I don’t know about you, but I would quickly freak out if I saw flour bugs in my pantry. When I heard about these little devils from a friend, I realized that it could promptly happen to me. I needed to get to the bottom of just what flour bugs are, how to get rid of them, and how to avoid them.
I went down a rabbit hole. The first thing I learned is don’t freak out! Flour bugs are harmless and can be taken care of naturally. Want to know about them?
Let’s go to The Chalkboard.
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What Are Flour Bugs?
Flour bugs Weevils are Curculionidae, aka snout beetles. There are over 1,000 species of weevils, and they infest a variety of crops, including strawberries, blueberries, cotton, peppers, and wheat.
What Do Flour Bugs Look Like?
Flour Beetles are tiny reddish-brown oval-shaped insects with three segments and an antenna that grow to be about ⅛ of an inch long.
They infest flour, grains, cereal, spices, dried fruit, beans, and pet food.
This pest control company has a great image.
What Causes Flour Bugs? Where Do Flour Bugs Come From?
Even though companies are stringent in manufacturing, the bugs are tiny, and the eggs are almost invisible to the naked eye. They are often overlooked.
Since the bugs only grow to ⅛,” it only takes a small tear in the packaging to allow them to enter.
Flour bugs can also enter the home through tiny cracks. It’s crucial to inspect the area around where you find the insects to determine if they came from the factory or outside your home. If you just find one or two bugs in your flour.
Are Flour Bugs Harmful?
If you find one or two bugs in your flour, you can sift them out and safely eat the flour.
They are harmless!
The problem multiplies because the flour bugs can get through tiny cracks and infest other foods: specifically dried beans, cereals, spices, dried fruit, and pet food. No one wants to ingest large amounts of bugs.
How To Get Rid Of Flour Bugs
- Assess the situation— Are the bugs everywhere in your pantry or localized to one product. If they are in one product, promptly throw it out. If they are outside of the item, move on to the next steps.
- Clean out the entire pantry — Discard any grains, spices, cereals, and pet food. It’s extreme, but it’s the best way to eradicate them.
- Vacuum — Get the entire area, including the crevices. If your pantry has holes for shelving, use a toothpick to clean them out and then vacuum. Empty the bag or canister outside to keep the bugs outside your home.
- Wipe Down Your Shelves — Use vinegar on a clean cotton cloth to clean the areas from top to bottom. Then follow up with warm soapy water.
- Clean All Pantry Items — Wipe down all remaining pantry items with vinegar and soapy water to clean before placing them back.
- Call In Professionals — Call an exterminator if the infestation is too big for you to tackle.
How To Avoid Flour Bugs Naturally
Placing some garlic heads around your pantry will keep flour bugs away.
Freeze All Dried Items
Placing dried goods into the freezer for four days will kill any larvae.
The smell of peppercorns will also work to keep weevils at bay. Place a handful into a cloth sack in your pantry. You don’t want to place the peppercorns directly in your cabinets, and they may be mistaken for droppings.
Place a few bay leaves in your grain storage containers. The strong tangy smell can repel small insects, including flour bugs.
A few cloves placed around the pantry and your cupboard will deter any flour bugs.
Inspect All Packaging
Ensure the products are adequately sealed, and there are no tears or holes in the packaging before you bring an item home from the grocery store.
Chose The Right Storage Containers
Store flour and other grains in air-tight containers to avoid future infestations.
What Do You Think?
Have you ever had flour bugs? Did any natural remedies work for you? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to hear.
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