What Happens If You Eat Weevils or Bugs in Food (Rice and Beans)

Last Updated: October 17, 2021

If you don’t store dry staples properly, you can easily end up with a weevil infestation. You might be wondering whether it’s safe to eat weevils in food.

Yes, it is completely safe to eat weevils, including the eggs, larvae, and adult weevils.  However, just as you would with meat, it’s recommended that you cook them first.  Cooking kills any bacteria or parasites which may be in the weevils.

Luckily, weevils tend to infest foods which require cooking anyway, such as dry beans or whole grains.

What About the “Yuck” Factor of Eating Weevils?

Even though insects are eaten in many parts of the world, it’s still considered “gross” in many Western cultures.  So, it’s understandable if you feel squeamish about eating weevils.  A lot of people throw out perfectly-good food because of this.

If you want to save the food without eating visible weevils, here are some things you can do:

1. Remove the Weevils

Trying to pick out each of the weevils individually takes a lot of time.  Instead, soak infested beans or grains in water. Adult weevil bodies will float to the top, making them easier to remove them.  Obviously this doesn’t work with infested flour.

2.  Prepare Food So You Can’t See the Weevils

If you can’t see the weevil bodies in the food, it isn’t as gross to eat.  After cooking the grains or beans, you can blend them so the weevils aren’t visible.  Or make cakes out of infested flour or grains; it’s a lot harder to see the weevils once cooked with other ingredients.

3. Use the Infested Food for Non-Food Purposes

If you really can’t stomach the idea of eating weevils, you don’t have to throw the food away.  Instead:

  • Grains can be used as bird feed
  • Flour can be used to make play-dough or a natural ant-repellent
  • Make DIY hot packs, beanbags, or play things

*If you want to make anything out of food infested with weevils, you’ll need to kill the weevils and their eggs first.  Otherwise the weevils will just continue to feed, lay eggs, and make a worse infestation.

Avoiding Weevils in the Future

What do you do with weevil-infested food? Let us know in the comments.

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  1. Back during the Civil war; Soldiers sometimes received hardtack that had weevils in it. The soldiers did not mind them being there. The bugs added PROTEIN to their meal.

    • My Navy family tells stories about eating ROACHES in their food on the ship. I’ve gotten used to eating weevils but don’t know if I could stomach roaches. Just shows how much culture has conditioned us to thinking bugs are gross. 🙂

  2. You can freeze flour to kill the weevils and then sift the flour before using it.

    Bugs are still gross, but some bugs carry diseases or are poisonous. Which bugs would not be safe to eat?

    • There are some poisonous insects. However, in general, the bugs which are not safe to eat don’t get into your food supply. Further, it’s the larvae which get into the food (the adults fly away or are easy to scare away) and larvae are safe and nutritious to eat. Bear in mind though that I’m talking about the USA. I’m sure there are some poisonous larvae in places like Australia or, as talked about in this article about making poison arrows from beetle larvae, South Africa https://www.biodiversityexplorer.info/beetles/chrysomelidae/alticinae/arrows.htm

  3. Like Diana, I sift my flour with a metal sifter if I am concerned about pantry moth larva. I also rinse rice thoroughly before I cook it. If water were scarce I might not rinse the rice, but I would pick out any visible bit that didn’t look like rice before I cooked it! Thanks for bringing up this topic. It’s nice to read other perspectives.

  4. If possible, ALWAYS rinse rice. Consumer’s Reports says there is more arsenic in rice than is healthy and that this situation is very concerning. I always rinse any rice.

    • I usually blend up the infested food so I can’t detect the crunch. Good for you for being able to get over the societal conditioning that says bugs are “gross” 😀

  5. I just came to read and know if I’m gonna die cos I just ate a cooked weevil infested beans.

    Thanks for giving me hope

    • Considering that my family and I all have eaten weevil-infested food and been fine, I’m sure your dog would be too. 🙂


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