How to Avoid Getting Boll Weevils in Your Pantry

When you reach into your pantry to grab a bag of rice or pasta for dinner, you do not expect to see tiny insects crawling around in the package. Weevils infest grains, eat them and lay their eggs in them. These weevils are very small, so you may not even notice their presence. You must throw away any food contaminated by weevils. If you regularly inspect your pantry and keep it clean, you can avoid future weevil infestations.

Weevils live in packages of dry goods, such as rice, pasta and cereal.

Step 1

Check every package of food in your pantry for weevils.  If you found weevils in one package, there may be more elsewhere.

Immediately discard any weevil-infested food. 

Step 2

Remove everything from your pantry.  If you notice spills, use a vacuum or clean them up with warm, soapy water.

Step 3

Spray the shelves of the pantry with a pyrethrin insecticide if weevils are a persistent problem.  Let the insecticide dry for several hours before putting items back into the pantry.

Step 4

Freeze or heat grain products in case you missed a weevil infestation in your earlier inspection.  To heat grain products, bake them in an oven at 120 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour.

Alternatively, you can freeze products for four days.  Both of these methods kill weevils and their eggs that you cannot see.

Step 5

Store food in airtight, leak-proof containers.  This prevents weevils or other insects from getting to the food.

Use clear containers so you can see the food inside. 

Step 6

Place cloves or bay leaves on the pantry shelves.  Weevils avoid the smell of both.

Things You Will Need

  • Vacuum
  • Dish washing liquid
  • Insecticide with pyrethrin
  • Clear storage containers
  • Cloves or bay leaves


  • Weevils can eat through cardboard, so even brand-new products aren't safe if you already have a weevil infestation. When you buy food, immediately store it in a glass jar to prevent weevils from eating it.

About the Author

Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.

Photo Credits

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