How to Get Rid of Weevils

Save money and try these time-tested methods to get weevils out of your home without having to call an exterminator.
Written by Shannon Martin
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Anyone can find weevils in their pantry, kitchen cabinets, and food storage containers. The best way to prevent a weevil infestation is by not bringing home any boxed or bagged food that looks open, dented, or crushed from the grocery store. You can get rid of weevils in your home on your own, but it will take patience and meticulous cleaning. 
We here at
are big fans of
Volkswagen Beetles
and The Beatles, but there is one beetle that makes even us squeamish— the Weevil Beetle. There are over 95,000 species of weevils, and the most common ones are the rice and wheat weevils that like to feed on rice, flour, corn, and raw grains. 
If you see these tiny bugs in your home, the odds are they are everywhere in your cabinet. While Jerry is the
super app
famous for saving customers money on their
, and
homeowners insurance
, we also know a thing or two about keeping your home protected. So we put together this guide to everything you need to know about getting rid of weevils without paying for an exterminator and how to stop it from happening again. 

How to get rid of weevils

Most people will not know that there is a weevil infestation in their home until they are cooking and notice tiny dots moving around in their rice or flour (Gross, we know!). If this happens to you, don't panic. Getting rid of weevils is simple and cheap, albeit time-consuming. 

Getting rid of weevils in your home

  • Start by going through every package of food in your cabinets. Weevils don't stay put, if you see them in one box of rice, odds are they are in the flour and pasta, too. You can try to salvage any infested foods or just throw them away—if you can stomach it. Put the food in the freezer for 72 hoursor heat it in the oven at 140F for 20 minutes. Then you can pick the carcasses out of the food and repackage it. 
  • Toss out any cardboard packaging and either leave any uninfected food in the airtight bags it came in or put it in glass storage containers. Weevils eat through cardboard packaging and hide their lava in the grains
  • Clean your pantry, and we mean deep clean! Empty the shelves and vacuum every nook and cranny with the upholstery attachment from your vacuum cleaner. 
  • Empty the vacuum canister outside and soak it in bleach. If your vacuum has a bag, put it in the outside garbage can immediately
  • Wipe the shelves down with hot water and disinfectant, then spray white vinegar to kill off any remaining weevils.
  • Clean any remaining cans or bags before putting them back. (Clorox-type wipes would be perfect for this part).

Do you need an exterminator? 

No, while there are exterminator services available for weevil infestations, the situation would have to be extreme to justify the cost. The average price for one-time extermination is about$175, and you would still need to do the deep cleaning yourself. We suggest attempting it yourself before calling in a professional. 
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How to tell if you've got a weevil problem

Unfortunately, you won't know of your weevil problem until you see them in your food or kitchen cabinets. They are incredibly hard to see—only 2-3 mm long—so you will probably only notice them when you see several tiny things moving about. Weevils are attracted to flour and grains, and their larva will blend in with your food. 

Why should you worry about just a few weevils? 

Weevils have a reproduction volume that makes wild bunnies jealous, with females laying up to 400 eggs in their lifetime. So if you only see a few, you may have hundreds now—and you will have thousands in a few days. 
The good news is that weevils do not carry diseases, destroy furniture, or disrupt the integrity of your home. Still, getting rid of weevils immediately should be a top priority.

What attracts weevils to your home 

Nothing! That's right, it's not you, it's them! Weevils make their way to your kitchen via the grocery store or food processing and packaging center
Since weevils eat through cardboard, once one contaminated product is packed up and shipped off, the whole lot is infested by the time it hits your grocery store shelves. 

Safe ways to prevent a weevil infestation

While you can't control what happens in the food processing center, there are ways to prevent or at least minimize a weevil infestation.

How to keep weevils out of your home

These are the best ways to prevent weevils from becoming unwanted house guests:
  • Check your food packaging while at the store: Don't bring any packages with rips or tears. Even if it seems like just a small hole, this is the #1-way weevils enter your home. 
  • Get rid of unnecessary cardboard: Transfer food to glass storage containers when possible. If you need to keep food in cardboard or plastic bags, ensure they are tightly sealed. 
  • Use herbs around your kitchen to ward off weevils: Bay leaves are the best herb to use all over your kitchen. You add a few leaves inside glass or cardboard storage, in kitchen drawers, and in cabinets. Other popular herbs for weevil prevention are cloves, peppercorn, and rosemary. Simply make a few little sachels full of your herb of choice from cheesecloth, and stash them around your kitchen. 

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As gross as it seems, weevils are not harmful to you. Like meat or tofu, cooked weevils are safe to eat and an excellent protein source. Surprisingly they also contain iron, zinc, and amino acids. We aren't advocating a weevil diet by any means, just know that if you accidentally digest a few, the only side effect may be a little extra pep in your step.
Absolutely not! Your house could be squeaky clean from top to bottom, and you can still get weevils. It is not a reflection on you or your domestic capabilities. However, it can be a sign that your grocery store isn't taking proper precautions. If this happens to you more than once, change stores and think about calling the health department. It may be time for your grocery store to have a surprise inspection.
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