How long to freeze rice to kill bugs? (+5 Ways to prevent rice bugs)

In this article, we will answer the question “How long to freeze rice to kill bugs?”, and how to get rid of rice weevils naturally?

How long to freeze rice to kill bugs?

Rice must be frozen for at least 4 days to kill bugs. Rice weevils are common in storage and processing areas where they can even infest seeds, dried fruits, nuts, spaghetti, macaroni, and dog food.

Before freezing

The rice weevil larvae hatch from the eggs laid on the rice grains. It transforms into pupae in 1-3 weeks. If the adult flying weevil survives for 3-6 months, it can easily lay 200-600 eggs.

Rice weevils not only damage grains, but they also chew into cardboard, cotton clothes, and wood furniture.

During freezing 

The low temperatures will be able to kill the rice bugs but their eggs might become dormant and hatch once the temperatures are warm and favorable. Before freezing, shist the rice from its original packaging to an air-tight packaging.

After freezing

After freezing, spread the rice grains on a tray and let them air dry. Once fully dried, sieve them to remove bugs and transfer them to an air-tight container. Before cooking, sieve the rice to remove any bugs that might be present.

How to prevent rice bugs?

Weevils commonly infect rice and other grains. They feed on the rice pectin for nourishment and lay their eggs inside the rice grains. Each bug can lay up to 254 eggs. The egg utilizes the rice grain nutrients and hatches. Then it mates again, lays eggs infesting other rice grains.

Following preventive measures should be adopted to avoid bugs in rice or any other grain, cereal, milk powder, etc.

Inspection before buying

Before buying, inspect the rice for any bugs. Do not buy even if you see one bug.


After buying, freeze-store the eggs for at least a week before use. This practice kills the eggs. For best results, keep them in the fridge until use.

Discard infested grains

Once you start noticing the sign of insect infestation, discard the rice or any other grain that has been stored incorrectly.

Store in glass or metal container

Use glass or metal containers to store rice or any other grains because the weevils can easily bore into cardboard boxes or low-quality plastic.

Maintain cleanliness

Keep the storage area clean. Do not let any dust or dirt settle in the corners or crevices of the pantry shelves. Preferably use vinegar to wipe the shelves. Acetic acid acts as an insect repellant.

Other FAQs about Rice which you may be interested in.

How much water to add to the rice cooker?

How to keep bugs out of rice?

How to fry uncooked rice?

Other ways to keep the bugs out

Use bay leaves

The aroma of the bay leaves acts as a repellant against rice weevils. Place some bay leaves in the pantry where rice and other grains, nuts, or seeds are stored. Alternatively, stuff thistle socks with some bay leaves and place the sock in the rice container. These leaves are often used in recipes along with whole spice.

Use strong herbs

Herbs like cloves, rosemary, onion, and peppercorn that have a strong aroma can be stuffed in thistle socks and kept in the pantry to repel rice weevils. The strong aroma of these herbs might penetrate the rice grains if you keep them in the container with the grains.

Soap water

Apart from vinegar, soap water can also be used to keep the rice weevils at bay. Mix cup of water with 8-10 drops of dish soaps and clean the area around the storage to kill insect larvae, eggs, and adults.

Garlic cloves

Mince or dice some garlic or use whole garlic cloves, stuffed in a thistle sock, to repel rice weevils. The strong aroma of garlic also repels spiders, thrips, and centipedes.

Neem leaves

Like bay leaves, neem leaves can be used to keep the rice weevils out from the pantry due to its pungent smell. Stuff a thistle sock with neem leaves or keep them in a bowl near the storage area.


Like garlic, the pungent smell of garlic can be utilized for its insect-repellant properties.


Use a matchbox or a bundle of used match sticks to deter rice weevils. The sulfur in the matchsticks keeps the bugs out.


Rice weevils do not light bright sunlight. Therefore, it is a good practice to open the kitchen blinds or windows to let the sunlight reach every nook and corner of your pantry. Alternatively, you can transfer your stored rice or any other grains to an outdoor sheltered area where the sun shines bright.


In this article, we will answer the question “How long to freeze rice to kill bugs?”, and how to get rid of rice weevils naturally?