Rice weevils are tiny insects that reach only about 1/8 inch long.
Rice weevils are dark brownish black in color and have four large reddish or orange patches - two on each side. Very often their flight wings will be visible. This sets them apart from the granary weevil, which cannot fly. Rice weevils are also distinguished by a long snout coming from the front of the head that have a pair of chewing mandibles at the tip. Their antennae arise from in front of the eyes and are distinctly bent half out.
When rice weevils are larvae they are only able to feed from within whole, unbroken grains of wheat, rice, corn, or other seeds. They are usually found in grain storage facilities or processing plants, infesting wheat, oats, rye, barley, rice, and corn. Sometimes they enter homes and infest table beans, acorns, chestnuts, birdseed, sunflower seeds, hard processed products such as pet food nuggets or dry pasta and ornamental corn.
The granary weevil uses its chewing mandibles to feed on all kinds of grain including corn, wheat and rice.
The female rice weevil lays around 400 eggs during her five months of life. She places them one at a time into a small hole she bores into each grain kernel. She covers each hole with a film of gelatinous secretion to seal a single egg inside each kernel. It is difficult to detect infestations at this time because they cannot be seen. Larval development lasts about one month and adult rice weevils bore a ragged hole in the grain to emerge.
When disturbed, the rice weevil, like the granary weevil, will feign death by drawing its legs close to the body, falling, and remaining silent.
Control of most stored food pest relies on proper storage of products and elimination of the source of the infestation.