Pest Control News

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Pests & Food

Pests in Your Pasta?!

‘Stored food pests’ are tiny critters that find their way into the food items we store, from cereals to pasta and flour. Finding weevils in flour is more common than you think. What do they look like and what can you do about it?

The last thing you expect to find when you open your flour jar is for it to be moving. Weevils are more common in flour and grain than you think, as are flour beetles.

What is a Weevil?

Dark brown in colour, the weevil and the flour beetle have been around for millennia. In fact, most of our ancestors probably ate the weevil along with the dishes they made from the ‘weevil-infected’ flour and grain.
Today, we are not so keen. Small, hard to see, it is a tiny insect that has, over the years, learnt to adapt to modern human ways. With such a delicate mouth, surviving in a field of wheat would be nigh-on impossible for the weevil and so, finding its way into processed flour is the perfect solution.
Beetles are similar and, in the UK, the Confused Flour Beetle – yes, that is its real name! – is also more common than you think. Slightly reddish in colour, it is bigger than the weevil but no less annoying.
If weevils or flour beetles are in one pack of flour in your cupboard, they are likely to be in the other jars and packets too. Neither are injurious to human health and in most cases, you can successfully deal with a small, one-off infestation yourself.
The problems start when they keep returning. If this is the case, you’ll need to give the team at SOS Pest Control a call.

How Did They Get into Your Home?

Brace yourself – they were probably already in the flour! Flour and grains, like most foodstuffs, has a shelf life and that means as the flour ages, the weevils start to take shape.
And the warmer temperatures in our homes also help them. The warmer the flour, the more likely weevil activity is. This doesn’t mean popping your flour in the fridge but our ancestors, with their cool larders, had the right idea. Most tiny insects like weevils, won’t budge or develop in temperatures less than 15°c.

Weevils and Flour Beetles – an Infestation or Not?

Finding moving bits in your flour is unpleasant, but nothing to overly worry about. Unfortunately, it means throwing flour and other foodstuffs away which can make it expensive.
Clean jars and storage containers thoroughly – a hot wash in the dishwasher will do the trick – as will a thorough clean of all kitchen cupboards with hot, soapy water. Concentrate on crevices and joints in cupboards too.

When to Call Us

In most cases, a deep clean and a thorough sorting of the kitchen cupboards should do it. For commercial food businesses, it may be a good idea for our team to take a look and make sure there isn’t a bigger pest problem lurking beneath.
For the domestic customer, if it keeps happening, it may also suggest that there is a colony of bugs that need identifying and dealing with.

Our top tip – store all foods such as flour and grain in airtight containers.
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