Weevil, don’t skimp out! Take action! These house insects and their larvae can cause considerable damage, not only to dry food stores, but also to the garden and the materials that make up your home. They can attack plants in the kitchen garden. Some are very fond of damp wood and lodge in the beams of buildings. That is why it is imperative to exterminate them as quickly as possible.

rice weevil photo, Associated Exterminators

What is a weevil?

This insect pest of the order of beetles attacks cereals. The weevil can cause considerable damage to foodstuffs, plants and wooden structures of buildings.

Most people confuse them with moths. These are little black house insects that are often seen in the kitchen, especially in cereals, especially in packets of rice and more.

Their larvae are particularly damaging. They look like little worms. The adult female pierces the grains of rice to lay an egg inside, which she then replugs with its secretions. In this way, the larva has enough to ensure its subsistence during its development. The female lays up to 10 eggs per day (for a maximum of 250 eggs per insect).
These house insects can be recognized by the following distinctive signs:

  • Maximum length of 3.18mm or 1/8 inch. They are perfectly visible to the naked eye.
  • Rusty-brown, black, sometimes red. The insect contrasts widely in the bags of rice.
  • The weevil has six legs, its back is flattened. Its overall shape is elongated. It is recognized by its long rostrum (oral organ).
  • There are several species present in Quebec: rice ( Sitophilus oryzae ); wheat ( Sitophilus granarius ); corn ( Zeamais sitophilus ); white pine or spruce ( Strobi pissodes )
  • This insect easily penetrates inside paper, cardboard and cellophane packaging.
  • It infests crops, grain elevators, bakeries, food stores, etc.
  • This house insect is fond of an array of dry foods like rice and grains, cookies, cereals, flour, spices, pasta, cake mixes, etc.
  • With a very long life cycle of 3 years, the larva and the insect cause damage.
  • This insect is sensitive to drying out. It prefers dark places and its activity is mainly nocturnal.

Photo parasite management of house insects

What are the signs of infestation?

There is probably an infestation if you observe the following clues:

  • You notice whitish “C” shaped, wrinkled larvae in rice and other grains like wheat and corn.
  • Look closely at the grains of rice. You should see visible holes and grains have been hollowed out.
  • The breathing of several small black house insects should cause condensation inside the dry food bags. This moisture could develop mold on the products.
  • You notice the presence of dark adult insects in bags of processed cereal such as cookies, pasta or oatmeal.

Better to prevent… than to have unpleasant surprises!

It is better to develop good prevention habits than to have to deal with an infestation of these pests.

  • As soon as food damage occurs, clean it up immediately.
  • Regularly clean your cupboards and pantry. Vacuum and close the garbage bags.
  • Use airtight metal, rigid plastic or glass containers to store your grains of rice, cornmeal and other grain products.
  • Before refilling your containers, take the time to clean them thoroughly and dry them.
  • If you find larvae, boil the grain to kill the insects before discarding the infested food.
  • Around the pantry, patch any cracks in the baseboards and walls.
  • Dehumidify, as the larvae seek moisture.

In conclusion

Contrary to what most people think, throwing contaminated food in the garbage is not enough to get rid of a problem with these pests. In fact, it will make the situation worse! Use the services of Associated exterminators to intervene with effective solutions for the final elimination of an infestation.