Small and discreet, the weevil is an insect that is not dangerous for our health, but which tends to settle in our storage cupboards without being invited. It is indeed far from welcome since it nestles in packages of grain products 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 getting rid of weevils effectively.
The weevil: who is it?
The weevil (Sitophilus oryzae) is a small black insect that measures between 2 and 4 mm. This little beetle is rather long with a flat back. Discreet, it settles in the cupboards in search of cereals, often brought without our knowledge by a poorly closed package during its manufacture or partially opened in store. It is a miniature beetle with six legs and a proboscis that is easily recognizable, unlike its larva, white and common. We are talking only about the black cupboard weevil here, but there are also red weevils that live in our gardens. In reality, these are only examples, as there are between 50,000 and 200,000 species of weevils worldwide.
The weevil is attracted to cereals, rice, pasta, chickpeas, lentils and even dried beans of all colors because it reproduces there. The female pierces the grain, deposits an egg and plugs the hole. When the larva hatches, it burrows inside the grain until it is released. Perfectly invisible, this discreet insect is often already present in packages when bought in stores and grows there in peace before colonizing your entire closet.
If their presence is unpleasant, weevils do not pose 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 they seem to be due to ingestion of their moldy droppings. Either way, we recommend that you dispose of the infested cereal packages in an airtight bag.
How to get rid of weevils?
If weevils have invaded your closet, you will notice it more or less quickly. However, if in doubt, you can shake your cereal packets. These insects do not appreciate shock and will come out after a few moments in search of a safer shelter.
Here are our solutions to eliminate weevils that settle in your cupboards.
Weevils dread 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 suffices for it to be less than 10 ° C for them to stop developing. You can then eliminate visible individuals.
By cooking your pasta, rice, lentils, dried beans, and any grains that attract them, you will also be boiling 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 enjoy your preparation as long as they are not dangerous, except in case of allergy to their excrement.
The big cleaning
To get rid of weevils that have invaded your products in your cupboards; you have to do a big cleaning to get rid of everything. Remove all products and containers from there. Throw away any that are contaminated or that may be contaminated by pouring them directly into an airtight (or even doubled) garbage bag that you will immediately throw away away from home.
Empty your cupboards and vacuum them thoroughly. Also think about all the nooks and crannies and surfaces around. Vacuum the floor, baseboards, under furniture, etc. Then dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag in a well closed garbage bag.
Invest in airtight containers
This solution is above all preventive, but it can be very effective in preventing weevils or limiting their spread. Place any grain products that attract them in airtight containers such as glass jars. This will prevent insects from entering it. If by chance larvae were already there, you would prevent them from moving from one package to another and colonizing your cupboards. You just have to throw the contents of the jar in an airtight garbage bag and throw it away immediately.