"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > General Cooking
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-04-2012, 09:56 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Posts: 17
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!


trids is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2012, 07:37 PM   #2
Senior Cook
danbuter's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 350
Interesting. Luckily, I've never had to deal with the little buggers.

danbuter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2012, 07:12 AM   #3
Head Chef
sparrowgrass's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Highest point in Missouri
Posts: 1,788
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.
sparrowgrass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2012, 07:26 AM   #4
Senior Cook
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Michigan, USA
Posts: 300
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!
silentmeow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2012, 09:10 AM   #5
Sous Chef
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: California's Big Valley
Posts: 810
Nearly every grain product goes into the freezer for a while especially flour and corn meal.
Oldvine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2012, 09:29 AM   #6
Head Chef
RPCookin's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Logan County, Colorado
Posts: 2,008
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.
RPCookin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2012, 10:21 AM   #7
Head Chef
sparrowgrass's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Highest point in Missouri
Posts: 1,788
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
since that house fell on my sister.
sparrowgrass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2012, 04:27 PM   #8
Chef Extraordinaire
Kylie1969's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 13,936
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
Kylie1969 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2012, 04:45 PM   #9
Chef Extraordinaire
Addie's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: East Boston, MA
Posts: 18,781
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"
Addie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2012, 09:32 PM   #10
Master Chef
Kayelle's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: south central coast/California
Posts: 9,752
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.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but rather by the moments that take our breath away.

Kayelle is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:14 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.