Pest Control

Rice Weevils In Flour | Can You Eat It? ( Of Course!)

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Rice bugs, tiny black rice bugs, rice beetles, corn weevils are some of the common names you can used for rice weevils.  Sometimes you will find these rice weevils in flour and it will be a very unpleasant incident for you. 

So, in that circumstance it is important that you know how to get rid of them. So, I am going to cover the ways of getting rid of the Weevils in your flour. It would be somewhat difficult to control these irritating pests. What is important is to identify from where they came in and then act accordingly and eliminate them. So, here’s what you need to know on overcoming the rice weevils.

Rice weevils in flour

How did weevils get in my flour?

Weevils can get in your flour in several ways. Usually, the female Weevils lay eggs  in the fields. Those eggs will survive the milling process and chances are that they can land in  flour bags which you purchase from the stores. Next the eggs hatch and larvae will form and they will transform into rice weevils. 

Secondly , they can reach the flour from pantry’s the cracks, gaps, holes in the house and from windows of your home. Rice weevils are tiny dark beetle-like pest types. The scientific name of the rice weevils is Sitophilus oryzae and belong to the family Curculionidae. Rice Weevils are not poisonous and they do not cause any harm. 

However, to know that rice weevils in the flour is such a headache and a menace. They could be so annoying as they could multiply faster and can go hidden. Hence chances are that you may end up eating them unknowingly. 

What do rice weevils look like?

You could easily identify the rice Weevils from their elongated head which consist of a long snout. Chances are that you could spot some rice weevils carrying long snouts which are in the same length as the body. The most prominent color of them would be reddish brown to black. They cannot fly and their bodies are slender . Further they tend to take an oval shape. If you were wondering how they infest the flour, there is a great chance that Rice Weevils would have been in the flour from the time you purchased them from the stores.

Rice weevils’ life cycle

Rice Weevils  have a simple life cycle. To elaborate further, their adult female Rice Weevil will lay about 4 eggs daily and they will produce about 400 eggs altogether during its fertility in the lifetime. It will take about three days to hatch the eggs. Next the larvae will form, and they will eat the grain kernel for about 18 days. 

Next the pupal will last for another 6 days. Next, the new adult will stay alive in the grain kernel for three days’ time. During this time rice weevil cuticles will get hard and will make a hard outer shell as well. It will take about  one month’s time for a single generation of rice weevil to complete. Due to this feature, they multiply faster. 

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They can easily spread faster as they can hide in the grain. Furthermore, they can in fact create new food sources for them as well. As aforesaid , there is a greater chance of having Rice Weevils eggs  in the flour by the time you purchase them from the stores. You will not notice until they hatch and form Rice Weevils.

Rice weevils in flour

Do Rice weevils eat flour?

Just as their name rightly describes , they are fond of eating rice. However, they can also eat the flour. In fact, they would eat anything they find in the home. They also like seeds, dried beans, cotton nuts, cereal, corn, flour pasta, bread and the list goes on. They just love eating the wheat products.

What to do if flour has weevils?

You can simply freeze and kill the Rice Weevils. It is always best to keep the flour packets in the freezer when  you purchase them from the stores. Rice Weevils prefer to have warmer temperatures for their survive. If you expose them to freezing temperatures, it will be harmful for them. The freezing temperatures would be fatal for  larvae and for eggs as well. Moreover , it  stops spreading them further. 

How do you get rid of weevils in flour?

There are several ways of getting rid of the Rice Weevils and to prevent them infesting your flour.

First you can freeze the flour. If you think the matured rice weevils have not spread in the flour, you can stick them in the freezer for about four days ‘time. Once you freeze the flour, it will kill the Rice Weevils eggs and larvae. That will stop them further spreading and forming into matured Rice Weevils. As such freezing them is an effective way of getting rid of the Rice Weevils.

Next you can consider giving  a deep clean to the pantry.

First remove everything from the pantry including all the containers which you think have been infested. Next vacuum the shelves. After that I recommend using white vinegar and hot soapy water, alternatively you may add natural cleaning spray as well. Clean the pantry with these elements and then place the food containers which you have filled with flour.

Moreover, I recommend you use proper containers as well. When you store the flour in proper containers, it will help the rice weevils to stay away from them. Hence you need to choose the airtight containers and jars so that you can get the best results.

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Besides, if you wish you may also use an insecticide. You can in fact select a nontoxic insecticide which is specifically made for pantry bugs. 

If you use them, you need to keep your kids and pets away from them as they emit fumes, and their odor would be somewhat unpleasant also. You can use natural deterrents also to get rid of the Rice Weevils in your flour. If you wish to get rid of the Rice Weevils in a natural way, you can simply place cloves and bay leaves in your cupboard. That will ward them off. In addition to this, you can position several garlic gloves also around your pantry. Those will deter these nasty bugs in your pantry.

Finally, you may get the service of professionals to get rid of these nasty bugs. You can do this if you constantly  go through these attacks and if the infestation is on a severe level. Simply you can call a pest control specialist.

Rice weevils in flour 1 1

Can weevils make you sick?

Rice Weevils will not make you sick even if you eat them as they are not harmful for both humans and for pets. Hence you do not have to worry even if you spot them in your house.  However, they could cause greater damage to the food. Hence best is to throw away the food which is infested by rice weevils. When they are inside the flour, they can spread to the rest of other dry food items in your pantry. 

So, it is important that you act as soon as possible to get rid of them , unless it will create further repercussions. 

However, despite the fact they are harmful, it is not a good idea to eat the rice weevil infested food. However, if you realize that you have eaten the Rice Weevils infested flour, do not worry. On another note, one or two Rice Weevils will not be a huge menace at all, and you can use it without any issue. However, there is a high potential of a Rice Weevils outbreak. When they multiply , there will be dead weevils and their poops in the food.

It will cause health-related  issues. In that case, best is to start new and get rid of all the severely infested flour.

Generally, the Rice Weevils will neither bite you nor sting you. They do not carry diseases and they do not create poisonous reactions for pets and for humans. Moreover, they do not transmit diseases. They are more interested in feeding on the plant matter than infesting the humans or your beloved pets.

What happens if you eat rice bugs?

Rice Weevils do not create harmful effects for humans as aforesaid. So even if you mistakenly ingest them, it does not harm you. If you look at them in the scientific perspective, they are considered as a protein source. If you spot live weevils, that literally means there are no pesticides. On the other hand, if you could spot dead weevils, it means there have been pesticides in that food.

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It is important that they keep away these nasty bugs as they need to abide by the health standards of the food. 

In case if someone finds a weevil, it is literally an indication of contamination of food. Besides, Rice Weevils change the texture and the color of food.

Why do bugs get in flour?

Bugs get in flour simply to feed on that. Moreover, they lay their eggs in flour. They will transform into matured rice weevils and continue feeding on them.

How do you store flour for years?

If we consider the processing levels, you can store the flour in a cool dry place and you will not come across any issue. You can keep the whole grain flour in the freezer for two to five days. You may keep them in the freezer to store them if you want to keep them for extended periods. Additionally, if you use flour quickly, you can leave them in a container with its lid open. If we consider bakeries, you will see how they keep their flour filled buckets open. 

They keep using flour in significant amounts on a daily basis. So, they can seal it up tight and use it.

Having said that, if you use flour within a couple of months, you can store them in a sealed container. When it comes to flour storing, two to three months is regarded as quick use. So, in that circumstance you can store them in containers which are not sealed. For example, you may use the same thick paper bag for this purpose. 

In terms of the best storage container to store the flour, best is to go ahead with the food grade buckets which you can find in different sizes, and you can go ahead with the different food buckets depending on the flour quantity you have.

You can consider using a 1 gallon bucket with lids if you daily use the flour. Moreover the 3.5 gallon buckets with lids will work for flour in bigger quantities. 

You can keep the majority of flour in these buckets and refill the 1 gallon buckets with this. If you are looking for something where you can store flour on a long term which you need to keep in a basement, garage or in an excess pantry, you can go ahead with 5 gallon buckets with lids.

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Credit to : ODoris Healthytastymeals

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I'm Dr. Chamika and I'm a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. Our highly qualified team is trying to educate you in various aspects of the day to day life in many ways. Their mission is to help others to enjoy their life to the fullest.