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Have you ever discovered tiny bugs creating a tunnel town in your flour or baking mix? Ever spotted bugs in a box of cereal, found dried up beetle bodies on top of the china hutch or watched a grain weevil pour out of a box of macaroni? If you answered yes, don't worry. You're not alone. No matter how tidy your kitchen is, sooner or later you're bound to run across some pests in your pantry.
Some bugs prefer to feed on plant materials, while others prefer foods containing animal proteins. Here are some of the most commonly seen pantry pests:
Despite strict manufacturing and sanitation practices, it's a fact of life that a certain amount of insects show up in the foods that we purchase. These foods include grains, seeds, dried fruits, cured meats, pet foods, sugar, spices and baking mixes. It can even include our macaroni and cheese (oh, the horror!). Obviously we can never completely prevent pests from arriving in our home via food from the grocery store, but there are things we can do to prevent them from setting up permanent residence in our pantries and cupboards.
I have this 'wormy thing' in my house! It crawls out of it's 'fuzzy shell' and moves on. It's tiny, but you can see the empty shells. I found one of the worms today cleaning in my daughters room.....they get in everything..not just food!! I have found that if I use a lot of bay leaves around, they will stay out. (I can see why, I don't even like the smell of them!) I have to keep all my packaged foods either in the refridgerator (which takes a lot of space) or in sealed tubs in the basement. Does anyone have any idea what these things are and a better way to get rid of them? Gross!!!
I recently read if you put a bay leaf in your flour container the pests will not appear and it doesn't affect the flour's taste.
"Place foods in the oven (pet foods, dried peas and beans, for example) at 140º F for 1 hour to eliminate pests. "
WAAHHHH???? I don't think I would be eating any peas or beans that had been in an oven to kill bugs! What is the purpose of this? Am I missing something?
A great natural way to deter pests in the pantry, especially weevils is:
Mix whole black peppercorns,bay leaves,whole cloves together. Make a sachet by placing all (about 1 teaspoon) in a coffee filter, cut off the excess and tie it up with tape or string.Make several of these and place on each shelf behind boxes and bags of pasta etc... Every so often when you are in the pantry, crush it between your thumb and index fingers to release the essential oils. This is what the bugs hate. Bugs also hate herbs in the mint family: thyme, basil,oregano, also tea tree oil etc.....