What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I have a recurring problem with pantry weevils. Each summer I throw out any affected rice, grain etc and clean out the cupboards but the problem will not go away. What else can I do?

thanks
Kay, London

Dear Kay,
The problem with pantry weevils is that they are small, and also capable of flight, so that each time to eradicate the infestation, new weevils can arrive and begin the life cycle anew. According to Hogue "The appearance of these pests in a tightly sealed package of dried food is a source of wonder to housekeepers. Entry is commonly by way of minute imperfections in the seal, but some species may bore through paper and cardboard containers to get at the contents. In other cases, infestations occur when the foods are stored in bulk in railroad cars, warehouses, and at other stops along the processing line." You will greatly minimize the ravages of the weevil by continuing to dispose of old grains which will prevent a self-perpetuating population explosion within your pantry, but the problem will not go away permanently unless the weevils go away permanently by becoming extinct.

And a word from MOM:
Sorry to say, I heard that those peskiy little critters often come in as teensy undetectable eggs inside your bag of flour or dry pet food (generally in packages that do not have sealed plastic inner bags) and hatch in your
warm cabinets. So tell Kay to store her flour in the refrigerator or freezer until she needs it. Apparently, you can cook it at 130 degrees for half an hour to kill anything that might be in there, but personally, although I can live with eggs I can’t see, I can’t see baking with dead bugs that may have already hatched. I
started putting my flour in the refrigerator over 25 years ago and haven’t had a bug since.

Great advice, Mom! I must have learned it from you long ago, since I have a fridge full of flour. But why bother killing the bugs in the flour before you bake? Won’t the crawling critters die anyhow once they hit that hot oven? And how could anyone refuse a little extra protein in their chocolate chip cookies??

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

2 Responses to pantry weevils

  1. Autumn says:

    Me and my brothers were going to bake a cake today but we noticed these black dots in the batter so we looked it up and at first we thought that they were pieces of vanilla bean cuase the flaver was french vanilla but we looked it up and they were pantry weevles so sadly we coulnt baje the cake and we were really sad

  2. Autumn says:

    We were baking a cake and there were these black dots we didnt know what it was so we looked it up to make sure it was safe turned out they were pantry weevles

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