Here is a little story. One day I decided to make pasta for dinner. After opening the packet I found there were hundreds of weevils in it. I immediately threw it away. But that incident lead me to write this article on “weevils in pasta”. Here I include the reasons, safety concerns and viable solutions.
We are going to find out the weevil types which could infest your pasta as well as your other food items. Besides, I will be covering how to prevent them from attacking your food from this article. It is worth reading this article as you will find this article useful in your day to day life.
Are weevils in pasta safe to eat?
Yes, it is safe for humans to eat weevils. However when you eat them, you may find them unsavory. They do not create any ill effects once you consume them. Weevils are not harmful in general, be it their larvae stage or their maturity stage. In fact, weevils can show you whether there is residue from pesticides in the pasta. To elaborate on weevils, they are a small beetle type and they are smaller than 6 millimeters ( 0.24 inches ) in length.
There are so many types of weevils and you could find them in your pasta as well as in other grain products (cereal, nuts and in seeds).
They prefer to infest the food items which you had stored in the pantry mainly. You would commonly find the weevils in your food items such as in pasta, cereal, biscuits. dried fruit , pet food, bird seeds etc.
How do weevils get in pasta?
Weevils can get in your pasta when you pack them. Alternatively, they can come from outside as well. When they are inside, they will spread and infect all the dry food items they can reach if you do not overcome them.
Weevils can infest your whole grains, rice, nuts, bens, cereals, seeds, corn and other dry food items.
Weevils usually live and depend on the food items. They usually chew a hole into seeds , pasta and they lay their eggs inside. Next, they seal up the opening and leave the egg behind. Once they hatch the egg, their larvae feed on the grain till they grow to their fullest.
Different types of weevils in your pasta
Many people consider Maize weevils as a larger version of rice weevil as Maize weevils look similar to the larger strain of rice weevils. They are large and would be about 1/8 inch in length. The colors of the Maize weevils would be dull reddish brown or black color.
Further they consist of four red or yellow spots on their back as well. Their coloring is darker when compared to the rice weevils. Maize weevils develop at a slightly slow rate when compared to the rice weevils. Their larvae are soft and have grubs in white. They also do not have legs. Besides, their pupae look similar to adults with long snouts, and you can spot them in white. Maize weevils can usually fly.
Granary Weevils are cylindrical shaped when compared to rice weevils or maize weevils. These are about 1/5 inch in length. Granary Weevils are quite the same color as rice and maize weevils which are reddish brown to black. Granary Weevils long snouts arise from its head. Granary Weevils larvae have soft, white grubs and they do not carry any legs as well. Granary Weevils white pupae are quite similar to the ones you find in rice weevils and in the maize weevils.
Granary Weevils cannot fly. Hence, they will stay enclosed to where they infest. The adults of Granary Weevil’s life span are about 8 weeks. During this time, the female Granary Weevils can lay about 200 eggs.
Rice weevils are just about 1/6 inch in length. The adult Rice weevils tend to look in dull reddish brown to black color. Moreover, they also consist of four red, yellow spots on their back. Rice weevil larvae are soft and consist of white grubs.
They do not have legs as well. Rice weevils’ pupae look similar to adults as they have long snouts. Those snouts are also white. They can fly and their life span would be around five months. Besides, their female Rice weevil can lay about 400 eggs during their lifespan.
Weevils can infest pasta as well as sugar. They will infest the sugar when you store them in the pantry and if the weevils are already there, they can infest the sugar as well. They will feed on sugar as well. They are small, slender and tend to take an oval shape. In terms of the sizes, they would be about 1/8 to ¼ inch in size. You can identify the sugar weevils from their long snout, and they would be the same length as their whole body.
Flour weevils are not the real weevils, and many people identify them as red flour beetles. They have got the name called flour weevils as you can mainly find them in places which are closer to the flour. They would be about 3-4 mm in size. Further Flour weevils tend to take a metallic appearance as they have got a tint of their outer covering. They tend to take an oval shape. Besides they consist of two pairs of wings as well.
Flour weevils can depend on nuts, cereals and even on the dried fruits. Moreover, once they perish, Flour weevils Produce foul smells and they could even damage the dry food in your housse.
Is it safe to eat pasta with weevils?
As explained right in the beginning of the article, it is safe to eat pasta infested with weevils despite the famous belief. You can eat any of the weevils infested and they will not create any ill effects for you. If you bake the weevil infested food items , it will be safer for you to eat them. However, I do not recommend doing this and instead you need to dispose them and try to overcome their menace as soon as possible.
How Do I Know If There Are Weevils in My Pasta?
You can usually spot the weevils by simply observing your pasta. You can spot them as tiny black or brown colored bugs. They belong to the beetle family of insects and you may come across them worldwide. However, you could commonly spot them in heavy grain growing regions. The weevils in pasta may tend to take a cylindrical or a pear shape. Furthermore they will carry a pronounced snout as well. Besides you could spot them carrying antennae or feelers.
There are so many varieties of weevil which can live for about 2-4 months. During this time, they can lay about 200-500 eggs.
You can find them in both living plants and processed food such as in your pasta. Weevils are considered pests as they infest packaged food, and they could damage a huge amount of food in a short period of time.
How to get rid of weevils in pasta?
- You need to keep all your pastas and the food items boxed in the freezer for a couple of days. That will kill any eggs or larvae remaining inside.
- You need to keep your dry items such as pasta stored in airtight containers.
- Apart from that, you can place bay leaves in your pantry as they are a deterrent to weevils.
- Besides, I recommend avoiding buying the pastas in larger quantities if you do not eat them on a regular basis.
- Besides, you need to ensure that you are keeping the pantry clean so that weevils cannot reach your food.
- Next you need to remove them if you find them in your pantry as well.
- Ideally you need to remove all the open packages of food in your pantry. Best is to dispose of them.
- Next empty the pantry and clean it to ensure that there are no weevils left in the pantry so that it will not allow the weevils to reach the pasta from the pantry.
- You can either vacuum or sweep the shelves in the pantry. Get rid of all the debris once you complete everything. If you have used a vacuum, you need to change the bag as well.
How to prevent weevils in pasta
- I recommend storing the pasta in sealed plastic or metal containers. If you store them in cardboard containers, they can bore holes in them.
- Further when you freshly purchase them you need to inspect them deeply as well. Moreover, as aforesaid, you can store them in the freezer for about two days’ time and then use.
- Ensure that you regularly clean the pantry including all the pantry cracks, crevices, and shelves.
- Moreover, you can consider placing a bag of black pepper to repel weevils.
Are weevils harmful
Weevils do not create any ill effects for humans. Hence it is okay if you eat them accidentally.
However, what will really happen is that they may add a different crunch to your food when you ingest them. You will not find the food taste appealing when there are weevils. When it comes to agricultural context only, they will create most damage. Hence, they are considered as dangerous. The crops such as corn, grain cotton could be the biggest victims of the weevils.
How do bugs get into sealed packages
They usually reach the cardboard and plastic containers by using their sharp jaws and make tiny punctures there. The female weevil creates a hole in the seed and places an egg inside. Next they seal up the opening and leave the egg.
How do you confirm whether there are any weevils present in the flour?
You can place the flour on the wire strainer to spot if there are any weevils present. It is somewhat difficult to spot these. However, you could spot them as sand in a white background if they are present in the flour. Furthermore, you can place the flour evenly on a flat tray and see whether there are any uneven sections there. If you could spot any, it could be due to a movement of the weevils. Next you can rub your fingers with flour and see whether there is any smell coming out.
Further if you could feel any sticky feel, it could also be due to dead weevil.
Weevils in flour and how to get rid of them
First and foremost, the best thing you could do is to leave the flour packets in the freezer for a few days once you freshly purchase them. That will kill the larvae and eggs and it will stop any potential further infestation. Next you may place them in a regular place.
Besides, you can leave the flour exposed to sunlight so that the weevil will crawl out of the flour. Weevils do not tolerate direct sunlight or the excess heat. Instead, they prefer to have dark, shaded and humid places. Hence when you expose them to direct sunlight, you can get rid of the weevils.
Can weevils survive cooking?
No High heat will kill them. But If you consume weevil infested cooked food, you can guarantee there will be no food contamination.
What happens if a dog eats weevil infested pasta
They will not create any harm for your dogs in general. However, you would commonly find them in dried dog food. It us best to avoid weevil infested food.