Explainer: What is bukbok and how can these bugs be exterminated?

Explainer: What is bukbok and how can these bugs be exterminated?

- Learn more about bukbok or weevils

- There are ways to exterminate these pests

- Also, having bukbok at home can be prevented

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Reports have been circulating online about the ‘bukbok’ or weevils-infested rice imports distributed by National Food Authority (NFA).

Consumers were alarmed by the infested rice, whether it can be safe or do harm to their health.

First of all, what is bukbok?

KAMI read from Rappler that as per Josine Macaspac, an entomologist and Global Forum Agricultural Research awardee, there are two types of insects that Filipinos refer to as bukbok.

According to Macaspac, “In general, these are rice weevils and beetles. Weevils lay eggs in the rice grains and the larvae grows inside. They appear not necessarily on old stock, but poorly-stored stock,"

Bukbok usually appear on rice or other products like flour or corn once they have been left unattended. Those infested products must be fumigated immediately because bukbok or weevils reproduce quickly.

How can these bugs be exterminated?

Fumigation is one way to exterminate bukbok. However, this is more effective for large quantities of products like the imports.

Fumigation is a method of pest control. It covers the entire area with gaseous pesticide to suffocate the pests. However, only chemicals that have been proclaimed safe by Department of Agriculture are allowed to be used.

“Some companies use carbon dioxide, some use malathion, some use diatomaceous earth," Macaspac stated.

“The taste, color, and appearance of the rice won't change, provided that these companies adhere to correct dosage and chemical types,” she added.

How to deal with bukbok at home?

It has been recommended by Maraspac to store the rice in an airtight and clean container, in order to prevent bukbok.

She also said, “If the infestation just started, they can place bay leaves, cloves, or neem leaves,”

Putting the rice into the water would only wash away adult bukbok. The bugs’ feces will not be removed easily.

Maraspac suggested, “Freezing kills everything, but you would need to physically remove them before you store the rice again or cook it,"

Despite the issues that have been going around about the rice imports, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol bravely said, “Serve me bukbok rice, I will eat it,”

According to Piñol, the rice remain safe for consumption as long as it won’t go over 10 weevils. He also said that this only proved that the rice imports are not contaminated with chemicals.

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Source: KAMI.com.gh

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Kurt Yap (Editor)

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