How to Get Rid of Weevils in Pantry, Kitchen Cabinets, Food, Garden and House

This post explores various methods on how to get rid of weevils. We discuss the use of traps, natural options as well as some commercial products for eliminating weevils in the kitchen, pantry, bathroom and bedroom.

Weevils are beetles. There are many of these species and they occur in various body shapes and colors. They also vary in size. While it can be confusing telling apart weevils from other insects, their elongated head which forms a snout gives them a distinctive look making their identification easy.

Most weevil species are found in the fields, orchards and gardens but there are a few that attack stored seeds and grains. These can be quite destructive especially in the pantry. The most common types of pantry weevils are the rice weevils and the granary weevils.

How do weevils get in food? The female weevils use their snouts to drill holes in seeds and grains such as rice, corn, oats, wheat, barley and beans. A single female can lay up to 400 eggs. Once there is a hole, they deposit eggs and seal the whole with a gelatinous substance. Once the egg hatches, the larvae will use its surrounding matter, which is the grain or seed, as food.

At this point, it is not easy to detect a weevil infestation. By the time the weevils start to be visible, you will be experiencing a full blown infestation. Where this is the case, you need to know how to get rid of weevils to completely exterminate and control them.

How to Get Rid of Weevils in Pantry Kitchen Cabinets

The most common places for weevils to infest indoors is the kitchen, pantry and any other area meant for food storage. Weevils can get into these areas from the point of sale. They then spread and are all over your food. It is also possible for processed foods to gain weevils for staying too long after processing. Below is how to get rid of weevils in your food storage area.

Get Rid of Contaminated Food Products

Weevil infested wheat

Discard weevil infested products

The first step in the elimination of weevils is to eliminate contaminated food products. Go through your pantry and other food storage areas and throw away anything you suspect could be contaminated. This will ensure that you eliminate the risk of re-infestation. Ensure that the trash can you put the products into is kept far from the house.

Do Thorough Cleaning

After getting rid of affected products, it is now time to thoroughly clean your kitchen cabinets, the pantry and other storage areas. Start by eliminating any visible powder drops resulting from the weevils’ burrowing. Where the shelves are lined, remove and dispose the contact lining. Vacuum the area and where this is not possible, use some warm water to clean off any remnants.

Weevil Traps

To get rid of weevils in your food storage areas, you can make use of weevil traps. These will attract granary, bean and rice weevils to them. They can therefore be used to get rid of weevils in grocery stores, food processing plants and storage facilities in addition to their use at home.

Pyrethrin for Weevil Elimination

Due to the fact that weevils attack food, there aren’t many commercial products for use in getting rid of them in the pantry. The only recommended product is pyrethrin. While this can be sprayed on the food shelves, it has to be done when there is no food on them. Some time also has to be taken before they are returned. Never spray the food with these and follow the manufacturer instructions to the letter.

How to get Rid of Weevils Naturally

The use of natural means on how to get rid of weevils is highly recommended. This is more so where food is concerned. Here are some natural options on their elimination.

Bay Leaves

Bay leaves to get rid of weevils

Bay leaves to get rid of weevils

Bay leaves are known to be a natural pest repellant. Drop a number of bay leaves in your area of concern. Place them on top of food storage containers, in the pantry and on the shelves. These will help drive the weevils away.


These work in the same way as bay leaves. They act as deterrent thus helping I preventing recurrence while at the same time driving the weevils away. Before storing foods, drop some cloves on it. Scatter some in storage areas as well to keep off these bothersome pests.

How to Get Rid of Weevils in Food, Pasta, Wheat, Flour, Rice

Even after disposing off food that is infested, it is possible for the food left to also have weevils but which are not visible. This is more so where there are not many of them. To get rid of weevils from food, freeze it.

By so doing, the weevils will freeze to death. Get your grains, seeds or flour and put them inside freezer bags. Put this in the freezer for four days before removing and storing as normal. The process of freezing will kill the weevils and their eggs. You can also do this with new purchases to avoid infestation.

For foods that cannot be frozen, it is advisable to store them in an air tight glass container. This is as opposed to letting it stay in packing papers.

How to Get Rid of Weevils infestation in House, Bedroom, Bathroom and Carpet

When weevils attack houses, they are most of the time looking for shelter when the weather is harsh. During such invasions, these pests storm the house in large numbers and will not only affect your food storage areas. With such widespread infestation, it is easy for them to find a hiding place in unlikely parts of the house.

Where the weevils are in a part of the house that doesn’t have food, you can make use of commercial products to eliminate them. To get rid of weevils in the bathroom and bedroom, begin by inspecting what could be bringing them in. In most cases, they will be burrowing into the wood.

Find out what items are infested to enhance effective control. Remove things around the area such as clothes and spray an insecticide around the place giving attention to the infested items. Keep the areas closed up and empty for the recommended time. To further deter the weevils, you can use bay or basil leaves spread around your bedroom or bathroom.

Where you are experiencing severe infestation, you may need to vacuum the whole house. This will help eliminate the pests from carpets, deep in cracks and window seals.

How to Get Rid of Weevils in Garden Using Traps

Like stated in the beginning of this article, weevils do not only infest dry foods. They can also infest plants in the gardens. One common means through which farmers use to eliminate weevils in the garden is through the use of weevil traps.

Weevil traps contain pheromones that attract the weevils to them. These traps are mostly used by farmers to catch weevils in the fields that occur in small numbers. Once it is visible that weevils in the garden are increasing, they can switch to pesticides. This helps to prevent overuse of chemicals.

Tips on How to Prevent Weevil Infestation

  • Keep a schedule on how to clean your pantry clean.
  • In case of any spills, ensure they are cleaned up immediately
  • Seal any shelve cracks with caulk to prevent food from getting trapped in there.
  • In case long term storage of foods proves challenging due to weevils infestation, try and do your food shopping in smaller quantities.
  • Never mix new food stock with an old one. Wait until you exhaust the old to move to the new.
  • To keep away weevils around the house, soak wash clothes in vinegar and place them in areas prone to weevil infestations. These will act as deterrents.

In case these simple do it yourself methods on how to get rid of weevils do not work, it is time to call in professionals for extermination.


Orkin: Weevils: Facts, Identification and Control