Bugs in kitchen pantries are a major frustration. What have they gotten into? Can you clean them out? Will they just keep on getting into your ingredients? You have to get rid of pantry pests, and some of the worst are flour bugs. How can you prevent them, and how do you keep bugs out of your kitchen pantry?
Bugs in the Kitchen
First, understand that if you get bugs in your kitchen, you haven’t failed as a cook or baker. It happens to the best. The important part is to learn how to get rid of pantry pests so that you can avoid them in the future. The worst offenders are flour bugs. These are little brown bugs that can get into flour, whole grains, rice, and even pasta.
This is a particular risk with freshly milled flour, which goes bad more quickly.
To keep your risk level down, make sure that you understand the kind of flour you’re using. All-purpose flour can be stored in a cool, dry location for a year. Whole grain flour is a different story. It can be kept in the fridge for up to five days, or in the freezer if you’ll be keeping it for longer.
That said, flour bugs don’t just show up if your flour starts to go bad. You’ll usually find them because they caught a ride in the food you bought. Flour bugs, or weevils, can lay eggs that hatch in the container and start to feed on the grain inside.
Get Rid of Pantry Pests
If you find them, it’s important to get these bugs out of your kitchen pantry. Dump the infested items. Don’t keep them in the house any longer than you have to. Throw them away outside. Then clean the entire pantry, vacuuming included. You can use white vinegar (or citrus-infused vinegar if the smell’s too strong) to clean the entire pantry.
Otherwise, they’ll spread easily. Don’t try to save the food they’ve infested. Anything you spot them in, and there’s a good chance they’ve already laid their eggs there.
Don’t assume that regular barriers in storage containers are enough to stop them. They can get through cardboard, paper, and plastic. Check everything that was in the pantry, even if it was closed. Going forward, fully seal foods in plastic containers to make sure they’re safe. Check the pantry regularly to ensure no flour bugs escaped your cleaning (all it takes is one female to make your pantry a headache again).
If you have suspect you have flour bugs or other pantry pests, contact Ransford Environmental Solutions today.