Flour mites and weevils are common pests in any kitchen, often found in pantries and dry food cupboards. It is important to locate them in time to prevent them from getting into various foods.
Flour bugs thrive in dark, moist conditions, making the kitchen cabinet the perfect breeding ground. If we have discovered small insects in the flour, it can be quite alarming.
How are weevils?
Flour mites and weevils are completely separate pests, although they show quite similar habits. Flour mites are very small insects in flour that are almost invisible to the naked eye. They have a white body and brown legs and usually live in flour, grains and cereals.
Instead, weevils are larger than flour mites and therefore easier to spot. They also have a darker body, being brown in color. They are a beetle-shaped, slender and oval in shape, with scales or shiny hairs on the body. Adult weevils have a distinctive snout-shaped nose and are between 3mm and 10mm long.
Is it safe to eat flour with insects?
Neither weevils nor flour mites bite, sting or poison, so they are not dangerous to the touch. But what happens if we eat flour mites or weevils?
If we eat flour with weevils it is unlikely that they will harm us , so we should not worry if we have used the contaminated product before. If we are using baking products, the high temperatures would help make the flour safe to eat. That said, it is not recommended to make a habit of this: if we find any product with mites or weevils, it is best to dispose of it immediately and take steps to ensure the infestation is remedied.
Flour mites can spread fungal spores and cause mold , so it’s possible people could get sick if you used a contaminated product. It is also possible to be allergic to mites, which can cause itchy skin and, in very rare cases, throat swelling and difficulty breathing if consumed.
How do they get in?
Both flour mites and weevils will have entered your kitchen through flour or wheat products . A few flour bugs can lay many eggs, and if your products are stored for a long time, these eggs can hatch and cause an infestation.
Other factors, such as heat , can increase the rate of reproduction of kitchen mites and weevils, making the problem worse.
How to remove them
The best way to completely eradicate the problem is to throw out any packages in the cupboard or pantry that may have come in contact with the infestation, as the flour bugs could have gotten into any of the packages and started another infestation.
We will thoroughly clean the cabinet with soapy water (we can use bleach) and make an effort to reach the corners of the cabinet. Pesticide is the most effective way to get rid of pests, although it can be very dangerous to use the chemical around food and should only be handled by a professional.
To prevent the problem from happening again, we will store the products in clean airtight containers. We can even try some simple home remedies, like freezing the produce for a few days to kill any flour bugs present and prevent the eggs from hatching, or adding some bay leaves to your wheat produce, which will act as a deterrent to pests. pests.
Other effective methods are:
- Deep cleaning . Remove everything from the pantry and throw away open containers and items that have been infested. We’ll vacuum the shelves, then use an all-purpose pest sprayer, hot soapy water, or a natural cleaning spray to give everything a good cleaning before replacing the reclaimed dry food.
- Use suitable containers . Storing flour, sugar, cereals, and other grains in proper storage containers helps keep flour bugs at bay. We will choose airtight containers and jars for best results.
- Freeze . If the adult insects have not taken over the flour, we will keep it in the freezer for four days. Freezing kills the eggs and larvae, preventing them from developing into a full-fledged army. Freezing dried foods after bringing them home from the market is a good preventative measure.
- Use an insecticide . Non-toxic insecticides are available specifically for pantry bugs. They give off fumes, so it’s important to keep children and pets away until the smell dissipates.
- Natural deterrents . Garlic cloves and bay leaves are natural alternatives to keep weevils away. We’ll place garlic cloves and dried bay leaves on your freshly cleaned shelves to deter these nasty bugs.