Weevils have been the subject of controversy for many decades. While some may only know about weevils from folks songs or from tales told by older members of their family, there is a sector of the population that deals with weevils on a regular basis.
Weevils are small beetles that thrive in the seeds of grain. They appear when they break out of the seed and can create real problems in a package of food. There are some ways to avoid the weevil problem and/or get rid of weevils.
These little pests don’t do well in cold temperatures, so you can help get rid of weevils by putting food items in the freezer for several days. If the weevil larvae are dormant inside the seed casing they will die and can’t break out. Foods such as rice, corn meal and flour can be treated in this manner.
If you don’t want to freeze some items, such as cereals, crackers and cookies, you can try closing them in a zip-lock plastic bag. This will keep weevils from infesting the items and prevent the spread of the problem.
You may have to clean the cabinets and pantry thoroughly to get rid of all weevils. This means taking all the items out and cleaning right down to the bare shelves. If you see weevils, put the item in a plastic bag, tie it up and take it outside to a closed trash container immediately. As you go through this cleaning process, make sure your freeze or seal various food items as mentioned earlier.
Toss It Out
If there is any doubt about weevil infestation throw the food items away. Vacuum your pantry and cabinets thoroughly to get rid of any individual weevils that may be hanging about. If your vacuum doesn’t have a bag that you can throw away, clean the hopper outside. Be sure to rinse it completely before putting it back in the vacuum cleaner.
If you have cleared all the food items from the cabinets and pantry, and vacuumed completely, it’s time to wash those shelves and sidewalls down with hot water and soap. Take your time and clean out all the corners and hard-to-reach places. Rinse all the surfaces.
When the pantry and cabinets are clean and empty you may need to use an insecticide that is designed to kill weevils. Ask your store manager or owner about this so you get the correct product. Spray all the surfaces well and close the doors so the chemical is confined in the closed space. After several hours you can start to put the items back on the shelves. You should be free of weevils unless there is a food package that brings them back again.
Weevils that cause the most problems for homeowners are rice weevils and granary weevils. The names give us some indication of the problems they can cause. These pests are very small so we may have difficulty seeing them. You will have to be extremely careful when you think you might have a weevil problem.