Why Do Rice Turn Into Maggots? [What You Need to Know 2023]

You have some old rice and you see some maggots crawling around in there and you think to yourself, why do rice turn into maggots?

Yes, rice can have maggots in them because most rice have larvae in them and the larvae typically hatch in room temperature. There are a few things you can do about this.

Let’s dive in.

Rice can turn into maggots because rice contains larvae larvae and larvae will hatch in room temperature.

Another reason can be because the rice has decomposed and flies populate the rice, laying larvae’s.

However, rice does not turn into maggots, rice has larvae already in it or attracts larvae as it decomposes. 

When Will Rice Have Maggots?

Rice is prone to maggots after expiry. Typically, white rice lasts around 2 years, but brown rice lasts 6 months.

Once the maggot eggs hatch, they will populate the rice within 30 hours. So, now you might be wondering – how can I prevent this?

How to Prevent Maggots in Rice

Maggots thrive in moist, warm, oxygenated environments.

One way to prevent maggots in rice is to use an airtight bag that leaves no room for maggots to live and no oxygen for larvae to hatch.

I use FirstDRY 1 Gallon Mylar Bags for all my foods to slow the decomposition, prevent insects from thriving, and more.

It is essential to prevent maggots because they can deteriorate your rice much faster and spread to other foods.

But what if you weren’t smart enough to get airtight bags beforehand? Can I eat the rice with maggots?

Can You Eat Rice With Maggots?

If you eat maggots, that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s bad. If the rice isn’t spoiled, best case – you got some extra protein. In fact, maggots are edible insects [interlink]. However, maggots don’t exactly taste great.

Additionally, as stated before, maggots typically thrive after the expiry date. So, that means the rice will probably be spoiled, causing food poisoning.

So, how do you tell if your rice is spoiled?

How to Kill Existing Maggots?

If you already notice larvae in your rice, you can safely store rice in the freezer for up to one month, which should kill off the existing maggots. 

Although maggots will probably die within a few days, I like to be extra sure and leave it there for at least one week to ensure they all die. Freezing your rice beyond that will leave little moisture left in the rice.

Another way to kill maggots is to put them in a scorching environment – around 120-140F for 3 hours. Maggots cannot handle extreme conditions well. 

Additionally, if you have Boric Acid on hand, you can sprinkle just a little bit into your food with the maggots to kill it off fast. Note that too much of this may be toxic to you as well.

Finally, you can also use airtight bags or oxygen absorbers. Since maggots need oxygen to survive, these are two great options that I use together when my rice has maggots in it.

Signs Your Rice is Expired

The package label or even my general estimates may not be entirely correct. I’ve had rice last a lot longer and safely eaten it.

Like with most food, you can tell that it has gone wrong if there are holes in the rice, bugs in it, a wet feeling, discoloration, or mold on it. Another common sign is that your rice smells disgusting.

This is caused by exposure to oxygen, humidity, and more. This can easily be prevented by FirstDRY 1 Gallon Mylar Bags.

How Do Maggots Look Like in Rice?

Maggots are typically brown or a light brown color, so they’re easy to spot in white rice and harder to spot in brown rice.

But, they typically move around, so you can spot them that was as well.

You can also look out for larvae – moth larvae are what you want to be looking out for. They can be a variety of colors, but the most commons ones are white and gray. It looks almost like a small worm of caterpillar. 

Are They Really Maggots?

Those little pests in your bag may not be maggots.

Although most people jucame st to a quick conclusion that their rice has maggots, this may not be entirely true.

More often than not, rice will have much more Indianmoths and Weevils than moths. These are the most common culprits for any pantry supply. The methods to prevent them are the same as mag. You can use an airtight bag.

These may look similar to Maggots, but itessentialant to tell the difference. But, the difference is not fatal. Most larvae are generally edible.

Does All Rice Have Larvae in it?

If the rice is grown in an outdoor environment, chances are there are larvae in it. GMOs haven’t solved this problem yet.

You can grow rice yourself in an indoor facility where you can monitor any insect infestation. However, most won’t go this far, so it’s safe to say that your rice does have larvae in it.

This is fine – it doesn’t mean your rice has gone bad, although if you see insects like fully grown Maggots, Indianmoths, or Weevils – that probably means your rice is spoiled.

Final Words

So, why do rice have maggots? There are two reasons – because the rice was grown outside and has larvae already in it and because flies lay eggs on it when the rice is decomposing.

There are several ways to prevent or kill maggots in rice – so if you don’t want maggots in your rice and you want to store rice for over a few months, I highly recommend you try the methods out.

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