Rice Weevils in Iowa
The rice weevil is distributed worldwide and is a serious stored-grain pest, living, feeding, and breeding inside food products. More prominent in the southern United States, rice weevil adults and larvae feed on whole grains. Often called flour bugs, these snout-nosed beetles infest and feed on rice, flour, nuts, beans, seeds, cereals, and especially macaroni. Adults can fly and are attracted to light. The larval rice weevil must complete its development inside a seed kernel or a man-made equivalent, like macaroni products.
Rice Weevil Habitat
Rice weevils are sometimes found in homes infesting rice, beans, birdseed, sunflower seeds, dried corn, macaroni, and spaghetti. Weevils are internal feeders and are also found in grain storage facilities, food processing plants, and whole-food markets. Adults can live for 7 to 8 months and the egg, larva, and pupa stages occur in the grain kernels and are rarely seen. Females deposit 300-400 eggs inside a seed or grain kernel. Larvae hollow out kernels of grain and usually attack whole kernels. Holes on the side of the grain are made by adults and by emerging adults.
Rice Weevil Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers
Rice weevils do not harm people, pets, or home furnishings, but they do damage grains and seeds, and large populations can destroy food. Weevils feed on almost every processed, grain-based food consumed by people and their small size makes it possible for them to hide in tiny cracks. They can also enter even the smallest opening in a package, making them a relatively common household pest. Since rice weevils feed inside food packaging, they can remain hidden in the pantry for a long time. Homeowners will often spot adult weevils crawling on pantry shelves and floors. If an infestation is present in your Iowa home, locate and discard all infested material. Contact your local beetle exterminators for help or advice with rice weevils!