How to Get Rid of Flour Weevils
Opening a packet of flour only to find it moving with flour weevils can be an alarming experience! The discovery of any sort of pest can cause panic, not least when you find that insects have infested raw foodstuffs. However, knowing how to get rid of flour weevils as well as the fact that they are harmless to humans can provide some comfort.
Know Your Pest
When it comes to food stores, there are many types of opportunistic insect that will take advantage of any opening that gives them access to foodstuffs. The larger examples, such as ants and beetles, are easier to spot as they will often be found in the corners and edges of flooring cupboards and larders as they travel to and from the food source. Flour weevils, however, tend to take up residence in the food itself and don’t discriminate when it comes to volume.
It is often thought that flour weevils only affect large stores of food such as those within a warehouse, but this is not the case. They can also be found in your personal flour stock if it is not stored suitably or has come from an infested source.
Against the white of the flour, weevils can initially appear as flecks of rust but movement will quickly provide confirmation of their existence. The insects begin as off-white larvae and grow into fully grown weevils
Once weevils have been found, it is important to immediately remove the infested packet from its position to minimize further contamination. If the packet of flour is stored with other foods, check all of it to ensure that there are no further infestations. Flour weevils do not confine themselves to flour and will also eat grain seed and other foods so if there is any doubt, throw it out.
Place all the contaminated food in a plastic dustbin bag, ensure that it has no holes and that it is securely tied before being placed outside. This if even more beneficial if it is cold outside as weevils and their larvae are unable to survive cold temperatures.
Once all the infested food is discarded, the storage area must be thoroughly cleaned. Use soapy water and ensure that you cover every corner and crevice. After cleaning, make use of an anti-bacterial spray that is safe to use with food and make sure the area is dry before replacing anything.
If possible, only purchase flour that comes in a sealed container and ensure that there is no damage to it. In the event that you are only able to purchase flour in a packet or sack, decant it into an airtight container; this will also allow you to check that it has not been infested.
If you suspect an infestation in a newly purchased packet of flour, put it in the freezer for at least 24 hours to kill off larvae and existing weevils to avoid cross contamination. Make sure flour is stored in a cool dry area where a few bay leaves are scattered to repel insects. If this is not possible, store flour in the refrigerator.