Food preservation

Why are There Maggots in Rice (Facts You should Know)

Almost all grains have maggots in them. Personally, maggots are not among my favorite creatures. They look so disgusting and scary to me. 

I remember a specific day I purchased rice, and on opening it, I realized it had maggots. I was not happy. It got me thinking about maggots and everything there is to know about them. 

I wondered, why are there maggots in rice? Maggots in rice result from the rice being infested by pests like moths and weevils. These pests lay eggs in the rice, and the eggs develop into larvae. 


Pests can invade rice at any stage, especially during harvesting and packaging. Whether or not maggots are harmful is a common question most of us ask. 

In this article, I am going to answer those questions and others. Keep on reading to know what there is to know about maggots in rice. 

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Origin of Maggots in the Rice

Real maggots are from flies. Flies feed on dead things or feces. They do not attack grains, and therefore there are no real maggots in rice. I know you are wondering what we call maggots in rice, then. 


The simple answer is that it is larvae. When pests attack rice grains, they lay eggs that later turn into larvae. Some of these pests are weevils, a common pest that attacks grains. The larvae are what we call maggots in these grains. 

The larvae go through a metamorphosis and finally hatch back into the pests. 

The pests that invest in the rice are found in storage facilities. They are sometimes on the farms, and the rice is infested upon harvesting. As a result, the rice has maggots or eggs that will finally hatch into maggots. 

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Are Maggots Harmful?


I was in the process of eating rice when I discovered it had maggots—those disgusting little creatures. I felt so horrible that I puked. Later, I was so worried that I was going to die. I even went to seek medical attention. 

I was so relieved when the doctor told me that maggots are not harmful to the human body. The only maggots that can harm you are those that develop due to eating rotten food. 

Rotten food turns into maggots, and if you ingest it, you can become sick. There is a difference between these two types of maggots, and you should be wary. 

I am not encouraging you to eat rice that has maggots already. If you note that your rice has some larvae, you should take preventive measures. As much as eating rice with maggots cannot harm you, it is disgusting to see them in your food. 

If your rice is infested with larvae, you should throw it away or takes other preventive measures. 

How to curb Maggots in Rice Grains


Maggots in rice are a sign of pests infesting your grains. Supposing you had bought vast amounts of rice to sell or eat, it can be detrimental if weevils destroy it. 

Never underestimate pests like weevils. If you do not take them seriously and eradicate them, you risk losing your grains. None of us enjoy losses, and so, as soon as you notice larvae in your rice, you should think about measures to ensure you get rid of them. 

Better still, you can prevent your rice from becoming infested by pests in the first place. How do you do this? Read on. 

Use Pesticides


This method of pest invasion prevention applies to people who store large amounts of grains in their pantries. Rice farmers and rice sellers are some people who have vast amounts of rice stored. To prevent the rice from being infested by pests, you should spray the rice with pesticides. 

Using pesticides to curb pests invasion is one of the most effective pests prevention and eradication methods. Most people are aware of this method since many folks use it.  

Although using pesticides can have some adverse effects on human beings, it is practical, and people can prevent the effects by washing the rice thoroughly before cooking it. 

Pesticides kill any larvae that might be in the rice. They also ensure that more pests do not infest the rice. In short, they help preserve your rice for an extended period. 

Using Natural Methods


Using natural methods to prevent pests from invading your rice is effective. This method works well for people who do not have a lot of rice in their pantry. 

Most of us buy rice in bulk because it’s cheap, and we hate going to the store every time we need rice. We store the rice on shelves and therefore require a few tips on preventing the rice from being invaded by pests. 

Some of the natural preventive methods you can use are;

● Put dried clove all around your pantry or shelves. Bay leaves can also work. Ensure they are well scattered, and they will repel the insects. 

● You can tie dried chili and garlic with strings and hang them around your food shelves. These two ingredients have a way of repelling pests. Your rice stays free of pests; thus, you avoid maggots. 

● Get rid of old foodstuff. Otherwise, avoid putting your rice with expired grains that may have pests. 

Other Preventive Measures


You can do other things to ensure you do not have maggots in your rice. These preventive measures are;

● Store your rice in airtight containers. Some pests like weevils can quickly get into plastic bags, which will not serve you well. When you purchase rice, look for a container with a lid that fits well. Put the rice in that container and seal it. This method will ensure that no pests affect your rice. 

● Check the rice you are buying for the expiry date. When you get home, thoroughly check it to ensure there are no maggots. If you discover maggots, return the rice to the store immediately. Most stores will accept the rice and give you a new bag. 

● Avoid combining fresh rice with old rice. What I mean is, if you have some leftover rice and then you buy a new bag, do not combine it. Put the new bag in its container. As a result, you will prevent the new rice from becoming infested if the old rice has maggots. 

What to do With Rice that has Maggots


Supposing you notice that your rice has some maggots or pets, there are a few things you can do. For starters, you can spray the rice with insecticides to eliminate the maggots. 

Other than that, you can throw the rice away if you realize the invasion is too much. If you have livestock or chicken, you can feed the rice to those animals. 

Cooking rice with a few maggots is not harmful to your health. If they do not disgust you, you can go ahead and cook the rice, and the larvae will die. If you decide to consume the rice, eat it fast before all the eggs in the rice hatch into more maggots.

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Bottom Line

Maggots are not a pretty sight. Imagine cooking your rice and then noticing those little creatures as you are about to eat. Disgusting right?

There is a lot to know about maggots in rice. Things like where they come from, whether they are harmful to our bodies or not, and how you can prevent your rice from maggot’s invasion are some of the things we all want to know. 

I have answered those questions in detail above, and I believe you have learned a lot. After learning all that, I hope you will take the proper measures to ensure you do not find maggots in your rice.

All the best. 

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