Answering Your Questions: Those Pesky Bugs!
Weevils are small, reddish-brown beetles that can fly. Weevils can lay a few eggs a day for months, a long-term challenge. What can you do once they have infested your pantry?
#1. Find the source of the weevils. If you've noticed weevils, in your flour or crackers, they may also be in other foods in your pantry. Be sure to also check your pet's food dishes and food for infestation.
#2 Discard all foods that has weevils. You should not eat any food that contains live weevils. If you've accidentally baked with flour containing weevils, you can eat the food because the baking will have killed the weevils and eggs. Do not throw contaminated food away in your kitchen. Take it to the outside trash to prevent the weevils from re-infesting your pantry foods.
#3 Completely clean your pantry. If you have contact paper lining your shelves, remove and clean shelves, weevils can lay eggs beneath the liner. If you have adjustable shelving place packing tape over the holes that are not being used for shelves. Another favorite place to lay eggs. If there are any present in the holes they will stick to the tape when they hatch and try to get out.
Wash shelves, walls and ceiling of cupboards with hot, soapy water. Wash all cans top and bottom before returning them to the cupboard.
# 4 Repackage foods in bags in airtight containers. If you have cake mixes or other foods in cardboard boxes seal them at both ends with packing tape. Weevils can escape in the smallest opening. If weevils hatch, they will be trapped in the sealed box and weevils will not be able to get in to these protected boxes.
Preventing Weevil Infestations
#1 Freeze the flours, cake mixes, cornbread, nuts and pancake mixes when you bring them home. Freezing for at least 1 week will kill any eggs already present. After a week take remove from freezer and store in the pantry. Remember to transfer anything in a bag to an airtight container.
#2 Place a fresh bay leaf in flour. Many believe bay leaves can prevent weevil infestations. You need to judge for yourself. Replace bay leaves every few months or when you can no longer smell them. This will not change the taste, but you must keep up with replacing the bay leaves.
#3 Use pheromone traps. You can buy small packages of weevil traps that use pheromones to attract the pests and have a sticky surface and trap them. Place a few of these around your pantry and change them once they're full.
#4 Clean up any crumbs or spills immediately.
#5 Adult weevils can live a year. Check your pantry for weevils at least monthly.
#6 If the infestation continues call a pest control specialist.