Summer may feel hot and steamy. In Missouri, it becomes muggy and sticky in July. Additionally, insects attack your house. Gnats, drain and fruit flies enter your kitchen, causing an infestation. How to keep bugs out of your flour? You may still enjoy cooking these days. There are a lot of cool occasions. They include Independence Day, birthdays and anniversaries of your family members. Barbecues and small gatherings are opportune now. Bake your delicious pies and cakes to please your close ones. But you are to keep your flour and cornmeal fresh and dry. How to do it? Let’s delve into details.
Where Do Flour Bugs Come from?
Summer is a pleasant, favorable time. It benefits the whole creation, including insects. Warm and humid conditions in your kitchen may promote their reproduction. For example, Missouri’s climate is humid, subtropical or continental. Summer brings us heavy rains and thunderstorms.
Daytime temperatures reach 85-90 degrees. High humidity adds to the discomfort. In the mornings, it goes up to 90%, making you feel like escaping the city. Thus, the temperature in your kitchen may go up. How long does flour keep? In summer, your shelf-stable food might get rancid faster.
In warm conditions, pest infestation is also more common. Weevils are no exception. These small, reddish-brown beetles penetrate to your food stocks from:
- grain and wheat products;
- your local grocery store packages;
- adjacent foods, like rice or pasta;
- various places and nooks inside your pantry or home.
Do you usually bring all-purpose and whole-wheat flour home in paper sacks? You won’t be sure it’s completely safe and bag-free. Adult rice weevils can fly. They enter any unsealed packaging and spoil your food.
Is It OK to Use Flour with Weevils?
Ugly flour mites are tiny. They are only 0.013-0.017 inches long. Mites penetrate to any unsealed container easily. These obnoxious pests are virtually invisible. You won’t see them with your naked, untrained eye. Weevils fly and reach any location within your kitchen.
Both of these pest species lay eggs. In a warm humid environment, they reproduce terribly fast. Quite naturally, your best way to store flour and sugar is in a cool place. It is to be dry and dark. Can you control the temperature and humidity in your kitchen? A powerful air conditioner solves both tasks efficiently.
But will you run it 24/7? You may avoid it due to energy saving or other concerns. In poorly stored grains, cereals and flour powders, they might become abundant. Don’t be put out because of contamination. Both flour bugs and mites are not harmful. They don’t:
- bite or sting you;
- transmit dangerous diseases;
- poison your food;
- release any toxins.
Flour weevils are completely safe. If you want, you can eat or consume them. Of course, there are a lot of hidden hazards.
How to Get Rid of Mites in Flour and Rice?
You know, flour bugs are not delicious. They won’t improve the taste of your delicious cakes and pies. You cook them at high temperatures that exceed 350-400 degrees. It kills all available bacteria. Flour mites are much more dangerous. They may cause allergies or mold.
It may affect your respiratory system or skin. Additionally, these tiny pests spread fungal spores around your house and food. Are you sensitive to the infestation? Be especially careful and tidy. I guess you are to know how to store cornmeal already. It’s easy if you use properly sealed bags or containers.
Have you found a weevil in your flour or pantry? If so, you are to:
- discard any food that has insects;
- wash and clean your pantry properly;
- wipe the shelves with white vinegar;
- add some drops of eucalyptus oil to repel weevils.
Make sure, your kitchen pantry and home as a whole are clean and bug-free. Ventilate all storage areas, letting sunlight disinfect the surfaces. Now, you can replenish your supplies of flour and cereals.
How to Store Flour to Prevent Bugs?
Do you store great amounts of flour? They might be necessary if you are going to cook or bake pies. You are to get some food before Independence Day. Do you anticipate a heavy thunderstorm or a tornado soon? In Missouri, they might happen in July or August.
Thus, a small emergency stock of non-perishable foods is essential. Keep it only in your favorite flour storage containers. They are to be airtight, durable, easy to clean. Have you just bought whole-wheat flour or cornmeal in your local grocery store? As soon as you bring it home:
- Seal your flour into a reliable freezer bag.
- Put it into your freezer for a week or so.
- Pour your flour into an airtight container.
- Seal it with a lid.
- Try to ventilate your storage every day, keeping it cool.
In summer, I commonly use my cool glass food storage containers. They are food grade and dishwasher-safe. The smooth glass surface is easy to clean. It doesn’t leak harmful chemicals into your food. Additionally, transparent walls let you see any weevils as soon as you get them.
What Do You Put in Flour to Keep Bugs Out?
You may prefer plastic vessels. Lightweight, easy-to-carry containers are essential during a trip. They don’t break even if you break them to the floor. Why don’t you store dry foods like flour in plastic boxes? They suit the application pretty well. Top-quality plastics tolerate freezing without cracking or getting cloudy.
Everything goes well until it comes to heating. If the temperature exceeds 100 °F, plastic can start warping. So, I would rather use it in winter, in a fridge or so. Will you store cereals in your silicone food storage containers? They are not transparent. These perfect vessels are great for liquid foods like soups and stews.
They are versatile, withstanding microwaving and dishwashing. Silicone seals are flawless. Lids of this kind are flexible and durable. They withstand both low and high temperatures. Aromatic species and herbs might be also useful. How do you get rid of flour bugs naturally? Add bay and eucalyptus leaves, garlic or cinnamon. It repels insects, keeping your flour fresh.
In summer, keeping your shelf-stable foods fresh is not easy. High heat and humidity don’t facilitate their storage. Additionally, it creates a favorable environment for bugs’ reproduction. They can penetrate your flour, spoiling its taste or odor. So, keep your emergency stock in airtight containers. They are to be transparent, letting you check for bugs easily. Heat-resistant vessels are beneficial during steamy summer months. All shelves in your pantry are to be clean and well-organized. If you are still not sure that your flour is bug-free, use freezing. It eliminates insects, making your food safe and healthy.