How to Get Rid of Grain Weevils in Your House

Here, the objective is to discuss how to get rid of grain weevils. The tips and tricks offered here would go a long way in relieving you from these pests’ activity.

Grain weevils can be a headache to farmers as they can destroy grains and extend to your pantry if care is not taken.

Without knowledge of how to effectively control these pests, the problems may only worsen.

Grain Weevil Extermination

This guide covers several relevant points, including the grain beetle types, what attracts them to your pantry, health risks posed by grain weevil presence, the reproductive cycle, and where they come from.

You’ll also find details about the symptoms of grain weevils, prevention techniques, getting rid of grain weevils, and DIY vs. professional assistance.

  • About Grain Weevils

As the name suggests, grain weevils are pests known to cause damage to a variety of stored grains ranging from corn, beans, rice, millet, and the like.

Left unchecked, these weevils can cause significant damage to stored grains. The most common types of grain weevils include wheat weevils, also called granary weevils, rice weevils, and maize weevils.

These winged pests measure about 3 to 5 mm long but cannot fly. A close examination will reveal dots covering the head and neck area.

The larval stage of development is when the most damage is caused to grains. These pests try as much as possible to stay out of sight.

You’ll need to observe closely to spot them or notice their activity.

What Attracts Grain Weevils to Your Pantry?

Grain weevils find their way to your pantry for one purpose: food. Also, the conditions around their feeding area are primarily favorable for reproduction.

With pantries being dark for the most part, grain weevils find them ideal for feeding and reproduction.

Such feeding is closely tied to its reproductive activity as it must chew through grains before depositing its eggs in its kernel.

To eliminate these pests, you must fully understand why they come around your pantry. This way, you can set plans in motion to counter their activities.

You can also make storage areas like your pantry less inviting to these pests. Read on to learn how to implement this preventive strategy.

Health Risks Posed by the Presence of Grain Weevils

Are there health risks posed by grain weevil presence in your pantry?

If so, how serious are such risks? To answer this question, we’ll start by saying no health risks should be tolerated, no matter how little.

In other words, urgent action is needed to protect your family from health risks posed by pests within your home. Now to the answer: weevils pose no health risks to humans.

In other words, these are mostly considered a nuisance as they cause damage to stored grains, but that’s about it. They also don’t cause any bodily harm like bites or stings.

Only crops and stored grains are damaged. For many, these issues are enough to take action against grain weevils, as no one wants their stored produce to be destroyed.

The Reproductive Cycle

You’ll need to understand the grain weevil reproductive cycle to manage an infestation better. This takes a look at their lifespan from egg to adulthood.

Grain weevils will last from 5 to 8 months from the egg to adult stages. The variation in development depends on the type of beetle involved.

During its lifespan, female beetles can lay up to 400 eggs.

As earlier stated, they need grains to lay such eggs. These grain seeds are burrowed or chewed through excavated holes, laying her eggs; the burrowed hole is sealed with special secretions until the eggs hatch.

Upon hatching, the larvae find ready food and begin their feeding action. Recall we mentioned the larval stage is the most destructive. The grain is eventually reduced to its husks.

Where Grain Weevils Come From

Like most pests, grain weevils come from outdoors and primarily seek out moist and warm surroundings. Unfortunately, your home offers such conditions, hence their attraction to it.

This is worsened when grains are improperly stored. Not cleaning your pantry frequently is another reason these pests will come around.

When visiting stores to shop, many people unknowingly introduce grain weevils into their homes when they purchase infested items.

It’s best to buy foods in clear packaging, as these help spot infestations early enough.

Many foods sold may have exceeded their shelf life and damaged packaging, which opens up tiny holes for these pests to get in.

Signs of Grain Weevil Presence 

To combat any pest problem, there needs to be a proper assessment.

This includes knowing the signs to look out for. For grain weevils, common symptoms include damaged or hollow grain kernels, tiny holes in grain packaging, a musty smell, discoloration of affected items, powder-like substance around affected pantry items, and clumping of affected items.

All of these are abnormal and a sign that all isn’t well with your stored items. It’s necessary to take immediate action to tackle the problem.

Luckily, there are several actions to take, including preventive and eliminating these bugs.

Let’s discuss how to get rid of grain weevils from your pantry.

Grain Weevil Prevention Techniques

There are several approaches to the elimination of grain weevils.

One of the most effective is preventing the infestation from happening. If you’ve dealt with weevil infestations in the past, you may want to implement measures that keep them at bay.

The preventive strategy can be implemented as a precautionary measure or after eliminating grain weevils.

You’ll need to inspect grains before purchasing. Also, there’s a need to store the same in tightly sealed containers, which could be plastic, metal, or glass.

Throw in tiny bags of black pepper within your pantry as it drives them away. You may also want to purchase grains in small or manageable quantities to ensure they don’t stay too long before use.

Getting Rid of Grain Weevils

As mentioned earlier, there are multiple ways to deal with grain weevil infestation in the pantry. Some of the best strategies include using insecticide and thorough cleanup of pantry area.

Other ways to rid your home of grain weevils include using traps, calling the pros, freezing salvageable items; a matchbox might help, disposing of infested items, and preventive control are more control strategies.

i. Thorough Cleanup of Pantry Area

Due to an ample food supply, pantries are the ground zero of grain weevil activity. This calls for close inspection and urgent action when an infestation is noticed.

One of the first steps to ridding your pantry of these bugs is via thorough cleanup. This requires emptying the entire pantry and performing a deep clean, including vacuuming all areas.

Tight corners and crevices around the pantry must be targeted for cleanup and possible treatment, as these tiny bugs can easily hide there.

Properly dispose of all infested items during cleanup to reduce the chance of re-infestation.

ii. Using Weevil Traps

Weevil traps come in handy when dealing with grain weevil infestation. There are different types to choose from. These include grain probe traps, pheromone traps, and light traps.

This method alone won’t give you the results you seek. It’s best used in conjunction with other methods discussed. For the trapping method to be effective, you’ll need to know how to use such traps.

iii. Freezing Salvageable Items

Not all pantry items will be damaged by grain weevils. This is true for recently bought items. For these, freezing is needed to kill off the few weevil larvae within the grain.

So, why is freezing considered an effective control technique? Weevils and their larvae cannot tolerate cold conditions, hence the need for freezing.

How long you freeze salvageable items will determine whether the objective is achieved. Sufficient freezing time should be about 24 hours.

While freezing, proceed with other steps discussed to have the best results.

iv. The Matchbox Technique

There’s no scientific proof that the matchbox technique will yield the desired results. While that may be the case, many DIY’ers swear it is effective in ridding pantry pests like grain weevils.

So, what principle does it work by? Matches contain sulfur, and grain weevils don’t do well around areas with sulfur. They hate the smell and will stay away from such areas.

All you must do is place an open matchbox anywhere within your pantry. There’s no harm in trying this technique as it poses no harm at all. There are no guarantees you’ll get the results you seek.

v. Disposing Infested Items

When dealing with grain weevil infestation, you’ll always encounter infested items. These are either heavily infested or damaged. You’ll do well to dispose of these to contain the problem.

Avoid disposing of weevil-infested grain within the pantry area. These should be taken outdoors to ensure the threat is adequately eliminated.

vi. Applying Insecticide

Insecticides can be effective in ridding grain weevils. However, there are risks to using insecticides as you deal with pests that infest food items.

It’s best to seek alternatives or stick to instructions on the product label to avoid toxicity and food poisoning from using insecticides.

You may want to inquire further about the safest ways to use the product.

vii. Calling the Pros

Have you considered calling the pros for your grain weevil problem? This is the most effective and stress-free way to eliminate these pests.

Pest control technicians are skilled and experienced in handling all kinds of pests, including weevils. They provide the most comprehensive treatments, including preventive control.

viii. Preventive Control

Several simple yet effective strategies can be adopted to keep grain weevils at bay, such as thoroughly inspecting grocery packaging when shopping.

Also, eliminate all clutter and purchase items in smaller packages to avoid staying on the shelf too long. Carry out periodic deep cleaning of your pantry to inspect for pests.


In situations where grain weevils are detected, urgent action must be taken to eliminate them.

These may include throwing away all infested food, cleaning your shelves with vinegar, and targeting pantry crevices and cracks for thorough vacuuming.

A periodic inspection of your pantry ensures the last treatment was effective.

Getting rid of grain weevils isn’t that difficult if you know what needs to be done. This guide has provided the basics for addressing grain weevil infestation.

If doing the job yourself sounds complex, consider speaking with a pest control technician.

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