How to Get Rid of Weevils Naturally

What Are Weevils and How Do You Get Them?

what are weevils and how do you get them

Weevils are beetles that love munching on the dry goods in your pantry. They also infest plants, making them a nuisance for farmers. Scientists estimate that more than 60,000 weevil species exist, with many weevils named after the food they like eating the most.

Some examples of weevil species include:

  • Rice weevil
  • Black vine weevil
  • Granary weevil
  • Bean weevil
  • Flour weevil

Luckily, you can figure out how to get rid of weevils naturally using the same techniques, regardless of the species.

What Are Weevils Attracted to?

Dry food—particularly grain and flour—attracts both baby and adult weevils. For this reason, people often call them flour bugs or rice bugs. Examples of yummy foods that weevils like include:

  • Oats
  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Barley

How Do You Get Rid of Weevils Naturally?

how do you get rid of weevils naturally
Weevils are pantry pests, so you can’t spray an insecticide where you store your food to wipe them out. Some ways to get rid of weevils include spreading bay leaves or setting traps.

1. Temperature

Freezing is one of the most effective techniques to kill weevils and their eggs. Leave the weevils in the freezer for a minimum of four days. If you have grains, you can heat them at 140 degrees Fahrenheit for the same results.

2. Use Airtight Containers

To prevent weevils from accessing your dry food after treating them with temperature, place the food in thick airtight containers. Weevils can chew through plastic and cardboard, so other materials like tin and hard plastics are ideal.

3. Vacuuming and Cleaning

Crumbs from food are common in pantries, and they’ll cause weevils to return. Therefore, set up a regular schedule to clean your pantry. Vacuuming with a hose is ideal because you can get the crumbs out of even the tiniest crevices.

4. Bay Leaves

Bay leaves taste great to us, but weevils thankfully hate them. So, put some bay leaves in the containers where you store your dried food. They shouldn’t change the taste, but you can also try setting them around the containers instead.

5. Diatomaceous Earth

It’s a hard word to pronounce, but diatomaceous earth kills weevils by getting beneath their exoskeletons. The dirt then dries them to death, thanks to fossilized diatoms. It’s best only to use diatomaceous earth if you have a case of outdoor root weevils.

6. Pheromone Traps

Like humans, certain pheromones attract weevils. So, pheromone traps are an effective way to lure weevils into a device that will kill them. You can use these traps both in pantries and in fields.

What Are the Signs of a Weevil Infestation?

what are the signs of a weevil infestation

Pesky pantry weevils leave plenty of signs that they’re present. For starters, take a good look at your food through a clear plastic bag. Weevils grow up to 0.25 inches long, so they’re visible to the naked eye.

You’ll also be able to see powder at the bottom of infested food bags. Finally, you may see small holes in boxes or plastic bags, as weevils have strong jaws to chew through them.

How Long Does It Take to Get Rid of Weevils?

how long does it take to get rid of weevils

You can expect it to take several days to get rid of adult weevils and their larvae if you freeze them. Sometimes, the best solution is to throw out infected food and start over, using the strategies about how to get rid of weevils naturally as a prevention method.

Can Weevils Get Into Sealed Packages?

can weevils get into sealed packages

As pantry bugs, weevils can quickly get into sealed packages, assuming they’re cardboard or soft plastic. Therefore, if you have stored grain or other dry foods that you keep in their box, it’s best to move them to weevil-proof containers.

James Marshall
About the author

James is a business management professional and consultant with a former background in maintenance, repair, and hands-on projects. He enjoys DIY tasks and maintenance around the home as well as part-time writing. Read more »