Can Eating Flour Weevils Make You Sick?

Flour weevils, also known as wheat weevils, are common pantry pests that can be found in flour and other grain products. If you’ve ever discovered these tiny bugs in your flour, you may be wondering whether they are harmful if accidentally consumed. In this article, we will explore the potential health effects of eating flour weevils and provide useful tips for dealing with infestations based on information from reputable sources.

Understanding Flour Weevils and Their Characteristics

Flour weevils are beetles that belong to the family Curculionidae. They are larger insects compared to flour mites and are characterized by their brown-colored bodies and distinctive snout-shaped noses. These pests can measure between 3mm and 10mm in length and often infest flour, grains, and cereals.

Flour mites, on the other hand, are nearly invisible to the naked eye. They have white bodies and brown legs, and they tend to thrive in dark and humid environments, making your kitchen pantry an ideal breeding ground.

Are Flour Weevils Harmful to Humans?

According to the information provided by reliable sources, consuming flour weevils does not pose any significant health risks. Weevils are not known to bite, sting, or poison humans, and accidentally eating them is unlikely to cause any ill effects. However, it’s important to note that weevils may impact the quality and taste of your food. Consuming weevils along with your meal may introduce an unwanted crunch and make the food unpalatable.

Dealing with Flour Weevil Infestations

If you discover a flour weevil infestation in your pantry, it is advisable to take prompt action to eliminate the problem. Here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Remove Contaminated Flour: Start by discarding any flour or grain products that show signs of infestation. Tossing the contaminated flour ensures that you remove the source of the infestation.
  2. Thoroughly Clean the Pantry: Use soapy water to clean your pantry shelves and corners. Pay extra attention to areas where flour may have accumulated. While commercially available pesticides can be effective in eradicating pests, it is important to exercise caution when using them around food supplies. Seeking assistance from a professional pest control service is recommended in such cases.
  3. Prevent Future Infestations: To prevent weevils from infesting your flour in the future, store your products in airtight containers. This prevents weevil eggs from hatching and reinfesting your pantry. Additionally, freezing flour for a day or two can help kill any potential eggs or weevils present. Placing garlic cloves or bay leaves in bags of flour can act as natural deterrents, as weevils tend to dislike the strong aroma.

Flour Mites and Potential Health Risks

While flour weevils are generally harmless, flour mites can potentially cause health issues. Flour mites are capable of spreading fungal spores, which can lead to mold growth in flour and other grain products. Ingesting mold-contaminated flour can make people sick, especially if they have allergies or sensitivities to mold. In rare cases, consuming mold-contaminated flour can cause skin itching, throat swelling, and difficulty breathing. If you experience severe symptoms after consuming contaminated flour, it is advisable to seek medical attention immediately.


In summary, eating flour weevils accidentally is unlikely to harm you. However, it is not recommended to make a habit of consuming weevils in your food due to their unappetizing nature. To prevent weevil infestations, store your flour in airtight containers, consider freezing it for a day or two, and use natural deterrents such as garlic cloves or bay leaves. Additionally, be cautious of flour mites and the potential health risks associated with mold contamination. If you encounter persistent pest problems or have concerns about your food safety, consult with a professional pest control service.



Are flour weevils harmful if accidentally consumed?

No, flour weevils are not harmful to humans if accidentally consumed. They do not pose any significant health risks.

Can eating flour weevils make your food unpalatable?

Yes, consuming flour weevils along with your food may add an unwanted crunch and make the food unpalatable.

How can I remove flour weevils from contaminated flour?

To remove flour weevils from contaminated flour, it is best to discard the affected flour and thoroughly clean your pantry to eliminate any remaining weevils or eggs.

What can I do to prevent weevil infestations in flour?

Storing flour in airtight containers and freezing it for a day or two can help prevent weevil infestations. Additionally, placing garlic cloves or bay leaves in the bag of flour can act as a natural deterrent for weevils.

Are flour mites the same as flour weevils?

No, flour mites and flour weevils are separate pests, but both can infest flour and grains.

Can flour mites make you sick?

Flour mites themselves are not harmful to humans. However, they can spread fungal spores and cause mold growth in flour, which can potentially make people sick, especially those with allergies or sensitivities to mold.

How can I differentiate between flour mites and flour weevils?

Flour mites are almost invisible to the naked eye and have white bodies and brown legs. Weevils, on the other hand, are larger brown-colored beetles with a distinctive snout-shaped nose.

Is it recommended to make a habit of eating flour with weevils?

No, while eating flour with weevils is unlikely to harm you, it is not recommended to make a habit of it due to the unappetizing nature of weevils in food.