There comes the point in most people’s lives where they go into their kitchen store and see some goods there infested with bugs. It’s not a pleasant sight, for sure, and you’ll want to get it sorted out as quickly as possible.
The most common bugs you’ll find in your kitchen store are flour mites and weevils. They love cool dark places like your kitchen cupboard. As the name suggests, they also love foods like flour and sorts. Throughout this guide, I’m going to talk you through everything you need to know about getting rid of them for good and to stop them from coming back.
Identifying the Problem
Flour mites and weevils are two different bugs, but they do similar things and live in similar places. Flour mites are super small bugs that are almost invisible. You’ll definitely miss them if you aren’t looking for them properly. However, you’ll notice when there’s a large infestation of them together.
Flour mites have white bodies (which makes them even harder to spot in flour) and brown legs. You can find them most often in flour, cereals, and containers of grain.
Weevils, on the other hand, are more noticeable as they’re larger than flour mites, usually between 2mm and 10mm long. They are a darker brown than flour mites and look more like beetles than flour mites do. They may also have long hairs or scales on their body.
If you pinch some flour between your fingers and smell them, you have bugs if the smell is slightly like mint. Another way to find them is to smooth over a thin layer of flour onto a worktop. If you leave the flour for a few hours, come back, and it’s not smooth like you left it, then you’re dealing with mites or weevils.
The final solution is to take a piece of tape and lay it sticky side up along your kitchen shelves or flour cupboards. Leave for a few hours and come back with a magnifying glass. If you see bugs on the tap, then these are probably weevils or mites.
Are These Bugs Harmful?
Don’t worry, while the bugs are a little creepy, they’re not going to hurt you. They’re not poisonous and won’t hurt you if you touch them, or they touch you. Even if you accidentally use contaminated food, it’s not going to hurt you. It’s just not very nice.
The only real problem is that contaminated food can encourage the spread of bacteria, fungal spores, and mold. This means you can get sick if you eat it. If you’re allergic to the mites, then you may get itchy or develop a rash.
You may have a severe allergic reaction in extreme cases, which swells your throat and can make it difficult for you to breathe. Fortunately, these situations are rare, but if you do find it hard to breathe, make sure you’re seeking medical assistance as soon as possible.
All of these reasons are why it’s so important to deal with your problem as quickly as possible.
Getting Rid of Flour Mites and Weevils
The first thing you must do is get rid of any contaminated food. Just put all packets and containers into an outdoor bin away from the house. Since these bugs are so small, you’ll want to chuck away surrounding food as well, since the bugs may have crawled over, even if you can’t see them.
If you don’t clear them out, you’ll just deal with another infestation in no time at all.
You then want to clean your cupboards out with soap and water. You can use bleach, but make sure you’re sure wiping it away thoroughly to not contaminate your food. An alternative would be to use a toxic-free cleaner, like this Dionna Ford Homemade Cleaner.
The final approach you can take is to call in a professional pest control service. This can be quite expensive, but if you’re dealing with a larger infestation, or they keep coming back over and over again.
A professional service will use pesticides, which are very effective and will work within a few hours. You could use pesticides yourself, but since you’re using it around food and you don’t want to ingest it, it will be best if you seek the help of someone who knows what they’re doing.
Just conduct a quick online search to see which pest control services in your area deal with flour mites and weevils, and then get a quote from each. This way, you know who is offering you the best deal and won’t end up with you accidentally spending a lot of money.
Stop the Bugs from Coming Back
The very best thing you can do after an infestation is to try everything in your power to stop them from coming back. For this, you can put all your food into airtight containers. If you leave open bags of flour out, the chances are the bugs are just going to come back. Some really good boxes my partner found were these Vtopmart Containers.
Another proven method to keep the bugs at bay is to put a few bay leaves in with your foodstuffs. These are known for being a bug deterrent and fending them off. That’s a great approach if you’re looking for a natural solution.
Some people say that freezing your products when you get them home is another great way to stop the bugs coming in the first place. Just take your flour and leave it in the freezer overnight. This will kill all pests in the flour and any eggs they may have laid.
Yes, this might be a bit of a hassle to do, but if you’re dealing with a persistent problem, then it’s a worthwhile step to take. Finally, try to keep your kitchen cupboards as cool and dry as possible.
Bugs like flour mites and weevils love warm, humid conditions, so the further away you can get from these conditions, the better. I personally use an Alrocket dehumidifier in my pantry as it creates the perfect environment for keeping bugs out.