The most common pests that you will find in your pastries are bugs in flour. This is because both of these pests feed on dry foods stored in our cupboards. The preferred habitat for them is a dark, humid place with a lot of food.
By now, you’ve probably noticed that we’re dealing with two different pests. There are two completely different species of flour mite and weevil. On the other hand, you can find many answers for both of them when searching for “bugs in flour.” In this guide, you will learn about bugs in flour in detail.
What do bugs in flour look like?
It is almost impossible to see flour mites because of their small size. Their bodies are white, and their legs are light brown. Various flour mites, also known as grain mites and kitchen mites, are found worldwide, but they all have a similar appearance, especially to the untrained eye. Typically, the mites measure between 0.33 and 0.66 millimeters in length.
Weevils have the appearance of beetles. Because they are beetles, they share the same oval shape. There are more weevils than flour mites, and their bodies are darker. Flour weevils have dark brown bodies, making them easier to identify. In addition, they are larger, ranging from 3 to 10mm in length. The size is comparable to flour mites. Weevils have a distinctive snout-shaped nose, making them easy to distinguish from any other insect.
From where do they come?
As with many other pests, such as bed bugs and fleas, we also introduce flour bugs into our homes. We don’t do that on purpose, but it does happen. Flour mites and flour weevil infestations can result from buying cheap flours, wheat products, grain starches, etc.
These bugs lay many eggs that hatch within a few days when warmer conditions. Because these types of food are often stored for more extended periods, the eggs have even better chances of surviving. Those young pests hatching from those eggs might even lay their eggs before you realize what is happening.
What is the best way to check flour for bugs?
If you suspect that your flour is contaminated with flour mites, you have a couple of ways to check. You take a flour pinch and roll it between your fingers in the first step. A minty smell is a good indication that you have mites. Examine the flour grains for dust that looks brown. While mites’ tiny white bodies are tough to see, their brown legs and the remains of dead mites look like brown dust.
Another alternative is to spread some flour over the countertop. Just be sure to keep the top smooth. Let it sit for 30 minutes or so. Those who left the surface not soft probably have flour weevils or mites.
You can also tape a piece of sticky tape to your cupboards and go through them. Take a look at the cereal, flour, grain, and another packaging. Examine the video with a magnifying glass afterward. Those flour mites will now be trapped in the tape if they were on the packages. With the magnifying glass, you will be able to see them.
It is generally easier to spot flour weevils than flour mites, so you will probably use those methods to check for them.
What are the risks of flour bugs?
Is it dangerous to store our foods if pests are so easy to infest and hard to detect? The flour weevil does not bite or sting, nor are they poisonous. Therefore, it is safe to say that they are not harmful. Taking a couple with your cereal won’t cause any problems.
Is it harmful to eat flour mites? As for the fungus-transmitting bites, stings and poisons do not bite nor sting nor are poisonous. The symptoms are often moldy taste and visible mold. People can become ill from decay if they ingest it.
By the looks of it or the first taste, you can tell if the food is moldy so that you won’t finish that meal. A person allergic to mites may experience skin irritation, throat swelling, and trouble breathing if they consume them. Consult your doctor if you experience such symptoms. It is rare to encounter a situation like that.
What is the best way to get rid of bugs in flour?
Since pests live in your food source, there is no way to treat them with pesticides. Unfortunately, you cannot just keep carnivorous plants in the cupboards either. Your only choice is to grow them outdoors. Immediately dispose of anything that has been contaminated with it. Although this will cost you a couple of boxes of your favorite cereal, it is a better option than letting it spread to other cabinets.
The next step is to thoroughly clean the cupboards after you have disposed of all contaminated foods outside. Pour warm soapy water into the corners of the cabinets and scrub thoroughly.
After you get the flour and wheat products home, you can freeze them right away. By doing so, you will kill any pests present and prevent their eggs from hatching. While this is a bit of a hassle to go through because of the assumption that there may be mites or weevils in those products, it is nevertheless a valid method.
If you want to keep pests out of your pantry, store your supplies in clean, clear containers that could be well sealed. You can repel insects by placing bay leaves around your food storage. Just as a precaution, put a couple of leaves in each cupboard. Small dehumidifiers are also a good idea. You can place them inside your storage areas. Not only will they keep your stored products fresh, but they will make the environment unpleasant for pests. The temperatures in those areas should remain relatively calm. Please do not make it easy for pests to flourish by creating humid, warm environments.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
- Is flour safe to use with weevils?
Although weevils are not something you want to eat, it is safe to consume them. Using weevil-infested flour for cooking or baking will ensure that it will be heated to a point where it is safe to drink again after the heat kills weevil eggs, larvae, and adults (via Grove).
- What is the best way to get rid of bugs in flour?
Put flour in the freezer as soon as you bring it home and store it there for at least one week. If eggs or weevils are already present in the flour, this will kill them.
- Does all flour contain bugs?
Several different types of bugs can infest and destroy your bags of flour or boxes of cereal, all of which are generally called flour bugs or weevils. It’s technically beetles that are more likely to be found in flour. In addition, flour bugs are sneaky.