Even if you clean your kitchen meticulously, you may open your cupboards one day to discover them teeming with tiny insects. Unlike insects, weevils enter through doors, windows, and fissures. Adults gnaw through grains and lay eggs, making it nearly impossible to determine whether you’ve purchased a sack of larvae.
What Are Weevils?
Weevils are small worm-like insects (derived from grain/rice weevil larvae) and web-like silken threads (made by the meal or weevil moth) that regularly emerge in the food items in your cupboards.
Grain weevils prey on hard cereals such as macaroni and spaghetti, whereas rice weevils prey on grain and seeds. Larvae of the Indian meal moth can be found in nuts, seeds, grains, dried fruits, biscuits, chocolate, and dry dog food. There are about 60,000 kinds of weevils, ranging in size from 3mm to 10mm.
How to Identify Weevil Infestation?
You can identify weevil infestation when a cereal grain product is poured out for cooking. If you’re lucky, you might spot an adult beetle in action. When you open a container of grain-based products, you will often find it teeming with small adult beetles. However, in some cases, the only sign is the presence of a dry, dusty residue from the hulls of seeds that have housed eggs, larvae, and pupae. When poured into water, the powdery residue frequently rises to the top. A grain product container that appears unusually dry and dusty may have been infested with weevils, and many of the entire seeds may still be actively harboring concealed larvae.
Where Do Weevils Come From in Your House?
This is unfortunate for those who value an insect-free pantry, as these little buggers enjoy infiltrating the space, though not in the way you might expect.
- Infestation might begin in the garage or basement, among other places.
- Typically, these pests make their way indoors via packaged foods or bulk products. Thus, the likelihood of a weevil flying into the pantry is slim. It is considerably more customary to bring them home from the store with you.
- Weevils deposit eggs inside grain kernels or other starch compounds that are large enough to contain the larva. They can stay hidden in the kitchen for an extended period because their larva develops inside grain kernels.
- When the larva hatches from the egg, it crawls across the grain till it finds a suitable aperture, at which point it burrows into the grain’s center. Once within the grain, the larva feeds, develops, and pupates inside. The adult will rise from the pupa stage, leave the grain, and search for an adult of the opposite sex to continue the process.
5 Simple Steps to Get Rid of Weevils
Weevils (or pantry moths) breed more readily in unclean environments. As soon as you notice an infestation, thoroughly clean your pantry and keep it clean. Additionally, avoid leaving food out in the open. Here are five easy measures to remove weevils and keep the rice bugs away. By following these steps, you can get rid of rice weevils in the house.
1. Identify the Infestation
Check to see if there is a problem with an infestation. Moth or weevil activity in the pantry is indicated by the presence of sticky secretions that clump grains together, tiny holes in storage containers, and webbing around the cabinetry perimeter. Additionally, if you discover small bugs in your stored food or small moths fluttering around the kitchen, you will most likely need to stop the infestation and eliminate it.
2. Clean the Area
Once you have determined that there is an infestation, thoroughly clean the infected area. Starting with vacuuming the affected area, proceed to soap and water cleaning of the entire area to remove any remaining debris. Take care not to overlook any corners or difficult-to-reach regions, or you may find yourself amid another infestation in no time.
3. Dispose of the Food
Any stored food that shows evidence of weevil infestation should be carefully removed and disposed of immediately. Do not attempt to remove food portions that you believe to be clean.
4. Store Food in Clean Containers
Once you have cleaned up the infected area and disposed of the infested food, make sure to keep the remaining food in firmly sealed metal, glass, or hard plastic containers to prevent the spread of the infestation. Remember to fully clean the containers by washing them with soap and hot water and then completely drying them to ensure that no moisture remains in the containers.
5. Remove the Source
Take away the source of the infestation, i.e., remove the food that has been incorrectly stored. Also, make sure you eliminate any rat nests or other dirty areas that could serve as breeding grounds for the weevils.
6. Dried Bay Leaves
To get rid of weevils naturally you can fill each tightly sealed container in your pantry with a bay leaf or two to repel weevils.
How to Prevent Weevils From Invading Your Pantry?
After you’ve killed weevils in your house, you’ll want to take preventive measures to keep the problem from recurring and to get rid of weevils in the pantry. A common saying states that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” – this is certainly true in the case of weevils. Here are a few suggestions about what you can do:
- Cracks in your home should be sealed: It is necessary to inspect your windows, doors, and pantry for any cracks that may have been created by exterior weevils and seal them up if this is the case.
- Purchase items from the bulk bin section: cereals, seeds, flour, grains, and pasta are all goods that can be purchased in large quantities. When purchasing in bulk, you have the opportunity to examine the food more closely before making a purchase.
- Freeze all new food packages for four to seven days after they are opened: When you bring new food into your home, you should strive to kill weevils and weevil eggs and larvae that have hatched. Once totally frozen, defrost and transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid.
- Remove any little food crumbs from the floor regularly: Regularly vacuum or sweep your pantry shelves and floor to keep pests from congregating in your home.
- Seal all cracks and openings to keep pests out of your home: Weevils are tiny in size, making them capable of using minute cracks and openings as entry points and hiding spots.
- Food should be stored in a dry and cool environment: Storage areas that are both dry and cool are the most ideal for storing food.
The method of removing weevils from your pantry is time-consuming. The only way to eliminate the possibility of these pests returning is to freeze all dried items immediately after purchase and store them in airtight containers after freezing. To get rid of weevils that have taken up residence in your kitchen, follow the instructions outlined in the previous section.