Rice weevils are a type of beetle that can be commonly found in crops in the paddy. The size of rice weevil ranges between 2.5-3.5mm and are easily found in rice.These beetles are not harmful to humans as they do not bite or transmit any disease. Nonetheless, it can still be quite disturbing to see them crawling about your pack of rice.
We are here to answer two common questions:
- How to prevent weevils in rice?
- Store rice in an air-tight container together with a packet of oxygen absorber to reduce the oxygen level in the container. Without oxygen, the weevils cannot survive.
- Store the pack of rice in the freezer once opened to maintain its freshness.
- Wrap some Sichuan pepper (花椒) with a paper towel and put into the container of rice (garlic cloves, bay or neem leaves could work too). Rice weevils are sensitive to the scents of herbs.
2. There are weevils in my rice! Can the rice still be eaten? How to get rid of the weevils?
- It is safe to continue to consume the rice after the rice weevils have been removed, and after you have cooked the rice.
- Wash the rice a few rounds and remove the weevils by hand along the way. You can continue to consume the rice thereafter (source:https://www.sfa.gov.sg/food-information/risk-at-a-glance/rice-weevils).
- If the bag or container of rice is infested with weevils, take the rice and place them in small batches onto a baking pan with a baking sheet. Bake the rice at 140F or 60oC for 20 minutes, then remove it and let it cool. Check for dead weevils and remove them by hand or sieve. Place the baked and purified rice into a new air-tight container. Do not place it back into the previous container/bag as it could be infested.