Rice Weevils are tiny beetles with elongated snouts that live and feed on our rice.
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As Asians, we just can’t live without our rice, can we?
But sometimes (or most of the time), we can spot a few of those black beetle-like bugs in our packs or rice, right?
Even if the rice pack is new, they’re still there! How in the world?
What are those and where do they come from?
They’re called Rice Weevils
Rice weevils are categorised under the Stored Product Pest, which means yes, they are indeed annoying pests. Check out their zoomed pics here (Viewer discretion is advised 🤢). Their source of food are seeds, flour, wheat and rice.
Thanks to a Twitter user called Naim AJ Pest (@naimpestcontrol), he explained in detail about these pesky little weevils.
Kutu beras / Bubuk / Rice Weevil macam mana dia boleh ada dalam beras kita walaupon pack beras kita tu baru dibeli dan tak bukak pon lagi ?— Naim AJ Pest (@naimpestcontrol) September 13, 2022
Jemput baca thread simple ni berkaitan kutu beras dan cara nak basmi. pic.twitter.com/RTWVK6q3Wx
The question of all time – Where did these bugs come from?
We’re not talking about ancestors, we’re talking about how did they manage to get into a new pack of rice that’s not even opened.
The answer actually makes sense. No, they don’t bite the plastic pack or tiptoe inside the factory.
Naim explained that the weevils lay their eggs inside that grain of rice itself and made them a safe place to store their eggs.
The way that they do this is by chewing a hole into a grain of rice until it’s hollow. Then the female will then deposit her eggs inside and seal the opening. When the eggs hatch inside the rice grain, the larva feeds on it until it is fully grown.
Macam mana dia boleh ada dalam beras walaupon beras tu kita baru beli ?— Naim AJ Pest (@naimpestcontrol) September 13, 2022
Serangga ni sebenarnya dia bertelur didalam beras tu sendiri. Dia akn jadikn sebutir beras kita tu sbg tempat menyimpan telur dia. Caranya adalah dgn menebuk isi dlm beras tu sehingga kosong. pic.twitter.com/MdxIOJxWlk
Once fully grown, the adult weevil will eat its way out of the grain. And then the female will attract the male and they reproduce again. An average lifespan of a rice weevil is about five months and the adults can actually fly to infest another stock of rice, for example.
So if you rarely cook rice, you will notice a few of the adults already in your pack of rice when you decide to eat rice.
But if you cook every day, you’ll most likely eat the rice with their eggs inside too. Yikes!
Wait, what happens if we accidentally eat them?
Okay, we’re bound to eat five or six
dozen weevils in our lifetime right? Are there any effects?
Rice weevils, whether in the larval or adult stages are not harmful to human beings as they are not known to spread any disease/infection or do even bite people.
Hey, think of it as extra protein or extra crunch. You won’t need extra garnishing, that’s for sure.
However, rice with weevil problems is usually brittle and crumbles easily. Even if the rice cooks well, it won’t last long and will turn bad rather quickly because of contamination.
Ways to keep these little weevils out
There are plenty of ways to keep the rice weevils out of our rice. Rice weevils are incredibly sensitive to temperature. They can’t survive too hot or too cold temperatures.
So that’s why you will see your mom or grandma always spreading the rice out in a tray and drying them under the sun for 15-20 minutes. The weevils will walk themselves out of the tray and find some other place to infest.
Here are some other tips to get rid of rice weevils recommended by Naim:
- Put in some bay leaves – Bay leaves can act as a repellent for the weevils because of the smell it emits.
- Spread a little bit of black pepper – It is highly toxic to them.
- Keep rice in a vacuum pack – Doing this will avoid the eggs from hatching.
- Keep them in your freezer – Although not that popular but it’s still effective because weevils can’t stand cold temperatures.
So there you go. Rice weevils have been reproducing inside grains of rice since forever.
Even if your rice dispenser or rice pack is completely sealed, don’t forget to check twice if there’s some little extra protein running around in your rice.
Now that you know you’re eating their eggs inside, will you look at your rice and feel the same way again?