Bugs in flour. Flour bugs are little insects that infest the food storage locations of homeowners. They most commonly occur in flour, but can also be found in dry foods, spices, cereals and pasta.
Their bites cause small hard bumps on the skin and their droppings stain products they invade. Keeping them out is an easy job with some precautionary practices.
Bugs In Flour
Flour bugs are a type of insect that lives within wheat. The weevil, which is an immature flour bug, can survive if it’s placed in conditions where the egg has not reached full maturity before being harvested and sold on the market.
When you realize that there are flour bugs in your bread or other food products, please note that they were most likely already here when you bought them.
There are different types of weevils. There are over 90,000 species of weevils in this world.
However, the most common ones that infest stored food are the rice weevils and flour weevils.
Both these weevils grow only up to 1/8th of an inch long with six legs. They’re metallic reddish-brown or blackish-red in color and tend to be a smaller wider shaped than other beetles and have wings.
Both flour weevils and rice weevils are beetles which means their distinguishing characteristics is the snout or beak on their mouth, which is visible when you see them crawling on infested grains in your home.
Rice weevils primarily infest grains like rice, wheat, nuts beans, and lentils and corn although they will consume other things as well like coffee beans.
Confused Flour Beetles
Confused flour beetles are tiny, quarter-inch long and tan. They can fly but usually only short distances due to a small body frame and light weight.
Confused flour beetles do not bite or carry any diseases that could spread to humans.
But in high numbers may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive or come into contact with these insects for very long periods of time.
These insects are most often found in food, like grains and flour, transported from warehouses to grocery stores.
However, once this insect ends up inside your home it can easily be deposited into other products usually located close by like flours, corn meal and cake mixes.
Red Flour Beetle
The red flour beetle is the most differentiated in its looks from the confused flour beetle.
At first glance they appear almost identical to one another, but there are some key differences you may wish to familiarize yourself with.
First off, the red flour beetle is one that can fly and loves to stay around lights. Second, these types of beetles tend to look reddish-brown to red in color.
Lastly, you’ll have no trouble detecting their head due to the fact it will stick out with small mandibles clearly visible above.
Another common species of grain pests is the flour mites. Also known as acarus siro, this species of tiny bug clings to a wide variety of grains and flour found in storage and infests it as well.
Flour mites are transparent in color with white powdery legs and are incredibly difficult to spot, even despite normal eyesight!
They can be present inside the grains before you purchase them, and will eat the grain for their food source until they lay eggs to continue the cycle anew.
Infesting your grain means spoiled grains and foods from those grain sources becomes too sweet for consumption instead of tasteless – something that is definitely not good for you (aside from being unappetizing!).
What you can do if you suspect there’s a problem with mites is that you can buy some diatomaceous earth.
Which is an insecticide made of crushed fossilized water algae called diatoms that absorb these pests’ waxy layer to weaken it enough for it, thus effectively killing them off.
Ways of getting Rid of Flour Bugs
- Cleaning Your Kitchen, Kitchen Pantry, Kitchen Cabinets and Cupboards.
- Food Storage Jars Should Be Checked For Flour Bugs and Other Pantry Pests.
- Flour and grains infested with flour bugs should be frozen to kill them.
- Mix vinegar with water and spray on food storage areas of your kitchen.
- Repair kitchen window and wall gaps and cracks.
- Kitchen windows should be covered with fine mesh window shields.
- Make Sure You Store Flour And Dry Foods Properly.
- Bay leaves and cinnamon sticks should be kept in food storage cupboards and cabinets.
- You can control dampness inside your kitchen and house by repairing leaky pipes.
- Food Jars Should Be Placed Back Where They Belong.
Is flour that contains flour bugs safe to eat?
Yes, flour does attract bugs and mold damage. The only way to check whether your flour has such damage is by smelling it for a strange odor or looking out for brownish spots.
If the smell is bad and/or there are any spots of brown on the flour, then it’s probably best to discard them.
However, if the odor isn’t that strong and/or there aren’t any spots, you can just dry out your flour at a medium temperature or replace what you have with fresh flour by stirring it in (which helps prevent pests from coming back).
In addition, you may use pyrethrum spray which is highly effective in killing these pests at room temperature.
Bugs in flour. Although flour is one of the most commonly used ingredients in baking and cooking, it can become contaminated with a variety of small creatures or pests.
These flour pests include weevils, beetles, mites and moths – are common contaminants of flour jars. The larvae of these insects are the main culprit behind damaging the flour and other type of dry stored food.
This post has a 10-step instructions on how to get rid of such bugs without using pesticides and without hiring professional pest control services.