Weevils in My House

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Weevils, a type of insect about 1/8-inch long with a thin, hard-shelled body, invade grain and rice kernels. Most often found in grain storage facilities, they tend to infest all types of grains, rice and corn but may also infest beans, seeds and acorns. When found inside your home, their presence indicates they have infested an entire container of rice or grains.

Concerns

  • Weevils are a harmless pest. They do not harm people, pets, furniture or clothing. Weevils do not sting, bite or have transferable diseases. They will not feed on anything in your home. The only harm they cause is infesting the grain, which destroys just the individual grains they infest.

Identifying

  • Weevils are not identifiable until they emerge from the grain. They lay their egg, larva and pupa stage within the grain kernel. Once emerged, they appear as a reddish-brown bug with a large head. In smaller grains, the weevil appears smaller, while in larger grains, the weevil is larger. Grain weevils can't fly, but rice weevils can.

Control

  • Identify the source of the infestation by examining food and food storage sources. Dispose of all items infected with weevils; wrap each item tightly in a plastic garbage bag, and place it in an outdoor trash can. Vacuum the cupboards and shelving where the weevils are found with a vacuum attachment, vacuuming in between cracks and crevices. Using an insecticide is not recommended around food or food storage items. Washing items with bleach, detergents or disinfectants does not kill the weevils.

Prevention

  • Heat or cool all grains or rice when first purchased to prevent a weevil infestation. To heat, place the grain in a pan in an oven preheated to 120 degrees F for one hour. To kill by cooling, place the grain in a freezer at zero degrees for at least three days. Inspect all new purchases of grain or rice for weevils. Store the grain in a clean, dry place to prevent attracting weevils.

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