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Weevils in rice

Weevils in rice

Weevils are often found in rice. Their long, distinct snout takes up a third the insect’s length. Altogether, the weevil is very small, approximately 1/10-inch long. It has a dark body, ranging from reddish brown to black and features four light yellow or red spots on its corners. Weevil larvae are much lighter in color; they are usually white with a small head that is beige in color. The larvae have no legs and often remain totally unseen. This is because they hollow out grain kernels and dwell there. Adult weevils burrow into kernels and deposit their eggs inside. The larvae hatch and grow through several stages (instars), even pupation.

Other than rice, weevils can also be found living in cereal grains, oats, corn, rye, barley, and wheat. While they can’t reproduce in grain that is finely processed, they can reproduce in products that have been manufactured—items like noodles, pasta, and cereals that are coated due to heavy moisture.

Sticky traps can be used in a storage unit if there is suspicion of a weevil infestation. Discard those products that have been infested. Insecticides should not be used in food. To control a weevil problem, fumigation is necessary—it will kill both weevil adults and larvae. To kill larvae, heat grains to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Note that this could affect flour’s ability to bake properly if the product has been infested.

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