If you suddenly notice tiny black bugs in your cupboards, you’re likely looking at weevils. These are elongated beetles with a thin, long snout. One day, you might see one or two of these pests but expect to see many more soon. While a weevil infestation unpleasant, this problem is easily solved.
There are two main species of weevils. One is called the rice weevil and the other is called the granary weevil. The latter is darker, so if the weevils in your cupboard appear black, they are likely granary weevils. The rice weevils may also look blackish in color, but they have four yellow or red spots on their wing covers. The rice weevil can fly, while the granary weevil cannot.
As their name suggests, both granary and rice weevils hitch a ride into your pantry on whole grains. Their larvae develop inside whole grain kernels, while the adults eat the outside of the grain kernels for nourishment. If you notice a weevil infestation crawling around your cupboard of pantry, inspect all rice and other grains stored there, even if the packages have never been opened.
Remove the infestation source, whether it’s a bag of rice or box of cereal. Clean your storage areas thoroughly, spraying down and wiping corners and cracks in the cupboard or pantry with soap and water or household disinfectant. Place all uninfected food products, such as flour, rice and pasta, in thick plastic or glass containers with secure lids.
Weevils don’t like bay leaves. Place fresh or dried bay leaves in containers with items like rice, pasta and flour. It also doesn’t hurt to sprinkle some bay leaves on the bottom of your cupboard or pantry. Consider freezing containers with grains for about 24 hours before storing them. This kills any weevil eggs that may be present.
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