After a ton of holiday baking this year, I replenished my baking supplies and to my surprise, I found my food infested with small black bugs – weevils! Weevils are tiny herbivorous beetles that live in grains. They usually get into your cupboard through old flour and they will get into just about anything that isn’t sealed tightly. Here are some tips on how to win the war on weevils.
- If you find weevils in your cupboard – don’t panic. They won’t bite or sting you but you will want to address the problem immediately. They lay a ton of eggs and they infestation will just get worse.
- Get a new garbage bag and toss everything that isn’t in a tightly sealed container. This includes all grains, crackers, cereals, dry beans, rice, pasta and anything that has a bug on it. I found some on my disposable plates and cups so I tossed those too.
- Wipe down all shelves thoroughly with soap and water and replace any shelving paper. Toss all paper towels used to clean in the same garbage bag.
- Put the garbage bag outside. Keeping it inside might make the problem come back.
- Replace any non-contaminated food into your cupboard. Do not put any grain based food in the cupboard for about three days. This is to make sure you killed all bugs. Chances are you will need some sort of grain in the next couple of days so store any newly bought cereals, pastas or crackers in the fridge. Store any newly bought flour in the freezer.
- After about three days, if you don’t see any more bugs, feel free to put everything back in the cupboard. If you do see a few more bugs, wipe down the cupboard again and make sure you tossed all grains.
- Some people recommend freezing the infested flour and sifting out the bugs so you can still use it – gross. Just toss it. You have already tossed half of your cupboard and if you miss any, you will have to go through this process again.
How to Avoid Weevils:
- Freezing newly bought flour will kill any weevils that might be in there already (never microwave – it won’t work). I recommend purchasing brand name flour at a well known grocery store so the flour stays on the shelf for the shortest period of time. It is a little more expensive but it is less expensive then replacing your whole pantry.
- Always store flour in a tightly sealed container. I really like the OXO Good Grips POP Containers and I store all of the grains in these. Why did I get an infestation then? After I purchased the flour, I just tossed it into the cupboard. It was open a little and they got out!
- Don’t purchase any more flour then you will use in a couple of months. You don’t want it sitting on the shelf in the store and you don’t want it sitting on the shelf in your home.
- Some people think storing bay leaves in your flour will discourage infestation. I haven’t tried it but it can’t hurt.