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Old 12-04-2012, 09:56 AM   #1
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Weevils - solved!

Weevils are those vile little bugs that spoil everything like oats, barley, pasta, rice, couscous, bulgar wheat, dried split peas, sunflower seeds, etc. And for most of my life I watched in dismay as they survived counter measures such as bay leaves, airtight containers, and freezing.

But then a few years ago I stumbled on the only solution that works for me. Although I can't recall where it was, in order to give credit, I can pass on the blessing of the solution:
  1. Check by sight that your newly purchased product is free of bugs. What you can't see are the countless tiny weevil eggs that accompany just about all vulnerable products these days.
  2. Kill the eggs by spreading out the product in a large open roasting pan, and sterilizing in a warm(*) oven. See below for details.
  3. Store the cooled product in an airtight container
* By "warm", I mean a temperature that will not spoil the food, but it will be just too hot to handle the roasting pan comfortably by hand. For products like rice, oats, and pasta, I switch off the oven after baking for at least half an hour; and then leave it to cool inside the oven. For products which might be more easily affected by heat, like almonds and sunflower seed kernels, I limit exposure to 30 minutes and then immediately take it out to cool.

I can honestly say that I have never had a problem with weevils since implementing this solution. Of course, I only use it for products that show a tendency to harbour weevils. So I haven't tried it on things like beans which I might want to sprout, because I've never found weevils in my beans.

Hope this helps somebody - Merry Christmas!


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Old 12-06-2012, 07:37 PM   #2
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Interesting. Luckily, I've never had to deal with the little buggers.

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Old 12-07-2012, 07:12 AM   #3
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Sticking all grain products in the freezer for at least 48 hours kills the eggs that are present, and is less trouble. Some spices--chili powder and paprika for sure--will also harbor little varmints, so put those in, too.

I do this routinely.
I just haven't been the same
since that house fell on my sister.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:26 AM   #4
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I use the freezer treatment and then place a bay leaf in in the bag - jar- box and they stay bug free while in the pantry. One year i had an infestation of all of my baking supplies in the pantry so tried the bay leaves and it really worked! Bugs are the only downside to living in the counry!
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:10 AM   #5
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Nearly every grain product goes into the freezer for a while especially flour and corn meal.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:29 AM   #6
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I'm going to have to try this, as the whole wheat flour I get here always seems to grow bugs. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:21 AM   #7
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I have lived all over the US, and the farther south you go, and more the humidity rises, the worse the pantry pests are. A forgotten dog biscuit under the fridge can be host to lots of winged critters--grain moths, grain beetles, weevils. Bird seed is another host, or that pretty ornamental corn from the farmers market.

Vigilance helps a lot--make sure there aren't any old stale crackers or cereal in the back of the pantry, and if you are a stockpiler, make sure you rotate old stuff out. Shopping in places with a high turnover rate helps too--don't buy flour at the gas station, no matter how big a rush you are in--ask me how I know that! Bulk bins seem to be a source of bugs in some places--maybe they don't clean them out in between batches of flour or grain.

If you get an infestation, pull everything out of the cabinets, vacuum the cracks and crevices, and wipe everything down with soapy water. When you replace your food, try the freezer trick. Those bugs can bite thru plastic or cellophane bags, and they are very sneaky about laying eggs around lids of containers, so put your cannisters or jars in the dishwasher. I am totally anti pesticide, especially around food, so I would not spray anything in my kitchen.

More than you ever wanted to know about kitchen bugs: G7370 Insect Pests of Stored Products | University of Missouri Extension

(I just read that, and I see that we have changed our recommendation on freezer time from 2 days to 4. I usually put things in the freezer when I bring them home and take them out when I am ready to use them--could be a week, could be a month.)
I just haven't been the same
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by danbuter View Post
Interesting. Luckily, I've never had to deal with the little buggers.
Me either...have never seen them in our flour, rice or pasta luckily
All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:45 PM   #9
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I haven't seen any critters since I left Texas.
Illegitimi non carborundum!
I don't want my last words to be, "I wish I had spent more time doing housework"
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:32 PM   #10
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I too have never had a problem with Weevils, possibly because I live in a dry climate.

Knowing about the freezing trick sure would have helped some time ago as I brought back a large and expensive container of dried Porchini mushrooms from Italy that evidently hatched the nasty little eggs and infested the container with Weevils........I could hear them speaking Italian and snickering as they chomped away at my precious mushrooms.

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