by Doris Donnerman
(last updated July 26, 2008)
Pantry weevils, also known as flour beetles, are pests that invade cereal, pasta, flour, corn meal, nuts, seeds, spices, cake mixes, corn starch, grain, dried fruit, dry pet food, and powdered milk. They eat the dry foodstuffs, lay eggs in the foodstuffs, and then the larvae eat their way further into the product, continuing a vicious cycle. The beetles leave behind fecal material, shed their skin, and otherwise contaminate the food. If you've ever opened an outdated box of pasta, poured it into boiling water, and seen tiny brown or black specks rise to the top, then you've seen flour beetles. If you've seen them in your boiling pasta water, chances are they have also invaded your bags of flour and boxes of cereal.
If you suspect that you may have beetles in your home, follow these guidelines and tips to eradicate them:
Before replacing food stuffs into your clean pantry and cupboards, spray those areas with an insecticide that is specifically geared for kitchen use and killing weevils. Follow the directions on the label as to safe use and handling. Always place dry foodstuffs inside of air tight containers to avoid beetle infestations.
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