Weevils, Weevils Everywhere

I remember my grandmother in North Carolina complaining about weevils all the time. Despite her lamenting that there were weevils everywhere I never saw one. Not, of course, until I moved to Texas.* I don’t know if they love warmth or humidity or what but this past year we have been taken over by weevils.  They are tiny little squiggly bugs that are especially fond of grains. So basically they eat everything in your house but pure sugar. They even climb into air fresheners and my wheat grinder!

I have gotten out the airtight bin that I keep oats in only to find it crawling with weevils. Same for the hot cocoa, spaghetti and dried lentils. It has been starting to chip away at my sanity.

Last month I went to make a lemon truffle pie. It’s my very favorite pie and requires the crust to be blind-baked first. My little trick for pre-baking an empty crust is to use an oven-safe bag filled with rice. After 15 minutes of baking I remove the bag of rice and continue to bake the crust til it’s golden brown. It works super well and I always reuse the same bag of rice since it’s never eaten. I’m sure you can guess what the bag looked like when I pulled it out of the cupboard.

weevils rice

Weevils all throughout! After throwing up in my mouth I checked to make sure there were no weevils on the outside of the bag. There weren’t, so being the pragmatic person that I am I decided to use the bag of rice anyway. A nice trip through a 375° oven should murder them all.**

Wrong. So, so wrong.

After being in the oven for 15 minutes they were still crawling all over the place!  WHAT???? How is that even possible? These stupid things are worse than cockroaches.

We tried bug-bombing the house.

Failure.

We tried spraying some sort of bug killer all around the baseboards.

Failure.

So I got out the no-pest strip. It says it is only for using in non-habited places: attics and empty rooms and such. Faced with the choice between a pantry crawling with bugs and harmful poison I did what any self-respecting American would do. I went for the poison.

I left the no-pest strip in the pantry for 24 hours. Voilà! Dead weevils everywhere! We’ll probably all develop cancer now or perhaps grow a third arm. But I can at least use that third arm to kill more weevils.

 

*For almost three years we had no weevils. But they started showing up after I bought some dried beans at Walmart. Seeing as how both weevils and Walmart are of the devil, that only makes sense.

**Putting stuff in the freezer also kills weevils. But I can’t exactly fit every item in my kitchen into the freezer so that option is a little impractical.

| Filed under Bad Things, Yuck

35 thoughts on “Weevils, Weevils Everywhere

  1. I think you only need 24 hours in the freezer, right? So rotate your stuff through. And make sure to put anything you buy in the freezer first!

    We had the dreaded pantry moth. The bug guy told me to soak a QTip in vinegar and run it along all the crevices at the sides of the cabinet and pantry shelves. But I still can’t bear to eat raisins much.

  2. I had weevils last year. So annoyed. Pretty much had to throw away my entire pantry. After a week of still finding them in my empty pantry, I had pest control come out. They sprayed some type of spray in there, I sealed up all the holes in my pantry and then put out bay leaves – not sure if that’s an old wives tale or not, but I hear they don’t like bay leaves. So I have spread out on all my shelves. Haven’t seen them since, knock on wood. Prettty sure I got them from walmart too.

  3. If you had just bought those beans from Target there never would have been any weevils because everyone knows they are straight from the Lord Jesus Himself.

  4. What a pain in the patootie! I hope you can get rid and keep rid of them. Ugh. (I would have baked them too.) Post the recipe for your lemon truffle pie, it sounds delicious.

  5. This is a timely post for me. I just spent yesterday afternoon throwing out 2 UNOPENED sacks of flour after going to make cookies and discovering they were both full of weevils! I’ve lived here for 11 years and hadn’t seen one until this summer! Now they are everywhere – my rice, my flour, my oats, my shelves. It is driving me batty. JL finally got tired of hearing me whine and sent me this link earlier today on how to kill them once and for all: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-prevent-get-rid-of-grai-140955

    I now have my grains (as much as I can fit) in my freezer. Although, after reading that you COOKED yours and they survived, I’m doubting my methods.

  6. How frustrating!! I would be pulling my hair out. I’ve only had weevils once or twice in my flour, and I always throw it out because it’s gross.

    I remember one time my parents got something moth-infested from Maceys and we had moths for YEARS. As in when we wanted, say, a box of mac and cheese, we had to dump the contents out on a plate first to make sure it wasn’t infested. Otherwise you boil the pasta and little maggot shells float to the top… EW. There wasn’t much we could do for it except slowly throw the stuff away. My mom had some sort of moth trap that worked like a fly strip that she kept in the pantry. Ugh. We lost so much food that way.

    I don’t know how a bug strip works, but I’m glad you killed the infestation! You should write a post one year from now and let me know if the poison had any side effects on you. 😉

  7. First time to your blog and it’s great. But I must let you know that those are not weevils. They are red flour beetles. We fought them all summer in our pantry and they are finally gone. But, it was exhausting and a major undertaking. We emptied the contents of out pantry onto an old sheet and slowly and methodically threw away anything that was not factory sealed. (About a third of our pantry). Then we put everything else: crackers, chips, rice, etc. into ziploc bags, Rubbermaid containers or glass jars. I washed all my pantry shelves with vinegar and recaulked all gaps. I told you this was major! We watched our empty pantry shelves for a week to see if any more bugs would appear. In the meantime, I found their source. They were living in a block of rodent bait in the laundry room cabinet on the other side of the pantry wall. Ugh. Looks like we got rid of them finally. Keeping my fingers crossed. (I’m Claire’s mom, by the way. Sorry you’re going through this.)

  8. I saw some weevil things in my flour once, I didn’t know what they were til I asked Twitter. I think I just dumped some of the flour out and used a little bit that didn’t seem to have them in it.

    See, this is why I don’t cook.

  9. I found weevils(never knew the name of them till this weekend after researching on the net re my horrible experience of which I’ll tell later) in a bag of lentils about 2 months ago when I opened them–eeek!! Got rid of them in the trash, of course. Vowed not to eat or buy that color lentils again!!!:)
    Now, last week, I noticed an irritating, excruciating itch in my scalp and thought must be bugs in the hair–not really–or my imagination. Well when I washed my hair on schedule, the weekend…thinking it was just my imagination thinking about a friend I heard about recently who had scabies simply made me itch–just thinking about it!!! Well low and behold, when I washed my hair, I noticed BUGs as I was combing after rinsing in the hair that had fallen out and knotted up (that parts not unusual) but the bugs ARE—I shieked and got jittery–after identifying the critters via internet and my recall of veevils in the lentils. This is horrible, just horribe–washed my hair again, the next day…still itching scalp and found more–what can I do? I bought brown vinegar and woke up at midnight to wash my hair in it…Still more weevils and I’m sitting here typing as can feel them crawling in my shower capped scalp! Wondering what to do and I ran across this web– as should I get my hair shaved? Is this why so many of my church members wear wigs in this hot weather here in Panama, CA–they’re baled inderneath!! Seriously–everything’s going through my mind with this delima…By the way, when I went to Belize to volunteer in an orphanage last year, I contracted lice unawares that some of the children had them and stupidly used same comb which I used to comb their hair. Got ride of the lice after about 3 months attempting –UUKK!!! Now this!! Anyone similar experience with info to help??? Please inform!!! Thanks much in advance and God may bless us all!!

    1. I have to believe it’s actually lice. I mean it’s not like you’ve got food in your hair and bugs wouldn’t live where there’s not food. Try not to set your hair on fire because you’re so grossed out! I’m doing a tutorial next week on getting rid of lice but in the mean time look up the cetaphil method. It should get rid of any creepy crawlies. Good luck!

  10. I remember having weevils in our flour and stuff in Michigan, don’t you? To this day, 20 years later!, I still eye my flour suspiciously as I pour it from the measuring cup into my recipes. I can’t help it. Too many years of expecting to find weevils! Thank goodness they don’t live here in Utah.

  11. I found this site after doing a Google search for “weevils in my dried beans” What I have aren’t weevils, finally got up the nerve to look a bug pictures – found the weevils but not the little worms that I found. (I saw 2) I worry there are more worms that I haven’t spotted I’ve lost my appetite now and on the verge of just throwing out the beans.
    Living in Hawaii has taken some getting use to – Cockroaches ants and geckos. When we first arrived I saw a cockroach in the silverware drawer. My silverware is now stored in canisters 0n the counter. Anyone had little worms in dried beans?

  12. i had a weevil problem a while ago. I cleaned everything out and they went away for a while but they came back in a few weeks. I searched the web for solutions on how to get rid of them and came across a product called Weevil Away. They have these little adhesive sticky pads that have a natural/organic solution on them. They repel the weevils which sounded like a great idea to me. I’d rather repel them in the first place rather than wait for them to show up and then try to get rid of them. I stuck one in every one of my cupboards and hoped for the best. The smell is fantastic and it’s been almost a year and still no weevils. Love this stuff!

      1. Hey Hildie, i got them off of their website weevilaway.com. I just sent some to my daughter in Va for her pantry moth problem =)

  13. We had a family of birds nest in our attic recently. We had them evicted and had the bathroom fan vent they’d lived in disinfected. Unfortunately the birds fed on weevils so I now have them in my home. I’ve only killed like 18 of them over a couple weeks, but to see them in non-food areas is freaky. I sent a pic to a “what bug is this” website and they said definitely weevil. My attic access is no where near my master bath. I have two feet of blown insulation and no floor in my attic so I can’t physically get to where the darn bugs entered. There’s no human food in the attic but all I read says these guys are eating machines. Am I totally in for an infestation or is there a chance they’ll just die off? Any one else have any ideas?

    1. Poor You! I’m a huge fan of the No-Pest strips that they sell at Home Depot and Lowes. They’re meant for places like attics where humans don’t spend much time. Once they’re in your food, though, all bets are off. As far as eating machines, are you serious??? Eeeek!

      1. I had a bag of corn in my laundry room/sewing room to make corn heat packs…I did not know about weevils, but NOW I DO! I immediately got rid of the corn but I am finding them all over my house now! What do I do!?!

  14. I have them in my car, this is the 2nd car of ours that has gotten them. The car has been to pest control twice now, still have them. They are really resistant. They said they came in because I had cat food in my car for stray cats I feed. No good dead I guess…

  15. So after seeing your picture and reading all these comments I’m guessing I have these weevils too here in my Brooklyn apartment. I first spotted them years ago in my bedroom. I believe it was warmer when I first spotted them and then they pretty much disappeared. I Discovered them again after I had my dog again in my bedroom (which has carpet btw) I thought they were fleas but considering I had them prior to the dog I ruled fleas out. Now the other day I spotted one on the bed randomly and today I go in the pantry and killed 3. I went to make pancakes as a midnight snack and after my second scoop of Pancake mix I notice a black object in my mix (yuck) however, I scooped it out so quick and flushed it down the sink. I decided to look at the bag of pancake mix and see a couple black spots so I tossed it. I really wanted my pancake so I tell myself it won’t kill me and finish making/eating it but I’m grossed out the entire time. I just want to know if these creeps pose a threat to the dog like maybe they’re cousins to the pesky fleas or something like that…

    1. Dana, as gross as those weevils are, I doubt they’d harm your dog. We have a dog and a cat and they don’t seem to be bothered at all by the weevils. We haven’t found any sorts of pests on them.

      I totally feed my kids food if there are a couple of weevils. But I won’t eat it myself. Nice parenting, huh?

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