Preventing Pantry Pests

As careful and clean as you try to be, there is a possibility of bringing a bug-infested box of pasta home. If you don't have enough containers, wrap each box in a plastic bag and seal tightly.


This will prevent the infested box from spoiling other foods in your pantry.

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November 9, 2004

I hate bugs so I use my freezer to keep away the pantry pests. I mark the date and then freeze all of the cereal, flour, pasta, rice, etc that comes in the house for at least 3 days.

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I live in New Mexico and during the summer we have a plethora of bugs that can get into even the most protected food items. There are three things I do to keep bugs out. First, depending on the amount of food item, I will buy gallon or 1 1/2 gallon freezer or food storage bags to put the food item in.

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The best thing I have ever found to keep pantry moths or any other pest from getting in your food is to put a bay leaf in the box or package after it is opened. There is something about a bay leaf that they hate.

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March 4, 2005

Clean up spills in your cabinet quickly. Store food in air tight plastic, glass or metal containers. Clean food storage areas at least once a year and inspect packaging for leaks.

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January 14, 2013

While it won't do anything about any little hitchhikers already in your food, bugs absolutely hate cedar, so sprinkling a few shavings or hanging up a little bag of it in your pantry may discourage anything investigating the place from hanging around.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

What are these small black bugs? I have found them in rice and also seeds. I removed the rice and seeds, but they are still in the cupboard and around the microwave.


May 19, 20201 found this helpful
Best Answer

It is a pantry weevil and there are several types but all fall under about the same category and all can be killed/disposed of in the same manner.
I do not think the type of weevil is important but, to me, it looks more like a flour beetle as a rice beetle appears to have a longer 'snout' than your bug (although pictures are very blurry).

After taking care of your food (instructions from online sites) you can use bay leaves (highly recommended) or any of the other suggestions to keep them away forever.
I freeze my food when I bring it home and then pack it in airtight containers and sometimes I place bay leaves in containers and I sprinkle Food-grade diatomaceous earth on the shelves and this seems to work well for me.
You can read any of the online sites to see the different recommendations for how to clean up and how to best store your food.
Hopefully, you will find a way that suits you and your kitchen.

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March 24, 2010

I find beetles and bugs infesting a dietary product containing whole grain cereals like barley, green gram, millet, wheat, and fenugreek even in well sealed packs. How can this be prevented? Can roasting the cereals before packing prevent infestation? Should I try washing, drying in sun and then roasting before packing them?

By srikumar


March 24, 20100 found this helpful

I have similar problems here in Spain.My solution is to put the unopened packet in the freezer for a few days.This works for me. Any bugs and weevils don't have a chance to develop.

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March 26, 20101 found this helpful

I use the freezer to prevent the same problems with flour, pasta, dried beans, rice and other grains, and nuts and seeds. In fact, I use the freezer for long term storage of all these items, since I have a large one that opens in the front. Just take out the amount of product you need and allow to warm to room temrature. The warming is especially important for baking, when all your ingredients should be room temprature. I hope this helps.

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March 29, 20100 found this helpful

I find that storing any products that are whole grain in the fridge works well for me. I haven't had any problems with 'bugs' since I've started storing them this way :) Hope this helps!

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April 1, 20100 found this helpful

Try freezing the packets when new This should kill any ingrain beetle. When I stored quantity of wheat long term, I placed a toilet roll in container with garlic cloves embedded into toilet roll.Roll prevents moisture. Garlic repels any insect.

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April 1, 20100 found this helpful

Also make sure you store in glass containers with clip lids.

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July 8, 2013

They look like a black, round, small seed. How do I get rid of them?

By Dorte


July 10, 20130 found this helpful

Is this an insect? From your description, it sounds like mouse droppings. Please give more details. For insects, you could try diatomaceous earth. It is sold under a variety of names, but is non-toxic to people and pets. It kills insects by shredding their exoskeletons. Of course, if you have mice, it is a different problem entirely.

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July 10, 20130 found this helpful

Hi - I believe a friend of mine has a problem with this small round black "bug".
they are definitely alive and not mouse droppings.

We could not find any of these bugs in any food but they must come in with food.
We cleaned all of her pantry - sprayed it down with vinegar - and then put borax at the back and sides of the shelves.

This was about 4 weeks ago and she has seen some dead bugs but no live ones - but that does not mean they are gone!

Hope someone can tell us more about them and why they are around food but not in boxes?

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April 13, 2015

I have a professional company do my lawn, inside the house, and termite control. I have so many pests and they are treating my home for these. Recently I found a very small brown oval bug. The technician said it is a pantry pest. You can almost "see" them.

By Joyce from Tavares, FL

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December 10, 2013

We have very, tiny black bugs that have infested our pantry. They look like a speck of dirt until they move. They have infested our cereals and dry foods, such as soup mix. They move very slowly. What are they, and how the heck do we get rid of them? I've tried emptying and cleaning out the pantry once, but they came back.

By Kym H.


December 12, 20130 found this helpful

It sounds like flour weevils. they live in all flour products. So they are constantly coming into our houses. I finally got rid of mine by throwing out any flour product that was past pull date. Sounds like they like dried beans too... I am not surprised. At least they don't bite people.

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December 14, 20130 found this helpful

I learned this many years ago. Buy extra bay leaves just for pantry. When you bring home a product like grain flour etc add about 4 to the box or package and close. They don't like it and they leave your pantry alone. We have had blessed relief for about 15 years now.

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October 31, 2016

These bugs I have are not any bug I can find on any web-site. They have been found in pasta, cereal, pancake and Bisquik batter, but not in or around the flour which they possibly could get into also. They are in all rooms, the basement included. We have even found them in Hidden Valley powdered seasoning mix.

When they are crushed, they leave a chalky residue. I think I may have brought them into the house in an infested dry dog food package which I took back as soon as I noticed them, but I think the damage was already done. We have hung up fly strips by lights we leave on all nite and they end up just loaded with these bugs. Help please!

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September 28, 2014

I have been told that leaves from eucalyptus trees on the shelves and in containers will keeps bugs out of food. Is this true? I'm sorry. I don't know how to do photos on the computer.

By Tera B

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August 18, 2014

I have what look like little brown worms in my wooden salad bowl. I rarely use it, but when I do I either find one alive or the shell of what was there. What is it? How do I get rid of them? Are they harmful?

By Connie W. from Spokane, WA


August 19, 20140 found this helpful

It's possible you have woodworm in the bowl. If so, it will endanger any wooden furniture, cupboards etc.

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September 22, 2005

Tips for preventing mealy bugs. Post your ideas.

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September 20, 2013

I have kitchen supplies (some spices like onion seeds, fenugreek seeds, chilly powder, cinnamon, pepper, etc.) stored in plastic containers. Different items are separately packaged and stored away in these containers, but I keep having these tiny thick-skinned brown bugs in the container, ruining almost "all" the items. I disposed off the old supplies, cleaned and disinfected the containers and put in new supplies. Lo and behold! They are back in another month and have ruined my supplies again. Strange thing, I don't even know what to call them. Help needed badly!

By Rita

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