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Pantry Pests: Getting Rid Of Flour Bugs

Posted By Tipnut On March 2, 2009 @ 8:26 am In Kitchen | 66 Comments

Opening a bag of flour and noticing the contents crawling with little critters is horrifying, but it happens. Throwing it out will not necessarily solve the problem and you may experience regular occurrences.

ScoopThe solution is to starve the pests by removing their access to food and performing a thorough cleaning job.

Here’s how to reclaim your pantry…

Cleaning Tips:

  • Clear shelving and wash entire area well with a bleach and water solution (about 1/4 cup bleach per gallon of hot water), wear rubber gloves and use a scrub brush so that you can get into any cracks and corners. Wash both top and bottom surfaces, all walls and floor.
  • Leave door open to let space dry completely (overnight) before adding stock items back to their places. Wait until room is no longer humid from the washing before re-stocking.
  • Check all food items for contamination, throw out those that are infested or whatever you’re unsure about (bag and cart outside to garbage immediately–don’t keep inside house) and freeze the rest for 5 days before returning to storage location.

Preventive Steps:

  • Store all flour, cereals, rice, pasta, starch foods in canisters, glass jars with tight lids or airtight plastic containers.
  • Stack a few Herb-Stuffed Pouches [1] (filled with natural repellents) on shelves in between groceries.
  • Freeze new dry food staples for 4 or 5 days before storing (to kill larvae and eggs).
  • Stash a bay leaf or two inside cannister and sprinkle crushed bay leaves throughout pantry (weevils don’t like them).

Watch For:

  • Drips and spills from syrups, honey, etc.–wash off immediately or they will attract ants and other insects.
  • Once an infestation is noticed and a thorough cleaning job has been completed, keep a diligent eye on stock. Each time a weevil or other pest is noticed, empty cupboards and shelves again, wash everything well and repeat steps above until completely bug-free.

***There’s no way around it, every single egg & larvae has to be removed or they will continue to appear and grow in numbers.

Did you know: The critters may be coming from the store? It’s possible that weevils or mealy bugs can already be in packaging before groceries are even paid for! Before storing items away, freezing the bags and boxes first (for about 4 or 5 days) then sealing them in plastic or airtight containers can help nip things in the bud. This way nothing else in the home will get contaminated.

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[1] Herb-Stuffed Pouches: http://tipnut.com/how-to-get-rid-of-moths-with-natural-repellents/

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