One of the most efficient ways to get rid of weevils and bugs is to use household herbs that they despise. Bay leaf is one of the most effective repellents available. Place the leaves on the shelves of your cupboard. You can also simply store some in a container on a shelf and leave it open. You can put one or two leaves in any open food containers or packets of flour, rice, or other grains.
Cloves are another option. Cloves are inexpensive and effective for people who are dealing with an infestation for the first time. Simply scatter cloves throughout your pantry and cabinet shelves. Matchboxes may also be used. It may seem strange, but there’s no harm in trying (just keep the object out of reach of youngsters and pets). Weevils aren’t attracted to sulfur, which is found in matchboxes. A matchbox can be found near the food packages. Black pepper is the last but not least. This spice should be kept in tiny bags in your cupboard.
What can you put in flour to keep bugs out?
This is a weighty inquiry, and one that frequently leads to more inquiries. I think the best approach to address it all is to set it all out in a question-and-answer format.
Does flour go bad?
The long answer is that the more refined the flour, the longer it takes for it to spoil.
Flour is prepared from a whole grain, with wheat being the most prevalent whole grain. The oils from the grain’s exterior section can develop rancid once it is no longer complete (or sour, stale, etc.).
Freshly milled all-purpose flour will go rancid considerably faster than store-bought all-purpose flour. Because newly milled flour contains both the germ and the bran, this is the case (natural oils are found in both of these places). However, all-purpose flour contains only the endosperm and relatively few oils.
This is why home bakers who grind their own wheat create flour right before using it in a recipe.
Where should we store flour?
Returning to the processing stage, all-purpose and other non-whole grain flours can be stored in a cold, dry place for up to a year without any problems.
Whole grain flours should only be kept in the refrigerator for 2 to 5 days. The freezer is the ideal location to keep whole grain flour if you need to keep it for more than a few days.
How should we store flour?
If the flour will be used immediately, it can be stored open or in a sealed container.
Consider local bakeries and delis: a bucket of flour will often be open on the counter, or a lid will be slightly ajar. They’ll need a lot of flour in a single day, so keeping it sealed isn’t a problem.
If you plan to use the flour within a month or two, keep it in a sealed container.
Because one to two months is considered “fast” in terms of flour consumption, you can store your flour in an open container (i.e. the same thick paper bag, rolled down), but the risk of rancidity increases.
If the flour will not be consumed completely within two months, store it in a sealed container.
What type of storage container is best for flour?
Food-grade buckets come in a range of sizes, depending on the amount of flour you have on hand.
For daily use or the pantry, 1 gallon buckets with lids would be ideal. They’re small enough to transport from counter to pantry and back, but large enough that you won’t have to keep reloading the flour every time you bake bread.
3.5 gallon buckets with lids should be kept on the pantry floor or in an adjacent closet. This is where you’d store the majority of the flour, with the flour from the 3.5 gallon bucket being used to replace the 1 gallon bucket. These will be too hefty to use in everyday baking, but not so heavy that you won’t be able to slide it on the floor or pick it up if necessary.
5 gallon buckets with lids are ideal for storing items in a basement, garage, or extra pantry for long periods of time. Most people will find this size too large, but it is great for individuals who buy whole grains in bulk. You’d keep your whole grains in this bucket and refill it with the smaller 3.5 gallon bucket when it’s empty. Then you’d grind your flour and fill the 1 gallon bucket with it.
Why are there flour bugs in grains?
Weevils are small brown bugs that can be found in wheat, cereal, grain, and rice. Weevils resemble rice grains, except they’re brown and travel around. They are on their own.
Have you ever noticed your flour twisted up in a web-like structure? That indicates your flour is also contaminated.
Fear not: flour bugs don’t arrive in your flour because you failed to mop up some odd sticky stuff that one of your kids unintentionally dropped in your cupboard. If you notice flour bugs, they were present when you purchased it.
The female weevil deposits her eggs in the wheat kernel and can survive the milling process in some cases. If the eggs are under warm or humid conditions or have achieved maturity, they will hatch. The flour bugs eat the grain before looking for a partner… while consuming even more grain.
Why are there flour bugs in my boxed cereal?
Weevils don’t have a preference for what they eat. They’ve weaseled their way out of their original infection place and meandered to your rice, cereal, or coffee, if you find them in any other seemingly sealed spot.
Weevils aren’t picky about their containers, either. Weevils can’t stand cereal boxes, flour bags, or even the plastic bags inside cereal and cracker boxes because they’re made of thin cardboard.
These food-grade containers with sealable lids are the finest containers for keeping dry products in while keeping weevils out:
Clean the Area.
Remove everything from the area, vacuum any cracks, then use white vinegar to sterilize the shelves. Make citrus-infused vinegar instead if you’re sensitive to vinegar’s smell.
Check for re-infestation on a monthly basis, as it may take some time to entirely eliminate all flour bugs and larvae, and clean your storage area on a regular basis.
Store dry goods properly.
To kill any eggs, freeze newly purchased grains and flour for at least three days. According to some reports, you can freeze it for up to a week. (It’s worth noting that freezing the eggs will kill them but not remove them.)
Don’t buy more grain than you’ll use in four months as a general rule. Grain should be kept in a properly sealed container rather than a bag. Weevils are feisty little devils who can munch their way through plastic bags. (For more on storage, see the section above.)
Prevent Future Infestation
Putting full bay leaves and garlic cloves in the vicinity appears to keep flour bugs away from your cupboard. If you don’t want a trace of garlic flavor in your baked goods, go for the bay leaves instead.
Other Ideas for Preventing Flour Bugs
I haven’t tried all of these suggestions, but if bay leaves and/or tea tree oil don’t work, readers suggest:
- Using a few cotton balls, apply tea tree oil to them and place them throughout the pantry.
Will eating beetles harm me?
Apart from giving you the creeps, they’re completely harmless. In fact, baking kills the eggs as well as any beetles that may have gotten into the batter. So, while the chances of humans eating – or having eaten – weevils are high, the fatality rate is low.
How do you protect rice from insects naturally?
Use these simple techniques to keep bugs away from rice in the kitchen.
- Leaves of bay or neem. A bay leaf is a great way to get rid of bugs in rice.
- Cloves. They are readily available and aid in the fight against bugs to prevent infestation.
How do you keep weevils out of flour?
Cloves and bay leaves are an excellent technique to naturally repel weevils by placing them in your cupboards. Additionally, you might try placing several garlic cloves around your pantry or kitchen to keep them at away. If you feel you are unable to manage their presence, white vinegar is a stronger option.
Should I throw away rice with weevils?
If you find weevils in your rice, throw it away right away. Check your cupboard for various grains, as well as seeds, nuts, dry beans, cereals, and dried maize. If there are any evidence of bugs on them, it’s better to toss those out as well. This aids in the removal of your infestation.
Should I throw out flour with weevils?
Both yes and no. A couple of weevils in your flour isn’t a major concern — the flour is still workable — but it’s a sign that you’re on the verge of a weevil infestation.
Due to the huge number of dead weevils and weevil feces present in the food, you risk damaged goods and possible food related illness once the flour bugs start proliferating.
Toss the goods, clean out the cupboards, purchase adequate storage containers for your flour and other dry foods, and start over.
How do bugs get into sealed packages?
Perhaps yes, perhaps no. Unfortunately, pinpointing the cause of a food bug infestation is extremely difficult. Food can get infested at any point during the production process, including harvesting, storage, packaging, and transportation, as well as when on shop shelves (see How Do Food Pests Get Into My Food?).
People believe that once a food item has been packed, bagged, or sealed, it is pest-free. Most insects that infest foods are unaffected by modern food packaging. Canned or bottled foods are the only produced food packages that are not susceptible to insect infestation. Paper or cellophane bags, as well as any unlined box that allows food odors to escape, are the most vulnerable.
Food-infesting insects with strong jaws have been known to gnaw their way inside packages. Insects like rice weevils, grain borers, and rice moths need an edge to get started, so the more edges or folds on a food package, the more vulnerable it is to penetration. Other insects, such as the sawtoothed grain beetle, that can’t gnaw their way in are flattened in shape so they can squeeze inside. Insects can get in via seams that aren’t sealed or even through sewing holes.
How do weevils get in rice?
Granary and rice weevils, like other pantry pests, will infest and feed on whole grains and rice, as well as nuts, beans, cereals, seeds, corn, and other similar commodities. The female chews a hole in a seed or grain kernel, inserts an egg, and then closes the hole, leaving the egg behind.
How do you store rice for a long time?
Rice should be kept in an airtight container. Long-term storage is best accomplished with food-safe plastics (PETE) containers, glass jars, #10 cans (commercial size) lined with a food-grade enamel liner, and Mylar-type bags. To preserve rice quality and guard against insect infestation, use food-safe oxygen absorbers available at food storage supply stores. #10 cans store about 5.7 pounds (2.6 kilograms) of polished rice.
How do I get rid of rice bugs in my pantry?
There are various natural alternatives to using a chemical spray to eliminate these bugs if you don’t want to use one. Cloves and bay leaves are natural weevil repellents. To keep these pests at away, put a few bay leaves in your dried food containers, and place several garlic cloves around your pantry and kitchen. Pantry weevils are known to be killed by white vinegar. To avoid a future infestation, wipe your shelves down with white vinegar after rinsing them with soapy water.
It takes a long time to get rid of weevils from your pantry. The only way to completely prevent these pests from returning is to freeze all dried foods and keep them in airtight containers after purchase. Give our team of pest professionals a call now if your kitchen has been plagued by weevils. We have the skills and eco-friendly solutions at Aptive Environmental to kill weevils and safeguard your family from future infestations.
Can weevils get into airtight containers?
Airtight containers keep your food fresh while also reducing the possibility of pantry pests. Weevils have a difficult time getting into a high-quality sealed container. It’s likely that there were already microscopic weevil eggs in your food if any bugs arrive in your airtight container.