Rice Bug Farm

In response to Brian’s ant farm posts, I’d like to post my “rice bug farm.” I’m not quite sure what kind of bugs they are, but they’ve been living in the rice for over a month now.

I mentioned this to my girlfriend. She told me that it was no problem, there were always bugs in the rice when she was growing up in China. I should just wash them out before I make rice. Knowing her rather well and how she isn’t a big fan of bugs, I thought that the rice bugs were fine.

The next weekend, she came to visit. She took one look at the bugs and declared the whole thing disgusting. These weren’t the rice bugs she grew up with.

38 thoughts on “Rice Bug Farm

  1. I actually saw mention of the confused flour beetle online when I did a search for rice bugs. I was kind of wondering what they were so confused about either.

  2. I remember pointing them out when I was there during Protocon. But at the time there were only 3 or 4 of ’em. Guess they’ve been busy.

    That’s a really nice close-up photo by the way.

  3. Megan – they weren’t nearly as bad when we ate the rice (if we ate it). Like Pete said, there were only a couple at Proto-con. And if you and I had the rice, we had it a week before.

    Although – I’ve had that rice 3 days prior to this post (and so did Tim). Confused Flour Beetle babies might start hatching inside us and crawling out or our ears. A Night of the Creeps scenario could only be days away.

  4. Oh, and weevils have a larval stage the size and shape of white rice. I’d throw that shite out if I were you.

    Hey, if Brian is reading this, call me. We need to get the LMS crew together before you head out to China.

  5. Hey, I picked up a box from the military base and it had rice and other pasta products in it. Now I have that same bug in my house. The more I kill them the more they seem to multiply. Did anyone find out what they were? I’m getting tired of checking my macoroni and rice before cooking it.

  6. These are cofused flour beetles. They are “confused” because they are flour beetles but will live in rice and other grains. If you want to keep them out of your rice and flour, first don’t let them get near your cupboards because they are extremely hard to get rid of once you get an infestation. Second, any time you buy flour or grain products (corn bread, rice, powdered mashed potatoes, etc.) freeze them for a day or two then, once they have been opened, place them in sealed plastic containers (like tupperware) or glass jars. If you include bay leaves in the jar or lay them in the cupboard it helps repel them.

    Hope this helps!

  7. Every rice eater human will know that when rice is kept too long in containers, jars or any bags, there are bound to be rice bugs. The only way to get away with it is to do not over stock or just buy enough for a few days’ supply.

    But, people here, where I live say that to keep rice fresh or bug free, try putting a few pieces of Garlic inside the container, jar or bag.

    Some say it works. So, spread the news across your friends.


  8. I found some white worms, size of the rice, in my bin 2 days ago. We had cooked rice already and my friends have eaten it..so did i? We are fine. Now that we have discovered it, we are wary of cooking the rice. We found these things floate in the water. My wife is scared. She had anaphylaxis from infected flour 2 years ago. She might get one again, she says. If anyone has a reply and can send it direclty to mye mail, i will be appreciative.


  9. EW , we have those too . They’re so gross . My grandma is so convinced our rice is rotten and infested with ANTS even though I’ve repeatedly told her they aren’t ants and those worms are their larvae ! What’d you end up doing with the rice ? Did you find them in anything else ? Like any other foods ? Or was the container securely closed ? We kept our rice in a rice bin and so there was an opening therefore allowing them to crawl out of the container . Another thing , we also got discounted rice from the store since the rice bags were punctured , so that’s probably how the bugs go in there in the first place . What do we do ?

  10. Last year I had about 40 pound rice bag, and half was gone, it was sitting in the kitchen for maybe 2 months and when i needed to cook rice, i found hundreds of these little bugs. Today, have a new bag, (by the way i moved into a new home, not because of the bugs =P) and found more of these bugs but not as much. Im kinda grossed out >.<

    It was a bag that i had never opened and when i poured hot water in the bag to kill them all and toss it all out in the morning,ut then it started leeking out a little hole near the bottom of the bag, probably where these little bugs ate their way through.

  11. Hello, Thank you for having the perfect picture of what I found in my cupboard upon deciding to cook some rice. I immediatly tried burning the living bugs with the spices I had at the pot dumped all of the rice and took it out of my home. I cleaned all my cupboards and hve not seen more. I am a bit horrified at reading you guys seem to have an infestation of them. They are in face rice bugs (iidk where confused flour bug came from) but flour and rice are grains they bloom in the grains. The person who purchased an unopen bag and found them eww and they were hatched probably due to an extended time on that shelf. WHen I have rice for a month I am tossing it for now on.

    Thanks. again.

  12. Ughh I just went to make some Ramen noodles and found these nasty things in them after I cooked them in the microwave. I also found them in my Toy Story mac and cheese about a month ago and blew it off thinking it was a bad box. I then checked a box of noodles I had and figured out that my entire cupboard was infested with them. They chewed through plastic zip lock bags and got into my nutrigrain bars, pancake mix, flour, noodles, pretty much anything they could. I threw everything away, but a few containers that were safe with twisty lids and snap on lid and scrubbed the cupboard out with lysol bathroom bleach spray, hot water and lysol spray. I’m so upset right now. My head itches and my skin is crawling. Of course my boyfriend isnt concerned considering the xbox is more important and that will be feeding him for the next month. I really hope that my cleaning like I did will end this disgusting infestation that has taken over my kitchen. Thank you so much for posting this because this is the only image I found on google that was even close to my experience.

    Any hints on how to get rid of these would be great or how to prevent them in the future.

  13. Katie and I share a similar story instead of leaving a few items i threw EVERYTHING out. unfortunately that didnt work. We took a sample to our local exterminator and he declared that they were weevil insects and recommended a spray ( i totally forgot the name of it). Intense cleaning will not help because these insects leave behind larva. Hope this helped.

  14. lmao My wife is Chinese and just rinses them out of the rice, like she did growing up. Lately we are finding the bugs everywhere. I just finished cleaning out the cupboards and found that the Chinese bugs at launched an attack on our Indian Basmati rice that we rarely use. The Basmati rice was dark with the little critters. I hope we don’t have to throw everything away. At least I got to find this page and laugh that I wasn’t alone in my dilemma. And read about someone else with a Chinese wife that is used to bugs.

  15. They are harmless. Read the above post that links to pestproducts/weevils. We take our rice and pour the measured serving into a large bowl and rinse. They float to the top and flow over the rim of ther bowl. Keep rinsing and your rice will be good as new!

  16. If you only knew what you have eaten in the past but didnt see what was in it. A few little bits of protein wont hurt you. Well boiled/fried of course 🙂

  17. Yup… we had a bag infested with these. They float, so when we wanted to make rice, we’d just soak the rice briefly after agitating it in water, and then skim off the insects. Rinse the rice a couple more times and you’re good to go.

    1. My sister did the same thing. She ate that very same rice and jokingly said it was protein. lol

  18. i just found em in my box of raisins…im so grossed out. i will never eat raisin from the box again and i will not eat rice that is not sealed. from now on everything goes in the fridge. no more cupboard stuff unless its canned. and nasty ppl to just rinse them off. wat about feces? eew.

    1. They looks gross in numbers. But I have held on and really smash it too. It is so tiny. I found some in my cabinets and draws where I have kept some rice noodles. I think it comes from outside and it leave track, traces for others to crawl into your food. Do you know how to get rid of it?

  19. This is the problem with organic rice. Yep, Rice from China are organic. Just not labeled and overpriced like they are here in the states.

    Organic basically means free of chemicals and pesticides.

    1. Mike, my sister washed it off, and before long, we ate the rice. I would have not kept it from my husband but have thrown it out. Nevertheless, my sister have been cooking the rice and her husband have no idea. What man checks the pantry, unless, he was my husband who loves snacks. Oh, you won’t die. You might get more protein. LoL.

  20. The FDA allows for a certain percentage of “organic material” in all processed foods. Rat hair, bug parts, various fecal matter. There isn’t anything clean, the hamburger you buy at the fast food place has a roach smashed and mixed with the meat, you never know about it. The breakfast cereal, the cake mix. Does anyone eat berries? do you see any port-o-potties out in the feilds? Where do you think the workers relieve themselves? Our food is under constant bombardment from the things we find detestable and yet we’re still alive. If you only knew what’s been in your mouth, it would probably turn your stomach. Lets not get started on what’s dirty in a public restroom.

  21. I don’t actually see any fields right now where I am. But anyway, you’re right. In our lives we’ve had bits of this or that in our food…so logically then it’s time to willfully and gleefully gorge on pure maggot poop.

    Or, is it a matter of degrees and degrees matter so we have to decide what level and type of contamination we find disgusting? I don’t know….that would be too level-headed.

  22. After spending days with my sister, I decided to help her prepare the rice. When I looked, I have notice these tiny beetles like bugs in the rice, just like the photo you’ve posted. I addressed to her and she throw a large container way with nothing but black beetles in it. I came to visit again, and there it was in her rice. This time, she insisted I wash the bugs off and cook it in the rice pot. She insisted that it was fine, but I wasn’t used to eat rice that had bugs feasting it first. She had been eating the same rice and nevertheless, I was too. But just knowing it later, I got gross. I have to say, she just wash it off and again, nothing happen. This is why I need to know if she should feed this to her family. Like my husband and her husband, they would have told her to throw the rice away. So if you know that it is harmful, please write back. Overall, I am still here, I would not have eaten it again. Later, I have found the same beetles in my drawers, far from the state we live. I think it is all over and not just in the rice, but pasta too. Yunk!

  23. This image was so helpful because it confirmed these suckers aren’t meal worms! I’m gonna try and get the spray that was recommended in the link!

  24. If these are indeed “confuse” flour beetles, they may not really be confused at all. Rice deteriorates with age, breaking down into a starchy powder not unlike…flour! So it makes perfect sense that flour beetles would seek out what must seem to them to be a kind of “rice flour”.

  25. I discovered the same pests yesterday and have thrown everything out but they are everywhere in my cupboards instead of paying a high price for some chemical spray I’ve been using rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and it kills them on contact. Before I restock my shelves I think I will put out a small cup of rice to bate the surviving scavengers.

  26. I’m glad someone else found these things… I’ve been searching them for the last two years. Though I have done my research and they do not look like confused flour beetles not weevils. Weeliks have a long snout(nose) type thing that comes down off of it…and the confused dfliur bugs seem much thicker and more beetle like. These bugs (Pictured) however, are much smaller and thinner. They’re not as small as ants though. And they can’t be any sort of flour or rice beetle because where I have them is not in my kitchen our cupboards. They are actually in my carpet and I’ve been finding more and more of them. I have no idea what they are so I don’t have any idea on how to get rid of them. I wish I actually knew the identity of these bugs so I can rid them for good.

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