Bugs - Getting Rid Of

Flour, mixes, cereal, spices, and dried fruit are susceptible to infestation with beetles, weevils and moths even in the cleanest kitchen. They enter the products and contaminate them before you bring them home.

While beetles such as the flour beetle, meal worm, and grain weevils make the product unappealing, they are not harmful.

[fact{Flour Weevils}{left}]To avoid infestation, store foods in tightly closed containers to keep the food source away from bugs. Use glass, plastic and metal containers with tight fitting lids. Buy spices in bottles instead of metal containers with flip top closures.

But, if you do get food bugs in your flour and dried grain products, here's what to look for and how to get rid of them:
Flour Weevils:  Bay leaves keep bugs away and the flour will not take on the flavor. I do purchase bulk bay leaves at a local bulk store and place bay leaves in and around the canister that holds the flour, pasta or rice.  I have read that people scatter the leaves in the back of the panty as well.

Grain weevils, commonly found in flour, dried pasta, rice or other dried pantry staples are black, and about twice as long as they are wide. You will know them when you see them because flour doesn't have little black flecks in it when you bring it home from the store. Sift them out of flour or mixes that are only slightly contaminated.  If the ingredient is riddled with weevils discard it.

Many people advise to place your flour in the freezer for several days before using (when you bring it home) to help prevent them, but I haven't had a big problem with them. I use all of my flour within a month's time, and my whole wheat flours are stored in the freezer to prevent the oils from going rancid more than weevil infestations.

Moths leave a grayish white silky mat on the food product.

Once you have moth worms, you have to clean out the entire closet, pantry or cupboard. The whole thing can be very annoying To get rid of the infestation, remove all foods from the infected area and wash the area thoroughly. You may apply an approved pesticide for use in food areas in the cracks and crevices that you cannot reach to clean.

Other insects like cockroaches can carry dangerous microorganism and disease so discard products infested with these. Check with a pest control company for instructions on how to rid yourselves of these pests. There are some commercial products available, read and follow directions closely.

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