I discovered many moth like flies in my cupboard. Later I went to cook rice and we had worms in all our rice packages. They were not even opened yet. I washed all the shelves, sprayed them with insecticide and threw away all the rice. I still have more "flies" showing up in the house and in the cupboard. What can I do?
By Maggie D.
Ugh, I had this problem one year. I don't know what they were but they were disgusting! Little moths that managed to lay their eggs in our food cupboard. The only thing I found that helped was vigilance. I cleaned everything regularly and made sure that all food was kept in well-sealed containers. Opened jars like peanut butter I kept in the fridge as they'd even managed to get underneath the rims. If the adult moths can't find food they should move on.
Sorry Ladies, but you probably brought home the disgusting little moths and worms in your rice, grits, flour, cornmeal, dried beans and other foods like these. If not this last trip, then the ones before and the little bugs just migrated from one to the other of your staple items in your own pantry.
Those little bugs' eggs were laid on the vegetables, grains etc before they were ever picked from the fields and gardens most likely. The little eggs just waited patiently until the time was better for them to hatch out, and voila, they already had a good supply of food waiting right there for them. The ate what food they had until they were ready to develop from one stage to the little moth stage and now, they're just busy flying around, mating and looking for places to lay a new crop of eggs.
If you will place all those types of foods in a securely closed plastic bag and freeze them (including flour and cornmeal) and leave them in there for about 72 hours before taking them out, you'll kill the eggs, and they'll never turn into the little bugs and worms or moths. Do this as soon as you get home from the grocery store.
I also keep dried bay leaves in every container, including plastic bags that I enclose every bag of new flour, corn meal, beans etc into before placing them on a cupboard shelf. Dried bay leaves are scattered all through my cabinets and cupboards as well, and anywhere else you store dried foods. I don't know why, but they help too. A few large bay leaves go into canisters that hold these foods as well. Right on top where they're easily removed before measuring out the amount you need for a recipe. Don't forget to replace the bay leaves before closing the canister.
When you run across a bag of pasta for instance that you find little bug in, be sure to tell your grocery man as most likely, the entire shelf of dried foods have been infected, or soon will be. Instead of its being your fault, it's more likely to be the fault of the stock boys at the grocery stores not checking the foods, shelves, and rotating the stock properly. Save every receipt, and return those foods to the grocery store where you bought them, but don't get a replacement there. Get a refund and buy it at a different store or you'll likely just buy some more little bugs.
Hope this helps.
We went through this maybe 20 years ago when I was still living with my parents. Mom and I cleaned out everything, went to buy new staples (flour, sugar, etc.) and were very careful when refilling her containers. We saw a moth in the flour that we just purchased from the store as we were pouring it out of the bag. She stopped shopping at that store.
Several years back I was at their house fixing dinner. I opened a brand new bag of Riceland brown rice. When I poured it into the water, I could see little critters in it (tiny brown hard-bodied bugs). We tossed it and ate something else. Some time later, the same thing happened with another brand new bag of Riceland brown rice. I've always used a different brand of brown rice, but Mom has stopped purchasing Riceland brown rice. Mom keeps an immaculate house. These products came from the store with the critters in them. And since the rice was in sealed bags, I believe they came from Riceland with the bugs in them.
I think it's just one of those things that happens. Keep everything in sealed containers, and keep your eyes opened when using those dry products.
Once you clean out anything that you can tell is infested, you can buy cardboard traps (the ones I have seen have the words "Pantry Pest" prominently on the label), which you can place inconspicuously in your pantry to draw in any stragglers. I get these periodically, it's so annoying. I have never had them get into anything besides grain products.
Pantry moths & weevils are nasty things that can be hard to get rid of, because they spread throughout your cabinets/pantry & they lay eggs in the cracks between the shelves. Pookarina has the best advice, this is also what I do. everything that comes in the house that has grain in it goes into a plastic ziplock bag. Then I put the pasta I have into a plastic shoebox with a tight lid. Every grain(rice,oatmeal,etc) & flour product (flour,corn meal,pancake mix,etc) all go into the plastic bags & then the freezer. Actually, I keep my flour & cornmeal in the freezer all the time to keep it from going stale. If I have room, I keep the rice in there too.
In Japan people put dried red peppers (togarashi) in dry rice to keep bugs out. I don't know that it would help if the bugs are already there, though.
My mother-in-law use to work for an extension service of a University. She taught me to place anything I purchase, that is made of grains, in my freezer for at least two weeks. This kills the weevil eggs so they cannot hatch. All grains will have weevil eggs. It is a fact of life. So, if you won't be consuming the grains in a timely manner, be sure to freeze it. Also, the bay leaf trick really works. Just put a few bay leaves on the shelves of your pantry. Good luck!
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