How To Separate Maggots From Rice?

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If you are looking for an answer to how to separate maggots from rice, you are at the right place as I will brief you about how to do the same.

Undoubtedly, maggots can be a huge annoyance when you find them in your grocery store items like rice, in addition to the fact that they are also kind of creepy to look at. Let us learn how to tackle these tiny, annoying creatures.

What are maggots?

Larvae stage

Even though maggots are far too prevalent, there’s a significant possibility you’ve never heard of one. Maggots are one of the types of flies.

In fact, if you want to know about them in detail, you should know that maggots are the young adults or larvae stage of a fly, and yes, that is how frequent maggots are because we have all heard about flies.

If you look closely, maggots have a conical shape and are yellowish in color.

Maggots are worms with the pointed end of their heads used for digging. Maggots eat either live or rotting materials, depending on the type of fly. They dig into the material as they eat it, leaving circular, biting holes all around. They are quite fond of rice.

Why Does rice have maggot infestation?

Adult Maggots

Maggots are attracted to rice because of the dry and humid conditions it provides. The flies fly inside the rice and other food items in your kitchen and deposit their eggs when the storage container is not airtight or properly sealed.

These eggs hatch and mature into larvae, or maggots, in the rice, and they keep multiplying, resulting in an infestation.

Can Maggots multiply?

How to separate maggots from rice?

Maggot populations grow rapidly because female flies may produce up to 2,000 eggs in the course of a single month.

A rice-filled drum is an ideal environment for the larva to develop. As the weather changes, the rain and humidity improve the texture and aroma of the rice, boosting the maggot’s chances of detecting the rice container as a good place to live.

As a result, it’s critical to discover the problem early on.

How to separate maggots from rice?

The short answer to how to separate maggots from rice is to toss the rice. If you are dealing with a small quantity of rice that has been infected by maggots, then it will be easier to solve the problem of larvae in rice.

All you need to do in such a scenario is to toss the rice, and you will be able to get rid of the maggot in the rice as the larvae in the rice easily fall out.

Maggots in rice

On the other hand, if you have to get rid of maggots from a huge quantity of rice, it will take far too much time. You’ll need to prepare different batches of rice and then toss them together. This can be quite time-consuming and tedious.

After tossing the rice and getting rid of the maggots, thoroughly clean the area where you did the tossing and store the rice in airtight containers.

This process will help you separate maggots from rice.

How to prevent maggots in rice?

Larvae in rice

The monsoon is the optimum time for maggots to reproduce because they thrive in damp, humid environments and are difficult to control once they start reproducing.

So here are a few pointers to help you keep them out of rice stock.

Freeze to kill

It’s best to keep the rice in the freezer for a few days after purchasing them. This process will kill all larvae and eggs (if any) in the rice and prevent further infestation. Once the rice is free of maggots, take it out and put it back where it belongs.

Bay leaves

One of the most effective options to get rid of maggots is to use bay leaf. Put a few bay leaves in containers that are more prone to infection, and you can also place bay leaves inside loose brown rice.


If you do not have too much time or energy to get rid of maggots after frequent infestations, this is probably the best preventive technique.

Cloves are commonly available and will combat and prevent maggots’ invasion. You can also sprinkle some cloves on the shelves of your cupboards and in the pantry where you keep your rice.


It may sound strange, but matchbooks contain sulfur, which is disliked by maggots. If you keep an open matchbox near the rice container, maggots will not be detected. Small bags of black pepper can also be kept in your pantry.

Keep the rice that has been contaminated in the sun.

If a considerable amount of rice has been infested with maggots, simply place it in the sunshine. Because these bugs abhor daylight, they will seek out a dark, wet place to hide in. You may quickly get rid of maggots by exposing tainted rice to sunshine for a day.

Which other pests attack rice?

If you think maggots are the only pests you need to protect your rice from, then you are wrong. There are more –


Termites (order Isoptera) and the rice water weevil, Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus, are both root eaters (order Coleoptera). Termites appear in patches in West African upland rice fields and frequently damage the plants, especially when water is scarce.

In the United States, the water weevil is a major insect pest of irrigated rice. The adult water weevil eats on leaves and does little damage. However, the larvae feed on roots and severely weaken the root system. Plants with weak root systems provide low yields and grow slowly.

Rice weevils

Rice weevils, also known as grain beetles, are microscopic bugs that can be found in pantry rice and grains. They may appear innocuous, but they are responsible for tens of thousands of dollars in food waste in the United States each year.

While their name implies that they solely eat rice, rice weevils can be found in almost any grain items. Cereals, spices, rice, oats, wheat, macaroni, almonds, dried beans, barley, oats, corn, birdseed, dog food, and other foods such as vinegar, sauce, meat, fresh farm vegetables attract them.

Don’t worry if you’ve eaten these bugs in rice. Rice weevils aren’t harmful to humans or animals. They are, however, pests that can infest entire pantries if you aren’t vigilant. Furthermore, they can hasten the deterioration of food.

These bugs are an issue in every home for more than just pantry supplies. They can also cause havoc on farms and industries by consuming grains and contaminating meals as they are processed.

In truth, it’s highly likely that you acquired bugs in rice after purchasing a contaminated container of grains or rice from the supermarket. The majority of rice weevils lay their eggs in rice. A female rice weevil can lay around 500 eggs in a single package, although only depositing an egg in a single grain at a time.

This can result in a large-scale infestation. Rice weevils have strong mandibles and can eat through soft plastics and cardboard, making them even more dangerous. They’ll rapidly find their way out of the original box and into other products in your pantry, where they’ll continue to feast and breed.

And thus, if a few bugs are found in rice or packaging, it’s advisable to discard all improperly stored food and start over.


Maggots are aggravating because, once they infect a specific grocery item, they will continue to reproduce indefinitely, destroying your entire grocery.

As a result, if you see even a single maggot, you must act swiftly and eliminate them using the approach I described. You can also take preventative measures to avoid having to deal with an infestation in the first place.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.