Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How to get rid of weevils in the rice

I know, the image above looks pretty gross, but these creatures are already present in our rice bought from the supermarkets. All this while, I kept wondering how these tiny creatures suddenly appeared in the rice, usually after about 2-3 weeks. I kept the rice in a tightly shut container, kept the area around free from food, there was no way they could get into the rice.
Recently, I searched up 'weevils' on Google and found that these little creatures love to attack dry food like oats, flour, grains. Sad to say, but they're labelled as pests.
Moving back to rice weevils, the sacks of rice we buy from the supermarkets actually contain the weevils eggs, they're just not hatched yet. In effect, the eggs are actually in the grain of the rice, which is definitely not visible to the human eye, unless you use a magnifying glass. That's why after a few weeks, the eggs begin to hatch and weevils appear. One tip, if you're buying rice from the grocery store or supermarket, the rice is old if  you can see weevils inside.
I then began to search how to get rid of these weevils. Basically, the two ways are by applying extreme heat or cold. One suggestion is to store the rice in the fridge. It's actually a pretty good idea if you're buying say only a small amount of rice. However, if you're buying the usual 10kgs, the fridge will be pretty crammed up.
Another way, is to apply extreme heat by heating the rice in the oven. Once again, it will be a bit difficult to do it for a few kgs of rice. You'll need to make several rounds of heating the rice up.

At the end, I used extreme heat but not the oven- I had 10kgs of rice. I went to the hardware shop and bought a stainless steel rice tong and stored the rice in there. On a sunny day, I placed the rice tong in the sun for a few hours. Even if there are no weevils yet, the heat will help to kill the eggs, thus preventing emerging weevils. This way is a bit slower since the sun would not match the oven heat. It is not advisable to use plastic containers, as plastic is not meant to be exposed to extreme heat and can be poisonous.

So far, this way has worked quite well, but I guess I'll need to sun the rice again after a few weeks. The rice at the bottom of the tong probably was not well exposed  during the first round. If you use any other methods, please leave me a comment. I'll like to try out other ways in case this one does not work :p

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