keen observer. They are almost invisible if they are ignored. Weevils reproduce quickly. They can reach hundreds in just a few days. When they do, it’s impossible to overlook weevils crawling around your storage compartments and your stored food.
In great numbers, you will start to see weevils crawling on your walls and windowsills. They can even be found on your tables and carpets.
What You Can Do Against Weevils?
Most likely, homeowners seeing weevils are dealing with the stored product species. The most important control methods are to find the infested material and eliminate it. Careful inspection of items before purchasing can help prevent getting a new infestation. Products with holes or signs of damage on the packaging should not be purchased.
A vacuum cleaner is a quick way to remove weevils from the walls and furniture. Be sure to take the vacuum outside to empty it so the weevils don’t reinfest the home.
Prevent Weevils from Home
- Inspect your food upon purchase. If weevils can get into households, they can also get into commercial buildings such as supermarkets, grocery stores, and department stores. It’s possible that the weevils came from the producers themselves. The weevils latched on to the food in the storage area.
- Before you purchase grains, inspect the food for any sign of weevils or weevil droppings. If you see black, pepper-like fragments on your grains, flour, or cereal, it’s best not to purchase it at all. Look for another package that does not contain any sign of weevils.
- According to experts, it is essential to freeze grains for at least 1 week to kill any weevil eggs. Did you know that their eggs are invisible to the naked eye? You’ll never know if your food has weevil eggs on it unless it hatches.
- One of the reasons why households get infested with weevils is irresponsible housekeeping. The cheapest and most convenient way to prevent weevils from entering your home is by sweeping and vacuuming regularly. This may not eliminate the existing weevils in your home. At least it prevents any more from coming inside.
- Experts also recommend to buy grains, cereals, and flour in small quantities and eat it within a reasonable period of time. You don’t want to be storing a lot of weevil attractants if you do not want any infestations.
- If you do, store your food in sealed glass, metal, or sturdy plastic – something that cannot be penetrated by weevils or other insects.
- It also pays off to check for any cracks, crevices, or fissures on your walls. These are one of the most common passageways of common household pests.
- Did you know that pepper is a good repellent for weevils? Just spread a significant amount of pepper around your home to lessen the probability of a weevil infestation.
- Another way to prevent weevils is to treat your lawn regularly. With this method, you will not only get rid of weevils but other lawn pests as well such as Japanese Beetles, Aphids, and many more.
- Keep your pantry and other food compartments clean and free of food crumbs and loose foods. Clean spills immediately to prevent anything from attracting weevils and other household pests.
- Just like other insects, weevils love moisture. To prevent infestations, always keep your food storage areas dry.
- Do not add new food to old stored foods. Always clean out the containers before refilling it. Observe the FIFO method – First Come, First Serve. Do not open another package if there is still some left from the old one. This will help you avoid overbuying and hoarding products that will attract insects even more.
- Pet foods such as birdseed, catnip, and dog food are also potential attractants to weevils. To prevent infestations, store these in compartments away from the house or basement areas, especially away from human food.
- Another tip to remember is to never purchase bagged or boxed foods with damaged packaging. You never know if weevils are responsible for these damages. There may already be eggs inside those packages.
- Lastly, always check the expiration dates of the food you buy. Never purchase foods beyond their expiration date. Despite people saying that food has a shelf life of 1 month to 3 months after their expiration date, never purchase them. Those foods have already been stored for a very long time. It may have already been infested by weevils.
If your food has already been infested with weevils, here are some tips on how to eliminate them:
- Discard infested foods. The grain weevils can tear down any kind of packaging, including plastics and hard cardboard. So, if you observe weevils running about, discard the food before somebody eats it. Choose to be safe and clean in what you eat. You never know if you are allergic to the droppings and cast skins of weevils.
- If you ever find food that is infested, and you want to kill the weevils, you need to determine if the food is still edible. See if the damage is not too far off. Next, check if the food can withstand heat or cold. If it does, you can either kill weevils by exposing it to heat, such as by cooking it. And you may also kill the weevils by freezing it. Do this for at least 15 minutes, and you can manually remove the weevils from your food.
- Once all the infested food is removed, always remember to vacuum the shelves, the floors, and in-between cabinets and compartments. You might want to pay close attention to corners, junctures, crevices, and cracks because these are the weevils’ possible hideouts.
- After cleaning, make sure to dispose of the dirt from your dustpan and from your vacuum. Do not leave it inside your home. If you can burn the dust, do so. If not, throw it as far away from your home as possible.
- For the next month or two, always remember that all of your foods must be contained in tightly sealed containers. You may also store it in the refrigerator or freezer to make sure that the problem is totally eliminated.
Call for Professional Help
If you are in Huntersville facing a weevil infestation, call for your local exterminator in North Carolina near you. You would want a pest control agency that uses safe methods for pest management. One that will not contaminate the food you eat.
Lake Norman Pest Control uses environmental-friendly and human-friendly means of extermination. So, you do not have to worry about them eliminating weevils from your food. Rest assured, there will be no use of harmful substances.
For a pest-free life, call for an affordable yet excellent service. Only from Lake Norman Pest Control.