Kick Pantry Weevils To The Curb With A Few Items You Already Have On Hand

If you've noticed tiny specks in your bags of rice or boxes of cereal, you may be dealing with pantry weevils. These minuscule insects are able to easily burrow their way into your stored food because they are just a couple of millimeters long when fully grown. Though there are thousands of species of weevils, rice, grain, and maize weevils are most commonly found in kitchens. Luckily, you can get rid of them with just a little dish soap, water, and vinegar. Depending on what species you've encountered, these insects will burrow inside flour, pasta, cereal, bread, nuts, fruits, rice, beans, and other stored foods.

While it may be gross to discover tiny bugs crawling all over your food, weevils pose no threat to your or your pet's health, even if you eat a few of the creatures. Weevils primarily become an issue because they destroy processed and packaged foods. Not only do these insects eat your pantry staples, but some species will also make their way inside a piece of food and live in it, consuming it from the inside out and laying their eggs within the grain. To get rid of weevils, you'll need to treat or remove the affected foods and clean your pantry thoroughly.

How dish soap and vinegar can banish weevils

Once you've discovered weevils in your kitchen, the first step toward eliminating them is to remove any item they could be infesting. Keep these packages away from the rest of your food and empty out your cabinets or pantry. Some weevils could be hiding in the dark corners of your food storage space, which is why it's crucial to clean the area. To start, mix 8 tablespoons of dish soap with 8 cups of hot water. Wipe down all the shelves and walls of your pantry or cabinets with the soapy water, which should kill the pesky insects.

If you're worried more weevils may be hiding, try combining ½ cup of white vinegar with 1 cup of hot water in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle to combine the ingredients and spray it liberally over the surfaces in your pantry. Once the weevils are dead, you can vacuum your kitchen to get rid of them once and for all.

Removing weevils from your food

While dish soap and vinegar are great for getting weevils out of your pantry, they cannot be used on affected foods. When you find that a bag of flour or other grains have been infested by these pests, you'll either need to throw out the food or try to salvage it by killing the weevils inside. This can be done by placing the items in the freezer for two days, which will kill the bugs and their eggs. Once the insects are dead, you can attempt to sift them out or ignore them, as they have no negative health impacts if consumed. Skye Blackburn, a food scientist and entomologist, told The Guardian, "It doesn't hurt if you eat them and it's all extra protein ... The average person will eat about a quarter of a kilogram of insects in their diet every year anyway!"

To prevent weevils from infesting your kitchen, keep all stored foods in airtight containers, such as glass jars, and look for small openings in packages when purchasing processed foods. Since these insects can enter homes from purchased products or from outside, it's important to make sure there are no cracks in your space to keep weevils out of your home. If you're experiencing a severe infestation, it may be best to contact pest control professionals.