Small and discreet, the weevil is an insect that is not dangerous to our health, but which tends to settle in our pantry without being invited. It is indeed far from welcome since it nests in cereal product packages to lay its eggs. The larvae feed there and develop quietly out of sight until they become adults and more visible. Unfortunately, it is often already too late and the invasion is already a reality. Here are our tips for effectively getting rid of weevils.
The weevil: who is he?
The weevil (Sitophilus oryzae) is a small black insect that measures between 2 and 4 mm. This small beetle is rather long with a flat back. Discreet, he settles in the cupboards in search of cereals, often brought without our knowledge by a package badly closed during its manufacture or ajar in store. It is a miniature beetle with six legs and a trunk that is easily recognizable, unlike its larva, which is white and common. We are only talking about the black cupboard weevil here, but there are also red weevils that live, for their part, in our gardens. In reality, these are only examples, as there are between 50,000 and 200,000 species of weevils around the world.
The weevil is attracted to cereals, rice, pasta, chickpeas, lentils or dried beans of all colors because it reproduces there. The female pierces the grain, lays an egg in it and plugs the hole. When the larva hatches, it burrows inside the grain until it breaks free. Perfectly invisible, this discreet insect is often already present in packages when you buy them in stores and develops there in peace before colonizing your entire closet.
If their presence is unpleasant, weevils do not present a danger to our health. We can even ingest their larvae without risk, they are edible. However, some rare allergic reactions have been reported, but these seem to be due to the ingestion of their once moldy droppings. In any case, we advise you to throw in an airtight bag the infested cereal packets.
How to get rid of weevils?
If weevils have invaded your cupboard, you will notice it more or less quickly. However, if in doubt, you can shake your cereal packets. These insects do not appreciate shocks and will come out after a few moments in search of a safer shelter.
Here are our solutions to eliminate the weevils that settle in your cupboards.
Weevils fear the cold. To eliminate them, put the provisions that interest them in well sealed jars and place them in the refrigerator. No need to lower the temperature, it is enough that it makes less than 10°C so that they stop developing. You can then eliminate the visible individuals.
By cooking your pasta, rice, lentils, dried beans, and any grains that attract them, you will also boil the weevils in them. Once dead, they rise to the surface. All you have to do is pick them up with a skimmer. You can then taste your preparation insofar as they are not dangerous, except in the event of allergy to their excrements.
The big cleaning
To get rid of the weevils that have invaded your products in your cupboards; you need to do a thorough cleaning to get rid of everything. Remove all products and containers from there. Throw away all those that are contaminated or at risk of being contaminated by pouring them directly into an airtight (or even lined) trash bag that you will immediately throw away from home.
Empty your cupboards and vacuum them thoroughly. Also think about all the nooks and crannies around. Vacuum the floor, baseboards, under furniture, etc. Then dispose of the vacuum bag in a tightly closed trash bag.
Invest in airtight containers
This solution is above all preventive, but it can be very effective in avoiding weevils or limiting their spread. Place any grain products that attract them in airtight containers such as glass jars. In this way, you will prevent insects from entering it. If by chance larvae were already there, you would prevent them from circulating from one package to another and colonizing your cupboards. All you have to do is throw the contents of the jar in an airtight garbage bag and throw it away immediately.