Learn something new every day More Info Many people may be concerned about having inadvertently eaten flour weevils, but there is generally no reason for the concern. Most people have probably consumed them at some point in their lives, and doing so is not considered hazardous. Even so, it is important for people who have weevils to take measures to get rid of them before the bugs get out of control, and the weevils can lay so many eggs at one time that they can become problematic very quickly.
Flour weevils are small beetles that are also occasionally referred to as snout beetles.
These beetles are very small, and they usually do not exceed more than 0. They get their name because they like to eat flour and other types of foods that are normally kept in kitchen cupboards that contain lots of starch, such as cereals, oatmealand even baking powder.
These weevils can infest any type of food that is left open in the cupboard, and they also normally lay hundreds of tiny eggs inside whatever foods they have infested.
The weevils are so small that many people do not even realize they have a problem with them until their young have hatched, and it usually takes about two months before the eggs hatch once they have been laid. Even though it may be tempting for many people, it is probably best to avoid getting rid of flour weevils with toxic chemicals.
The fact that the weevils inhabit food items means that the chemicals would need to be applied either directly on or near food, and this could be dangerous. Bay leaves and cloves both naturally repel flour weevils, and these can be safely placed inside containers housing food as well as scattered around cupboards. Insecticides contain pyrethins, which are naturally occurring chemical compounds that will repel insects, may also be safe to use in cupboards, but care should be taken to avoid letting this type of insecticide come in contact with food products.
People can usually prevent flours weevils by taking care to keep their flour and other grains closed up in airtight containers. Bags or boxes containing processed foods like cerealoatmeal, or bread should also be kept tightly closed at all times.
Another good way of keeping weevils at bay is to keep crumbs and other types of food debris wiped up from the insides of cupboards on a regular basis. Flour weevils have good senses of smell, and they are capable of traveling great distances to inhabit any grains that they sense are nearby. I made pie crust and did not see any evidence of weevils in the flour itself;, it looked fine.
After blending in the butter and forming the crust and then putting them in the refrigerator for awhile, I then went to retrieve them and there were little white images in the pie crust.
It looked more like a grain of rice than a bug, but has me wondering if there could have been weevils in the flour. Although, another possibility might be that the butter was not completely incorporated into the flour and the little slivers of butter hardened up in the refrigerator and turned a lighter color than the rest of the dough.
I'm stumped and still wondering if they could be casings from some infested flour I bought, yet the bugs themselves were gone. Thanks for this site and trying to help us out here. G-d bless. I haven't heard that before. Generally I try to keep my shelves as clean as possible, because I tend to get ants as well as weevils in the flour if I'm not careful.
I might try making little cloth bags with the herbs and spices and use those to keep it neat. Ana Post 2 clintflint - The best way to check if flour has weevils is to pour a bit of it out and wait for a while, watching it carefully.
If there are weevils in the flour then they generally wriggle around a little bit and you will see bits of flour moving. You just have to be careful to hold the flour still, because it's easy to think you have them if you don't. In white flour they are pretty easy to spot anyway, but if you've got wholemeal flour, they are tough to pick out unless you do this. No matter how well you seal the paper bag, flour bugs will almost always find their way in eventually and once they are in there, you might as well throw the whole bag away.
The only thing is, you have to make sure you check each new bag before you add it to the older stuff in the plastic container, because you don't want to inadvertently add some weevils into your existing flour.
Post your comments Post Anonymously Please enter the code:. One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!The most-common pantry pests are moths, weevils and small beetles. Pests can make themselves at home in even in the most-spotless kitchen, because they often hitch a ride in your food at the grocery store, during delivery, or even way back at the processing plant or warehouse.
Nearly any dried food that is stored at room temperature can be a draw. But if you see them on the counter or floor near your pantry, or by a window or other natural light sourceit could be an early sign of infestation. Throw away the box, and then check the packages stored near it. Can't see to the bottom of a bag? Pour the food onto a baking sheet and check it with a flashlight.
If you want to be extra-cautious, freeze any potentially affected products for three to four days, or heat them in an oven at degrees F for an hour or two. This will kill any eggs or insects. Empty your pantry completely and vacuum out the shelves, floors and corners. They won't prevent a future infestation and can be dangerous if they come in contact with foods. Before returning food products to the pantry, thoroughly check that each package is undamaged and uncontaminated.
First, the longer a product sits in your pantry, the more likely it is to become infested, so buy small packages you can use up in two to four months.
At home, transfer grains, cereals, nuts, dried fruit and the like to glass, metal or sturdy plastic containers with airtight lids. They keep insects out much better than cardboard, paper or foil.
Don't panic. Here's the lowdown on kitchen critters — and how to make them buzz off. Pinterest Facebook Twitter Email. By: Food Network Kitchen. What are these bugs? But my kitchen is clean! What foods attract them? Should I worry if I spot a couple of bugs on the counter? What now? A colony of weevils has spread everywhere. How do I get rid of them? Oops … what if I ate something that has a bug in it? Jar of museli in kitchen cupboard Jar of museli in kitchen cupboard.
Joern Rynio, Joern Rynio.During these challenging times, we guarantee we will work tirelessly to support you. We will continue to give you accurate and timely information throughout the crisis, and we will deliver on our mission — to help everyone in the world learn how to do anything — no matter what.
Thank you to our community and to all of our readers who are working to aid others in this time of crisis, and to all of those who are making personal sacrifices for the good of their communities. We will get through this together. Updated: February 5, Reader-Approved References. Flour mites are tiny pests that infest dry goods such as cereals, pancake mix, dried vegetable materials, cheese, corn and dried fruits.
They can thrive in the cleanest of kitchens if the conditions are right. A humid, dark, and warm pantry is the perfect breeding ground for flour mites, which usually get into your kitchen either already in the foodstuffs or hiding on the packaging. This article will teach you how to identify an infestation, how to treat it, and how to prevent future infestations.
Not exactly! Your flour might taste sickly-sweet if it is infested with flour mites, but it probably won't taste distinctly minty. There is a different way to test for infested flour that doesn't involve eating flour directly. Try again Not quite! You probably won't be able to see the flour mites very well with your naked eyes. If you have a full-blown infestation, it might look like you have sand in your flour.
There is another way to test for even a small infestation, though. Guess again! You might have an allergic reaction if you touch mite-infested flour, but it is unlikely that the mites will affect you if you eat them.
If you notice that you have itchy skin after handling potentially infested flour, do another test to check for mites. Choose another answer! Flour mites give off a minty smell when they are crushed. If you think you might have a mite infestation, crush some flour between your fingers and smell it. Read on for another quiz question. Not necessarily! Eating flour mites is harmless for most people, so if you ate some of the infested food before you discovered the flour mites, don't panic.
If it's a small infestation, you can even freeze the food to kill the mites and then sift out the dead mites before eating it. Try another answer Most people won't have any negative reactions to eating flour mites. However, if you start developing hives, have trouble breathing, or experience nausea after eating potentially contaminated food, contact a doctor right away. The coolness of the air isn't what will keep mites away.
There is a different way that a fan will prevent mites from invading your pantry. Even a powerful fan won't blow mites away. To keep mites from getting in your food containers, make sure your containers are airtight and that the packaging isn't damaged or damp. Try again! A fan won't keep the mites from being attracted to the scent of your food.
Keep in mind that flour mites also feed on mold, so keep your food fresh and mold-free to keep the mites away.If you have mites in pet food, throw away the contaminated pet food. Then wash the inside and outside of all pet food and water bowls as well as any container that was storing the food. Make sure to use hot soapy water for this cleaning. Grain mites are often called food mites. They are small creatures that can be found on different foods including dried fruits, pet food, cereal and even cheese.
Like many types of mites, grain mites prefer areas with high moisture content. These little brown insects can be found on the food source itself, as well as on counters and in cupboards. Although they are nuisance, you can luckily get rid of grain mites yourself with just a little bit of effort. Identify the food source for the grain mites. The most effective way to do this is to go package by package in your cabinets looking for the mites.
Depending on your eyesight, you may want to use a magnifying glass to see them. Throw away any package of food that is infested. This will remove the food source, which will eventually kill the mites. Wash the inside of your cabinets with soap and hot water.
Should I be Concerned About Flour Weevils?
Hot water will help kill the mites it comes into contact with. Be sure you are frequently rinsing out your rag under hot running water and adding more soap as you go.
Vacuum the crevices inside the cabinets. Since mites are very small they can find their way into tiny crevices and be hidden from the initial washing. Use a crevice tool to vacuum up cracks and crevices in your cabinet and then dispose of the vacuum contents.
If you have a canister vacuum, empty the canister into a sealable plastic bag, outside and pour talcum powder into it. If you have a bag vacuum, put the entire bag into a sealable plastic bag and then pour talcum powder in.
Seal the bag and dispose of it. Return all the food to the cabinets. Wash all flat surfaces, such as counters, walls, floors and the refrigerator with soap and hot water, like you did the cabinets.
Also, vacuum any cracks or crevices once again. Move any dried foods in your cupboard into food canisters. Choose canisters that have screw top or tight sealing lids. This will prevent future infestations. Erin Ringwald began writing in She runs her own party planning business and helps with her husband's photography business.
She's working on her Master of Education with a focus on elementary education and child development. Ringwald studied musical theater and later obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Wright State University. Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Tip If you have mites in pet food, throw away the contaminated pet food.
Grain mites enjoy different types of cereals. Step 1 Empty your cabinets. Step 2 Identify the food source for the grain mites. Step 3 Wash the inside of your cabinets with soap and hot water.Because i have some flour that i barely use and finely i have a chance to but there's weevils in it is it alright to eat it when its cooked, could i put it in the freezer over night to kill them and be able to use them in the morning?
One would prefer flour without weevils. But the truth is - all flour gets weevils after some time, and some small amount of weevils parts are in ALL flour - it's allowed by law because it's impossible for grains to not have bugs in it. If there are just a few weevils, I'd still use it. If there are lots of weevils more weevils than flour! For me the bigger issue than the weevils themselves is that this indicates the flour is old and stale, which will affect the flavor of what are making more than the weevils.
If you've had the flour a year or longer, it may affect the flavor of whatever your are baking. Your idea of freezing the flour overnight is good. Also, the cooking will kill them and sterilize them, so - outside of a certain grossness factor, I'd argue it's fine to use the flour. Of course, if you mention the flour had bugs, people might not want to eat what you cook.
Also, you can pour the flour threw a fine mesh strainer to help remove the weevils. Don't sift with a mechanical sifter as the blades of the sifter will simply grind up the weevils, and I think you'd rather remove them than grind them up! So for future - if you don't use flour often, do two things.
First, store it in a very well sealed, air-tight container - like tupperware or a metal tin.
What are Flour Bugs and How to Get Rid of Them
Second, if you have room, store it in the refrigerator preferably or freezer, again in a well sealed air tight container. There are some good answers here, but let me add a couple of thoughts. Your comment about eating after baking makes me think that you are worried about germs. The weevils that eat grains do not bring germs from other places as flies do from garbage cans, or roaches from drain pipes so contamination is not a concern, it's just the Ick Factor.
Sift the flour to remove any bugs, then microwave 5 minutes to kill any remaining eggs. As soon as you bring your next purchase of flour from the store, put it in the freezer and leave it there until you need it.That is so gross!
It makes me so happy I'm gluten- sugar, and dairy-free! I'm still eating dried fruit, unfortunately, but maybe this information will assist me in my willpower to stay away from raisins and dates!
Grain mites in my mealworm colony?!!!
What are wheat-pain-relieving pads? I've never heard of that. Wouldn't the dust mites get killed in the microwave?
I've seen bags like that made out of lavender or beans. Dust mites are so gross! Sorry to gross everyone out, but people allergic to dust mites are allergic to their poop! So if you kill the dust mites, their poop is still there. I'm very allergic and am wondering if I have issues with grains because of it.
Friday, 5 July The 'Flour' Mites! Not only do these dust mites breed in flour, they also breed in milk powder, sugar, corn meal, semolina, macaroni and cereal products, dried fruit and the stuffing go wheat-pain-relieveing-pads that are heated in the microwave.
Dust mites love warm, damp and dark places. And kitchen cupboards are perfect for them as they are damp, dark and warm. Individuals with dust mite allergy can experience severe allergic reaction when they ingest these mites. It is called the 'oral mite anaphylaxis' or the 'pancake syndrome'. This type of anaphylaxis is frequently triggered by congesting pancakes; thus the name, 'pancake syndrome'.
Severe asthma attacks can be triggered as well. These pantry mites are less than 1mm in size and translucent to light buff to brown in colour.Since mold is just a collection of tiny fungal spores, most people just wipe it up without a second thought. When you think of mold growing, you think of the moisture and darkness that mold needs to feed on in order to grow. Tyophagus putescentiae may sound made up, but it is the scientific name for a tiny creature more commonly known as the mold mite.
These tiny insects, similar to dust mites, feed on the mold. Even a tiny patch can be a huge buffet for thousands of mold mites. Scientists first discovered mold mites all the way back in in Austria. They are tiny, hairy insects that thrive on mold and use it as their main food source. Since they are so small, they are nearly imperceptible to the human eye alone.
We should mention that you may also encounter insects that look very similar, but are not true mold mites. These other mites fall into the same larger family of mites, but have different food sources leading to their names. For example, you may find similar mites in old cheese cheese mitesflour mites mixed into your old sack of flour, or grain mites in your whole grains.
Keep in mind that these are not healthy and should be disposed of by throwing away the entire food, but that they are not mold mites or caused by mold. In short, mold mites are no worse for your health than the mold which they feed on. With that being said, you should take care to rid your house of them should you find an infestation.
What you may notice are symptoms like allergies. Breathing them in can lead to respiratory symptoms like coughing, sneezing, or a sore throat. As mentioned earlier, identifying mold mites with the naked eye is practically impossible. However, if you notice a patch of mold growing somewhere in your home, you may be able to spot an accompanying mold mite colony.
The tiny insects are typically white or tan, and you can see them when they accumulate in an area. Although to your eyes they will seem like only a discolored patch, a high definition camera may be able to spot them. Try taking a picture up close and then zooming in all the way.
You may just see the tiny mites and confirm that they are feasting on the mold growth. Getting rid of mold mites requires getting rid of their food source. So, to get rid of a mold mite problem, you need to handle your mold problem. If it is a small patch you can do this on your own using a water and vinegar solution along with physical scrubbing to kill and remove the mold.
The mold mites will get scrubbed away with it. Any that remain will quickly die off. To ensure that no new mold mites appear, take steps to avoid mold growth in your home like using HEPA air filters and keeping moisture away. Previous Next. View Larger Image. What Are Mold Mites? Related Posts.
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