I am sure you have all opened a box of food from your pantry and have found weevils. They are little black bugs that seem to be everywhere and spread rapidly through your food. They chew through plastic bags and cardboard.
Once they get into a food, the female weevil lays an egg inside a grain kernel. One female weevil can lay up to 250 eggs. The egg then hatches and the larva lives inside and feeds on the kernel for one to five months depending on the weather and time of year.
The full grown weevil then emerges from the kernel to eat and mate.
The foods that you realty need to pay attention to are whole grains, seeds, rice, nuts, dried beans, cereals, corn, and similar foods.
Now of cause the best solution is to store the food correctly so that you do not have a weevil problem. This means store your food in metal cans, glass container, Mylar bags or thick plastic containers, not zip lock type bags, weevils will chew through them.
If you pack grain with weevils in it using metal cans or Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, the lack of oxygen will kill the weevils.
Here are some links on how to store your grains and legumes to prevent the growth of weevils:
But what do you do when TEOTWAWKI has arrived and you open your food and find weevils? You have several choices. First if it is just a few, you have extra protein. I have eaten them on many occasions and so have you.
They are in many commercially processed foods waiting to hatch. The FDA even has an allowance for how many insects parts can be allowed in foods.
If there are more, or you can’t tolerate the thought of consuming weevils. There are a couple of other solutions.
Weevils tend to float, so simply fill a pan of grain with water and wait for them to float to the surface. Do this a couple of times and most of the weevils will be gone.
If the weather is right, spread the grain out in hot bright sun, no more than ½ inch deep. Stir it a couple of times to make sure they are all exposed. The weevils don’t like the sun and will leave on their own.
Putting them in a solar oven and heating to 140 degrees F for 15 minutes will kill weevils.
If you still have power you can place the grain in the freezer. This will kill them if you freeze them at 0 degrees F for 3 days.
The bottom line is that eating weevils wont hurt you, it just extra protein.
4 thoughts on “Weevils in Your Food, How to Deal With It.”
We found this out the hard way. Apparently a bag of rice we had bought was contaminated. We had stored it in 5 gallon buckets (we’re still learning this stuff). Went to get some rice out one day and there were little black bugs everywhere. Didn’t know what they were.
Hubby pulled out the good bags (still vacuum packed). We drowned whatever was in the bucket, then I washed it and rinsed it with bleach.
I assume they were these weevils?
I will check and bookmark your links. Thank you.
Lost 250 lbs of rice a while back. Have 6+ month of freez dried food from MPS all in mylar bags. Hope to hell they can not get into this as this will set me back in lots of money and time. Does anyone know if it is safe?
As the author of this article states, it’s okay to eat dead weevils. It’s actually extra protein. Many U.S. servicemen prisoners of war both in Europe and the Far East were delighted to find weevils in their food as protein was very limited. I wouldn’t throw away stored food merely because of weevils. Use the methods outlined above. If they are in your freeze dried foods, lay it out in the sun from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm in a metal pan. cover the pan with a raised, black colored screen material to protect it from flying and other insects, Leave enough room for the weevils to escape. You can buy colored screening at most hardware stores and big box hardware stores. Three days of sun treatment should convince the weevils that there are better places to reside.
Excess protein is harmful to our health though, because protein contains nitrogen which causes it to break down into harmful acidic substances when broken down in the body. So the protein is all the more reason to not eat bugs.