Korea Expat BLog

Prevent Kill Rice Grain Weevil Bug

almost two Months of extreme heat throughout the Peninsula, is finally lowering from last night, with light random showers . now you would have noticed tiny bugs appear out of rice, or around the apartment or house if they have escaped its casing .

[ HOW IT GOT THERE ]

  1. The bugs originally lay dig holes inside the grain, lay eggs then seal it with their secretion .
  2. This do quite often happen in rice, but in my experience more in mixed grain sold for more health-conscious consumers .
  3. manufacturers are well aware of this and treat them on products to be sold in Spring and Summer, but not in colder Season as no pesticide is fully safe even for humans .
  4. Some manufacturers and brands advertise as they have neutralized this situation, but better write it off as they can happen on any product – unless perhaps it is in a sealed-top hard-plastic container, which some mixed health grains are sold in .
  5. so it is always there, and is not harmful to humans once digested . but the eggs does hatch when adept combination of temperature (nearing 30 Degrees Celsius) and moisture formulate .. such as hot Monsoon Season in the Orient . its younglings devour valuable neutrients in grains (which will make it float on water when washing) which would be otherwise intended for humans .

 

[ PREVENTION ]

  • the most traditional way has been to put garlic inside the grain shack, as the bugs dislike it .
  • several anti-rice bug packets are sold in South Korea, where you can stick it with its adhesive, on the inside of your rice container .
  • however the most-proven (modern) mothers’ method is to put rice into an empty plastic water bottle, and freeze it for several days before consuming . here sealed-containers for preserving left-over food in the refrigerator, don’t work as well because they have larger area to seal-off . thus used plastic water bottles work best, as they can be completely sealed with its tiny cap, and shaking the bottle couple of times will fill it with more rice with minimal air-space left for Oxygen for the eggs . theoretically the eggs and bugs are supposed to die 20 Degrees below freezing point, and above 60 Celsius, but they do seem to die in the freezing compartment after several days .
  • if perhaps you have a thick paper-sack of rice too large to seal-off, put blocks of charcoal to minimize moisture . just know the bugs will eat through paper and soft vinyl or light plastic wrap, but not thick-hard plastic and glass or china .

*moths inside the apartment or house, and more rice floating while washing in water : would be signs the bugs have hatched .

 

[ FINDING AND GETTING RID OF ]

  1. the old grand-mother’s way, has been to spread the rice on light sheet of paper and pinch them one-by-one with fingers .
  2. dead and live bugs will float while you wash your rice, when you can flush them out of your bowl but as they do not drown (accustomed to rice-pads under-water on the fields) and as some may still escape out – better use more sure methods :
  3. the freeze-and-wash out dead bugs above will work
  4. but the surest (and cruel) way is to put rice into a completely-sealable hard-plastic or glass container, then place antiseptic alcohol (used for wounds) soaked in cotton swab in a small bowl on the center, surface . then seal it with transparent wrap or original lid and leave it for 4~5 days . the inside will run-out of moisture and Oxygen, while the bugs will gather onto the swab for air and moisture . eventually all will be dead neatly inside the small bowl around the swab . try to pick as much dead bugs in the center and on the corners, then fill the rice into a used-empty plastic water bottle and freeze-it, to used regularly when you put it into a rice cooker .

 

( My Experience Using the Last Method ABOVE )

  • the tiny bugs try to climb-out pretty fast out of the container .
  • after sealed, they hover around the top of the container for half day .
  • then they dig into the grain, but come to the surface a day later for air .
  • by the second day, they do not have the strength to climb on the container corners and move slower until all die on the surface by the fourth day, if the container is sealed tight – if you have not put enough alcohol : they will die around the corners of the containers if transparent, as they seek light .

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