Weevils in Rice
Weevil in Flour
I have bulk rice that I did not get in my containers before they got weevils, I have put it in the freezer and now want to get them out and store the rice in my buckets, do I take rice out of freezer, soak it and get the bugs out dry it and then put in buckets?
I think most of us have at one time or another found weevils in our food products. Unfortunately, the larvae from weevils are usually already in rice, flour, wheat, popcorn, other grains, and sometimes beans. It also won’t hurt or make anyone sick if you happen to eat some. (Just added protein – )
The best way to have weevil-free rice, etc. is to put it into the freezer as soon as you bring it home from the store. Leave it there for about 2 weeks, then repackage in glass containers or Mylar bags and plastic buckets with oxygen absorbers. The freezing kills the larvae and, if there are any weevils that survived that, they cannot live in an oxygen-free environment. Also, a good practice is to sprinkle some food grade diatomaceous earth in with the food before sealing the Mylar bag. Diatomaceous earth will not harm humans or pets but when bugs eat it, it cuts their insides and they die. It’s actually very good for us and our pets. Some people regularly feed it to pets and horses.
Okay – now to address your already infested rice problem. Since you have already put it in the freezer, you have killed the larvae. But freezing will probably not kill all the adult weevils. However, they don’t live long anyway – they just begin as eggs, then larvae, grow into adult weevils, go lay eggs and die. So if you still want to store it (and you may not – your choice), use the method described above using Mylar bags, O2 absorbers, diatomaceous earth, and plastic buckets. If you have less than a full bucket, store in glass bottles, or IKEA and Walmart have those hard plastic airtight containers for not too much money.
Don’t soak the rice now – wait until you are ready to use it. Rinse the rice several times before cooking – the bugs (or their skins) will float to the top and just skim them off. If there are any left after cooking, they will also float to the top.
I’ll tell you a funny story: I cooked rice for my family one evening that had weevils and larvae in it. My son was about 11 or 12 at the time. I didn’t even notice the little critters – I just dumped the cooked rice into a bowl and put it on the table. My son put a scoop of it on his plate and I noticed him staring at the rice. When asked what he was staring at, he said, “Mom, you killed Burt, and Joe, and Henry, and . . .” and whatever other name he could think of to name them. We all laughed at his humor and, needless to say, my daughters would not touch the rice.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do with the rice. It won’t hurt to save it.