HELP!! My Dog Food’s Infested With Weevils!!

You open your big box of your doggie’s favourite food and are quite taken aback by what you see: the food’s chock full of little brown bugs. These, are the the notorious pestilence, called “weevils”. Fret not! Here’s what you need to know:   What are Weevils? Grain Weevils are insects that contaminate dry goods […]

You open your big box of your doggie’s favourite food and are quite taken aback by what you see: the food’s chock full of little brown bugs. These, are the the notorious pestilence, called “weevils”. Fret not! Here’s what you need to know:

 

What are Weevils?

Grain Weevils are insects that contaminate dry goods such as flour, rice, grains, pasta, dog food, dog treats and basically anything made from any type of grain. They can only survive in humidity over 55%, therefore making Singapore a perfect environment for them to thrive and multiply.

It starts in the Farm where the crop is being grown. The female weevil lays an egg inside the grain kernel and she can do this up to 254 times. The eggs are so small that it is difficult to see with the human eye. Therefore, everything we eat that is made from grains most likely is already contaminated with the weevil eggs as this happens in the farm while the crop is still in the ground. It can take up to 6 months for them to hatch and turn to worms, then eventually become those pesky little brown bugs we see in our dry goods. And as mentioned before if you live in an area with humidity over 55%, they will eventually hatch if you keep dry goods for a long period of time without eating.

How to prevent them?

The best thing to do is not to buy food in bulk if you are not going to use it right away. If you do buy in bulk as most rescues do, or if you just want to take precautions, then this is what you can do.

Keep any flour and grains in the refrigerator or freezer if possible as they can not survive in cold temperatures and it will kill the eggs.

If you can not keep in the fridge then what you can do is freeze your dry goods, including dog treats for at least 2 days, if possible an entire week would be best. Put your dog treats in a freezer bag and in the freezer. The cold temperature will kill the eggs and they will never become weevils. And just to ease your mind. They are harmless and contain no diseases. So if they were accidentally eaten, no harm done.

The best thing to do is not to buy food in bulk if you are not going to use it right away. If you do buy in bulk as most rescues do, or if you just want to take precautions, then this is what you can do.

Keep any flour and grains in the refrigerator or freezer if possible as they can not survive in cold temperatures and it will kill the eggs.

If you can not keep in the fridge then what you can do is freeze your dry goods, including dog treats for at least 2 days, if possible an entire week would be best. Put your dog treats in a freezer bag and in the freezer. The cold temperature will kill the eggs and they will never become weevils. And just to ease your mind. They are harmless and contain no diseases. So if they were accidentally eaten, no harm done.

Cloves and Bayleaves are natural means to ward off weevils.

 

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Weevil Identification

Rice Weevil

 

  • 1/8- to 3/16-inch long
  • Dull reddish brownRound pits on thorax
  • Four light spots on carapace
  • Able to fly
  • Found more commonly in warmer states

sitophilus-oryzae-7438

Granary Weevil

 

  • 1/8- to 3/16-inch long
  • Shiny reddish brown
  • Elongated pits on thorax
  • Can’t fly
  • Found more commonly in cooler states

 

weevil_1

Getting Rid of ‘Em

  • 1/8- to 3/16-inch long
  • Shiny reddish brown
  • Elongated pits on thorax
  • Can’t fly
  • Found more commonly in cooler states

Best Methods of Weevil Control

Remove contaminated food products. Sounds like a no-brainer, but this might be the single most important step in getting rid of weevils. Look through your ENTIRE pantry and every single cupboard for any food products that might be contaminated. If you find something that you aren’t sure of, pitch it. There’s no point in risking re-infestation. It could very well cost you more money in the long run. Once you have it all gathered up, take it outside to the trash immediately and move the can as far away from your house as possible.

Pull a Cinderella. Conduct the most thorough cleaning of your pantry and cupboards that you have ever done. Start by taking absolutely everything off the shelves and vacuuming them. Make sure to get all the cracks where flour or other food bits might be hiding. If you have contact paper lining the shelves, remove it (you can put new stuff on later). Use a rag and some hot sudsy water to do the rest of the cleaning.

Kill weevils with cold. To avoid future problems with weevils, it is advisable to freeze your food. You can do this to flour, oats, cookies, corn meal, grits, whatever. If you have the space in your freezer, you should just keep the stuff in there full time. If you have a small freezer and can’t afford the space, set the freezer as cold as it gets and leave the food in there for at least four days. That will kill any eggs, larvae, or weevils. Also, that’s an added 4 days of shelf life!

Kill weevils with heat. If you don’t feel like freezing everything, a little heat exposure will accomplish the same thing. Spread your food or seeds thinly on a baking sheet, preheat the oven to 120°F, and leave it in there for 1 hour. If you’re impatient, you can do 130°F for ½ hour. If you want to use the microwave, spread the stuff on a glass dish or plate, and run it for 5 minutes. Keep in mind that if you are heating seeds for gardening, the heat may destroy the seed’s chances for germination. Also, don’t heat fine-grained things, like flour, in case of combustion.

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Updated: August 29, 2017.

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