Weevil extermination and control

Have you experienced the disappointment of reaching for a bag of rice, only to realize it’s full of larvae or flying insects? At Elite Pest Control, we’re clear about how to avoid this: it’s best to prevent the problem before you even have to think about a weevil extermination.

Different weevils like different foods

There are several different kinds of weevil, many of which can be found in houses and food storage areas; each has its own preferred food source. Most are tiny, long-snouted beetles (from 3 mm to 10 mm in length) from the superfamily Curulionoidea.

Here are some kinds you might come across in Quebec:

Rice weevil (Sitophilus oryzae).

This little pest targets wheat, rice and corn. At about 2 mm long, the brownish adult specimens are not hard to see crawling or flying near your stored foods. Females lay eggs by puncturing a hole in a rice grain with their mandibles. They then lay an egg inside and reseal the hole with secretions. The larvae develop inside the grains, hollowing it out as they eat, and then pupating and emerging to reproduce.

Granary weevil (Sitophilus granarius).

Known also as the wheat or grain weevil, this intruder seeks out stored grains such as oats, wheat, rye, barley and even rice and corn. Like the rice weevil, the female chews a hole in a grain and deposits her egg inside.

Maize weevil (Sitophilus zeamais).

This bug resembles the rice weevil and devastates both standing crops and stored grains. It has also been known to infest pasta and stored apples.

White pine weevil (Pissodes strobi).

The white pine weevil  attacks standing trees, specifically the white pine and spruce. Their presence can cause these magnificent trees to wilt or become deformed.

Signs of a weevil infestation

If you suspect weevil pantry invaders, look for these signs:

  • Larvae in rice, grains or flour. Weevil larvae are small enough to fit inside a single grain; they are whitish, wrinkly and C-shaped.
  • Visible holes in grains of rice, corn, wheat berries, etc. Upon close examination, the grain has been hollowed out.
  • Condensation inside bags or containers of dried goods. This moisture is caused by the respiration of large populations of weevils in the food.
  • Bags or containers of grains that are warm or damp to the touch. These conditions can also encourage mould to grow inside closed bags of grains.
  • Adult weevils inside containers or sacks of processed grains such as rolled oats and pasta.

How to prevent the problem

Even though the adult female lays an average of 4 eggs per day, if there’s a significant weevil problem in your house, this could easily amount to hundreds of eggs per week being laid in your sacks of rice or whole grains.

The best way to prevent this scenario is to properly store all foods that attract household pests. Here’s a more complete review of our tried-and-tested tips:

  • Store your flours, rice, whole dried corn, corn meal and other whole and partially milled grains in sealable containers made of metal, glass or hard, food-grade plastic.
  • Wash and dry containers before refiling them.
  • Wash pantry or cupboard shelves on a regular basis.
  • Clean up all spills immediately.

Weevils can be distinguished from the pantry-invading Indian meal moth by the 4 reddish spots on their backs. Also, Indian meal moths leave behind webby clumps in the dried foods they lay their eggs in.

Getting rid of food-eating weevils

Before you go to the trouble of changing your dry staples containers, it’s important to make sure there are no weevils left behind to re-infest your home.

Throw away any potentially infected food products. Seal tightly the garbage bag in which you place them, and deposit it in an outdoors garbage container. If you use a vacuum cleaner during your cleanup, put the vacuum bag in the sealed garbage bag as well.

You can also get rid of rice weevils by freezing infested food for at least 3 days—make sure the temperature is below -17.7 °C.  Heating them to 60°C for at least 15 minutes is also effective.

Hiring a professional pest control service

Although weevils aren’t harmful for humans, they can cause a big mess in your kitchen or basement food stores. If the pest population in your house is out of control, your best option is to bring in a professional pest control company. They will evaluate your situation and suggest an effective way to exterminate the weevils without endangering your health.

Contact Elite Pest Control today for help in keeping your house and yard free of weevils and other pests. We are ready to serve you at many locations throughout Quebec, including Montreal, Laval, Saint-Jérôme, Repentigny, Trois-Rivières, Gatineau, Longueuil and Quebec City.