What Are Weevils and How Did They Get Into My Pantry?
Pests are a nuisance, and to add insult to injury, they're very hard to get rid of, especially once they multiply and spread across the home. Weevils are no exception. These pesky creatures are a type of beetle that have several species and occur in a wide range of colors and body shapes. Common weevils that invade homes include the grain weevil, rice weevil, bean weevil and strawberry root weevil. Weevils can wreak havoc on your home in a variety of ways. For one, they can kill garden plants. Like other pests, weevils can find their way into your home from the yard. Once inside, they tend to feed on grains and starches like rice, flour, pasta and cereals. It's never good for weevils to get into any of these food products because they contaminate the food with their feces and cast skins. This causes more damage to your stored food than their actual presence.
Weevil Common Entry Points
Some homeowners may not notice Granary & Rice Weevil while they're outdoors. They often blend in with the environment and look like any other insect. It's when they get inside that most homeowners notice because they're usually gathering in great numbers. When they find a new home to infest, they often gather on the sides of the home and move into the cracks and gaps that lead inside.
Granary and rice weevils, in particular, don't just feed on grains and rice, but they also feed on nuts, beans, seeds, and corn. In some cases, they may already be in your food before you even opened it. That's because eggs laid by female weevils aren't visible to the naked eye. Plus, they tend to be very small, which makes them virtually impossible to see if you're not looking carefully. When this happens, a female weevil chews a hole into a seed or grain kernel and deposits an egg inside. Then, she seals up the opening and leaves the egg behind. After this, the egg hatches inside the grain or seed. Until it's fully grown, the larva feeds on the meat inside. When the weevil becomes an adult, it eats its way out of the grain/seed.
Female weevils emit pheromones. As a result, males can sense her and will be waiting outside the hole for her to emerge. Then, they'll mate with the female to reproduce. If you don't detect weevils in your pantry for a while, hatched eggs can multiply quickly once matured into adulthood.
How to Prevent and Get Rid of a Weevil Infestation
Place weevil-infested rice and grains into the freezer, which will kill them due to the extreme cold. Let it stay in the freezer for about three days. Remove the grain from your freezer and put it back in your pantry like normal.
You can also prevent weevils from contaminating food by making sure you wipe your storage shelves clean. Also, store grains in airtight containers after bringing them home. One neat trick is to keep a few herbs on the shelves near your grains. Bay leaves, cloves, black peppercorns and garlic cloves have very strong scents and can work wonders in keeping weevils at bay.
A great way to keep weevils away from your food is to make sure they can't enter your home. Check outside for any openings they can use to get inside. Look around your windows and doors for missing caulk. Furthermore, be sure to check attic vents and crawl space vents for torn screens. These are common entry points weevils and other pests use to get into your home. If they're properly sealed, you can significantly decrease the chances of infestation.
If your home is infested with weevils and none of the above tips will work for you, don't hesitate to call an exterminator. A professional has the knowledge and tools to get rid of various pests.