Are Weevils Harmful? Do They Bite Humans?

Weevils can find their way inside any open grains or food in the pantry and sometimes even in packaged foods. But are they harmful, or are they just a nuisance?

Weevils are a threat to the stored food grains in your kitchen cabinet. These tiny insects love to reside in food grains and lay eggs. 

But have you wondered how harmful is the presence of these insects in your food? If yes, then we are here to tell you that they aren’t dangerous.

Read on to know more about what damage they can cause.  

Are Weevils Harmful? Truth Revealed

Are Weevils Dangerous? 

Weevils have elongated snouts with mouthparts to chew and bite their food. They use these to bore holes into grains, eat them and lay their eggs inside them.

Despite their ability to carve cavities in grain kernels, these insects are not harmful to humans. They only cause problems with stored grains. 

Are They Poisonous?

Weevils are not poisonous for humans and pets. However, due to their habit of nesting and breeding in stored food grains, you might sometimes find a few of these in your food. 

Eating them on purpose is probably not a good idea, but accidentally consuming a weevil will not cause any harm to the human body. 

Do They Carry Disease?

As mentioned in the section above, weevils are not harmful to humans and do not carry diseases

Finding a rice weevil in your grain container is nothing to panic about. However, if the batch is infested by many of these weevils, it is advisable to replace it immediately. 

Are Weevils Harmful? Truth Revealed

Do They Bite?

Weevils cannot sting or bite, and they are harmless to humans. These insects use their solid mandibles for chewing and creating cavities in food grains to lay eggs. 

Also, these insects do not cause any harm to your wooden furniture; they only infest food grains in the house. 

However, there are instances when people have claimed to be bitten by them. It is likely that this happened when the female weevil was looking for a place to lay her eggs.

Are Acorn Weevils Harmful to Humans?

Acorn weevils are small insects with brown-colored bodies and long snouts. Unlike the granary weevil, these insects drill holes in acorns to lay eggs. 

These little insects are not harmful to humans. Also, like the other weevils, they cannot damage your furniture or carpets.

However, they can cause significant damage to your acorn plantation.

Are Weevils Harmful? Truth Revealed

How to Kill Acorn Weevils?

Since acorn weevils mostly emerge from the soil during the summer season, here are two ways that you can use to kill these insects:

Freeze them out

Collect fresh acorns and refrigerate them to delay the grub growth; after that, put these acorns in the freezer to kill them. 

Boil the acorns

Collect and soak a batch of infested acorns for 20 minutes in 120° Fahrenheit hot water. This excessive heat will kill them inside the acorns. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Do weevils make you sick?

Adult weevils and larvae are not harmful to human beings and pets. In fact, the presence of dead weevils in your food is an indicator that it might contain pesticides. 
Weevils do not carry any disease and consuming them will not cause any problems for you, though its best to throw away a batch of grains that is badly infested by them.

Are weevils harmful to the body?

Weevils are not harmful to the human body. Even if you accidentally consume a weevil with your food, you won’t fall sick or get infected. 
These insects are only capable of causing damage to the food grains by chewing out cavities in them to lay eggs. 

Can you eat flour with weevils?

Yes, you can eat flour with a couple of flour weevils present in it. However, it is not advisable to consume a batch that is heavily infested by these insects. 
If a container of flour is filled with weevils and weevil poop, make sure that you immediately get rid of that batch. Also, clean out the container with soapy water. 

Why do I keep finding weevils in my house?

Many types of weevils like warm and moist environments to live in. If you are finding weevils in your home, they must have entered through different food sources. 
Since they breed and feed within grain kernels, it is possible that they must have entered your house when you purchased an already contaminated-grained food. 

Should I throw out the rice with weevils?

If you find a rice container with a few weevils, there is no need to throw it away. You put them in the sunlight to get off the insects. 
Moreover, these non flying beetle species are not harmful to humans and won’t cause any adverse effects if you consume one or two by accident. 
But if the rice batch is filled with weevils, it is best to throw it away. 

How do I get rid of weevils?

Mentioned below are a few ways to get rid of them:
Put the contaminated food in the freezer to kill them.
Heat the food grains for 15 minutes at 140 degrees F.
Keep the infested batch in the sunlight for a few hours.
Store bay leaves in grain containers to keep them away. 
Store food in airtight containers. 

Wrap Up 

Weevils are harmless creatures, but they can cause severe damage to the food in homes. 

Although having a few of them in your food is fine, you must know how to control these insects from infesting your homes. We hope this article will help you with it. 

Thank you for reading the piece. 

Reader Emails

Finding weevils running around your home can be quite disconcerting. Our readers agree. Read on to know how many of them are afraid about the dangers of these little bugs!

Letter 1 – Weevil

 

Bug??
We found this bug (.05 cm) in the carpet few days ago and today we found a lot more. There is any danger (there is a little boy, playing around) and, or were there usually come from. Thanks so much.
Daniel Correa
Miami

Hi Daniel,
This is some type of Weevil. They will not harm your little boy. They might be infesting stored grain products in your pantry and they sometimes infest pet food.

Letter 2 – Unknown Weevil from Malaysia

 

Unidentified plant weevil
Hellooo bugman,
Found this bug whilst walking through a jungle here in Malaysia. It’s about an inch long, and was resting on a leaf. I assume it’s some sort of weevil? Thanks in advance,
Izuan

Hi Izuan,
You are correct. This is a Weevil, but we don’t know what species. It sure is a pretty specimen.

Letter 3 – Weevil

 

yellow weevil from cyprus- genus lixus-
Hi there. I wanted to let you know that i found one of these on my rose bush two days ago. I have never seen one before, but as I find weevils very fetching with their enormous noses and beady eyes, I took a photo. It ate a whole rose leaf before it disappeared but was there all day. Are they actually native to another country, eg, Cyprus as seen on your website. We are in a severe drought here, and I thought it may have come to the garden where a few things still have green leaves. cheers,
Jenny Davis

Hi Jenny,
There are over 35,000 species of Weevils worldwide, making the family Curculionidae the largest on the planet. Your letter is unclear if you are from Cypress, or if you think your Weevil looks like the one from Cypress. It does possess the yellow powdery bloom that Eric Eaton describes for the genus Lixus.

Letter 4 – Red Palm Weevil from Thailand

 

Big orange head beetle
Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 2:20 AM
Hi, I saw this beetle moving slowly over rocks during the day in the garden. I only had my phone camera which is not great but you should have some idea. It has big black eyes, which at first I thought were decoys to make it look bigger. The bug was about the size of a big man’s thumb with a long orange proboscis. Wasn’t bothered by my getting close to it.
Chris
Chiangmai Thailand

Unknown Weevil
Red Palm Weevil

Dear Chris,
All we have time to do is to post your photo, and we hope to be able to identify the species of Weevil in the family Curculionidae this weekend. A Weevil this size and this distinctive should not be too difficult to properly identify. To be more accurate, the orange body part is the thorax.

Immediate Update:
As soon as we posted, we decided to look up the Palm Weevil from the Southeast that looks quite similar. The Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus cruentatus, can be found on BugGuide. When we researched the genus and Thailand, we found a pdf on the Red Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus.

Letter 5 – Weevil from Costa Rica: Cratosomus species

 

Beetle in Costa Rica
Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 9:49 PM
Hi,
I was walking my dog today in the mountains above the central valley of San Jose, Costa Rica when I came across this beautiful beetle. Can’t tell you too much about it other than it was about 1.5 inches in length and that the ends of its legs were beautiful. I’ve been scouring the internet to find out more about this thing (is it some sort of weevil?) but having limited knowledge in entomology I think I’ll leave this to an expert.
Thomas W.
Bebedero (Escazu), Costa Rica

Unidentified Weevil from Costa Rica
Weevil from Costa Rica

Hi Thomas,
We are still sifting through our backlog for our week away from posting, hence the delay in responding.  This is a beautiful Weevil, but we haven’t the time at the moment to try for a species identification.  Weevils are in the family Curculionidae, and according to BugGuide, it is the:  “Largest family of beetles in the world with more than 40,000 species worldwide, and 2,500 species in North America.”  We hope one of our readers had an opportunity to identify your Weevil and can supply us with an answer.

Update from Karl
August 6, 2009
Catching up on weevils (3 in 1 – sorry about that)
Hi Daniel:
The first part of this is just FYI – a great internet resource. I found a little time to go back and catch up on some wonderful weevils that caught my attention as they were posted.  One of my favorite resources for this sort of thing is the digitized version of the Biologia Centrali-Americana (58 volumes!). It is a little difficult to navigate through, but what an incredible storehouse of information! The volumes on insects were originally produced between 1879-1915, but they still stand up as an incredible body of work. The two Costa Rican weevils were identified from this site. Cheers.  K
Daniel:
Re: Unknown Weevil from Costa Rica (Beetle in Costa Rica) – Jun 13, 2009
This weevil is in the genus Cratosomus (Curculionidae: Conoderinae [=Zygopinae]), probably C. punctulatus. The species is quite wide spread; particularly common in Mexico, but ranging south to Peru, and east to Trinidad. The species is apparent highly variable in appearance and ranges from 13-23 mm in length (i.e., big). Regards.
Karl

Letter 6 – Unknown Weevil from Chile

 

Three unknowns from Torres del Paine, Chile
December 6, 2009
I’ve looked through the categories I can think of for these three (moths, butterflies and beetles) and don’t see matches nor have I found them online with basic searching. All were photographed in Torres del Paine national park, Chile and were unharmed. …
The beetle was seen twice and this is the better shot. In both, there’s a bright orange/red spot on that one leg. Eggs perhaps? They were about 3/4″ long x 1/4″ wide Jess, Minnesota
Torres del Paine, Chile

Unknown Weevil and Mite
Unknown Weevil and Mite

Hi Jess,
We posted the beetle separately from the butterflies.  This is a Weevil, and the red spot is a Mite.

Letter 7 – Granary Weevil

 

Please identify tiny bugs in my carpet
January 20, 2010
I just returned from vacation to find several dozen little bugs in my bedroom carpet. They are dark brown, oblong, with six legs and what appears to be a proboscis between their antennae. They measure approximately 3 mm. No wings that I can see. Many are dead, the others seem to be wandering aimlessly on the floor. I’ve looked up carpet beetles but these don’t resemble the pictures of those I found. Any ideas?
Bugs in NYC
New York, NY

Granary Weevil

This is a Weevil, and there are several species that infest stored food products.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide us with a more specific identification.

Eric Eaton provides information
The tiny weevil is indeed a “granary” weevil in the genus Sitophilus.  Great image, too!  They often infest birdseed, so that might be the source.
Eric

Letter 8 – Weevil

 

Unidentified black/white beetle
Location: southern california high desert
February 25, 2011 12:01 am
Hello I stepped outside for a smoke when I came across this beetle its was around 3 am and I found it to be quite striking so I snapped a few photos with my cell phone. I use the image as my phone background and when people as what kind of bug it is I would like to be able answer them so thanks in advance.
Signature: Gabe

Weevil

Hi Gabe,
This is some species of Weevil.  We will attempt to provide a more specific identification for you.

Letter 9 – Weevil

 

Subject: Can you ID this bug?
Location: Southwest Mississippi
September 18, 2012 11:53 pm
Found this little critter on the bedskirt one night as I was pulling back the covers. Doesn’t look like any bed bug I’ve seen, but then again… I live in an historic little town (Magnolia) in Southwest Mississippi. City limits, but I have a rather large (drainage) ditch running through my property. Four dogs (2outside,2inside) and a male cat who comes and goes inside and out. (Cat is a hunter) All the pine trees have been removed from property. Have several large oaks, large white magnolia tree, two japanese magnolias, and about 8 old camelias to the back of my lot. Good grass on lawn, mulched beds around house with lots of azaleas. Sometimes moisture is an issue in my old house, having a 1/2 basement. Home is brick, but have lots of wood, too. Built in early ’30s with a huge attic.
Signature: Marla

Weevil

Weevil

Thank you so much!  I searched the internet for days trying to ID this little critter, and here you name him in a flash!!  But OMG, never would have guessed a weevil!  I always think of the teenie tiny critters in the cream of wheat box when someone says weevil.  This fella is much much larger!  Bollweevil, do you think?  I’m in Mississippi, but I don’t live on a cotton plantation.  This little guy is the only one I have seen (ever) in my house, or around my house (anywhere) for that matter …and to find him in the bedroom…. ????  As the songs go…. he’s just lookin’ for a home, eyh!  Thanks again.  I greatly appreciate your help.
Have a great day!

Hi Marla,
You have so much enthusiasm.  It is refreshing.  We apologize for the terse response but we wanted to answer a few more requests prior to rushing off to work this morning.  Now that we are home, we will post your submission and attempt to identify the Weevil more specifically.  It is not a Boll Weevil, as you can see by checking out the photos on BugGuide.  As we suspected, this is an Acorn or Nut Weevil in the genus
Curculio, but as you can see from the species listed on BugGuide, an exact identification might be difficult.

Letter 10 – Weevil Infestation in Austria is Caulophilus oryzae

 

Subject: Home invasion in Austria
Location: Vienna, Austria
January 7, 2013 4:14 pm
Hi Bugman,
I came home from my winter vacation and found lots of those little black guys everywhere in my flat. They are about 3 to 4 millimeters long. Can you held me to identify their species?
Signature: Cheers, Hannes

Pantry Weevil is Caulophilus oryzae

Hi Hannes,
By your letter, it would seem to us that you have some species of beetle that infests stored foods and we would encourage you to carefully inspect the pantry for all stored grain products to see if you can determine the source of the infestation.  Don’t forget large bags of pet food including bird seed.  We do not recognize this particular species which appears to be a Weevil or Snout Beetle, but they are not the typical Grain or Rice Weevilswe encounter.  There are many small beetles that infest stored foods.  We will try to contact Eric Eaton to see if he can provide any additional information.

Pantry Weevils:  Caulophilus oryzae

On Jan 8, 2013, at 11:06 AM, Eric Eaton wrote:
Hi, Daniel:
Well, I don’t recognize them, either, so I’ll copy this to Charlie O’Brien, and see if he does.  Hopefully he is in good health….
Eric

Thanks much Eric,
Do you agree that they are weevils?
Daniel

Yes, definitely weevils.  Great images should make ID by an authority fairly easy.
Eric

Daniel:
Here is the answer.  I thought I recognized it to subfamily, but that didn’t make any sense since most species bore in conifer bark.
Eric

Charlie O’Brien provides an identification
Hi Eric:
Happy to hear from you at any time.. The weevil is Caulophilus oryzae (Gyllenhal) formerly placed in Rhyncolus and it is a stored grain pest in the Cossoninae. It is almost Cosmopolitan..
… Sincerely,
Charlie

Thanks a lot for identifying!
I sent you 5€ via paypal for your great service 🙂
kind regards,
Hannes

Letter 11 – Unknown Weevil from India

 

Subject: Unique Insect
Location: Western India
June 3, 2015 11:19 am
Today evening, I spotted am extremely unique insect in my apartment. Due to there being a forested area near my residence, insects are frequently visitors.
However I have never seen anything like this before. I have been unable to locate anything similar online.
I would like to bring your attention to it. It may be an undiscovered species.
The insect was roughly 5 cm long. It was not moving, even when I blew air on it. When I picked it up using a piece of paper, if clung to it. I dropped him back into the forested area.
I would really like if you could identify it for me. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Signature: PD

Unknown Weevil
Unknown Weevil

Dear PD,
This is some species of Weevil, a member of a very large family of beetles.  We tried unsuccessfully to identify it online, and we hope to get some assistance from our readership, but we are postdating this submission to go live in mid June while we are out of the office.

Letter 12 – Weevil from Madagascar: Rhytidophloeus rothschildi

 

Subject: Large Weevil from Madagascar
Location: Ifaty Spiny Forest, Madagascar
February 27, 2017 10:53 pm
Here’s a photo of a large (>1″) weevil. Any ideas as to species?
Signature: R Lockett

Weevil

Dear R Lockett,
Like you, we have not had much luck finding out a species name, and the closest visual match we found in our brief web search was this FlickR image of a much darker colored, unidentified Weevil from Madagascar, however, the markings on the legs do look quite similar, which causes us to speculate that perhaps this is a species that shows much variability in its markings.

Update from Cesar Crash who identified Rhytidophloeus rothschildi
Cesar provided us with a link to FlickR that identifies Rhytidophloeus rothschildi.

Authors

  • Daniel Marlos

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

13 thoughts on “Are Weevils Harmful? Do They Bite Humans?”

  1. Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old
    daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to
    tell someone!

    Reply
  2. Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old
    daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to
    tell someone!

    Reply

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