Rice Weevil


Actual Size: ⅛”

Characteristics: Long snout; reddish-brown to black, four light spots on wings.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes

Habitat: Found in rice, pasta, seeds, beans, and other dried grains.


  • Strong fliers, attracted to light.
  • Females deposit 300-400 eggs inside a seed or grain kernel.
  • When disturbed, will play dead by drawing legs close to their body.

Rice Weevils in North Carolina

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.

Do Rice Weevils Bite?

Rice weevils do not bite humans or pets. They are primarily a nuisance due to their infestation of stored foods.

If an infestation is present in your North Carolina home, locate and discard all infested material. Contact your local pantry pest control experts for help with rice weevils!

Signs of a Rice Weevil Infestation

Signs of a rice weevil infestation include the presence of adult weevils, which may be seen crawling around or flying near infested products. You might also find tiny holes in grains or seeds, indicating where larvae have emerged. Additionally, the presence of fine, powdery residue in food containers can signal an infestation.

Habitat, Diet & Life Cycle

Where Do Rice Weevils Live?

Rice weevils are commonly found in stored grains such as rice, wheat, corn, and other cereals. They thrive in warm, moist environments, making pantries and storage bins ideal habitats. They can also be found in grocery stores, warehouses, and food processing facilities.


Rice weevils feed primarily on whole grains and seeds. They infest rice, wheat, corn, and other cereals, as well as nuts, beans, and pasta. They can damage large quantities of stored food, rendering it unusable.

Life Cycle

The life cycle of a rice weevil includes four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. A female can lay up to 400 eggs inside the grain kernels. The larvae develop inside the grain, feeding on it, and then pupate. The complete life cycle can take between 26 to 32 days, depending on temperature and humidity levels.

How to Get Rid of Rice Weevils?

To eliminate rice weevils, start by locating and discarding all infested food items. Clean the pantry thoroughly, vacuuming shelves and corners to remove any remaining insects or eggs. You can also use traps and insecticides designed for pantry pests, but ensure they are safe for use around food.

Rice Weevil Prevention Tips

To prevent rice weevil infestations, store grains and cereals in airtight containers to prevent re-infestation. Regularly clean pantry shelves to remove food residues and inspect groceries before bringing them into your home. Maintain a cool, dry environment in food storage areas, and consider using bay leaves or cloves in stored grains as natural repellents.


Can I Eat Rice That has Weevils?

While consuming rice weevils is not harmful, most people find the idea unappetizing. It is best to discard infested rice to ensure you’re not consuming insect larvae or their waste.

How Did Rice Weevils Get in My Rice?

Rice weevils often infest grains before they even enter your home, typically during storage or transportation. They can also migrate from infested products already in your pantry.