Weevils in rice, weevils in pasta, weevils in grain – it seems like weevils will feed on just about anything in your kitchen pantry. But where do weevils come from and how can you check for weevils in food?

Destructive pests

The most common types of weevils include the granary weevil, the rice weevil and the maize weevil. They range in color from reddish-brown to black. Both the rice and maize weevil can fly, while the granary weevil cannot. Weevils are some of the most destructive pests to grains and grain products. It is also not uncommon to find weevils in pantry products, making them a particular nuisance to homeowners.

The three weevils listed above have similar appetites. They all have a preference for whole corn, wheat, barley, rice and occasionally pasta. When looking in your pantry for these pests, you might find weevils in flour, cereal, oatmeal and breadcrumbs, in addition to other stored food products.

Weevils and weevil larvae in food

While they might be on the smaller side in size, identifying a weevil infestation is not hard. It takes seed and grain weevils, the type most likely to invade the inside of your home, anywhere from 25 to 35 days to develop from egg to adult, depending on the type of weevil and temperature of the surrounding environment. In the warmer months, a large weevil population can grow quickly. Finding weevil larvae in pantry products, however, can be more of a challenge.

After mating, female weevils chew holes in grain kernels and then deposit their eggs inside. The larva will feed on the inside of the kernel until it becomes fully matured and then chew its way out. For this reason, larvae can be almost impossible for the untrained eye to spot.

When you’ve spotted a weevil

If you have spotted one or two weevils, it is likely that there are more somewhere nearby. To manage an infestation, you should conduct a thorough search of food storage areas by clearing cabinets completely, vacuuming the area, and throwing away any products that appear to contain weevils. If you are not sure whether or not a grain is infested, you can kill weevils by heating the grains to 140 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or placing them in the freezer for at least six days.

Finding weevils in food products can be an unpleasant surprise. When it comes to pests, if you prefer to keep surprise visits to a minimum, call Terminix® and let a pest management professional show any unwanted visitors to the door.