Can Freezing Flour Kill Weevil Eggs?
The common pests that can crawl into a pantry or cupboard are weevils. Maybe you have recently found a few in your flour and tried to get rid of them.
Now you are wondering how you are going to deal with the eggs. We researched to find out if freezing could be an option to get rid of these pests and save the flour in your kitchen.
It is possible to kill weevil eggs and other life stages with the freezing of flour. You can keep the flour inside for up to seven days in the freezer.
If you want to learn how to prevent the problem from coming back, or if you want to know if there’s another way to get rid of weevil eggs, keep reading, and we’ll give you what you need.
How Can I Kill Weevil Eggs?
It’s possible to kill weevil eggs by freezing infested flour. Finn and his colleagues found that only a small percentage of weevils can survive at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Other stages of life and other weevils can also be eliminated by freezing. According to Iowa State University, freezing the flour for 7 days can be enough to save products from being bitten.
They said in the study that the longer you keep the flour at low temperatures, the less likely the eggs are to survive. You might want to keep them in there for a while.
If you want to get rid of flour weevil eggs, you can use the oven.
Put the flour inside at a temperature of 140 degrees and it will take 15 minutes to bake. Similar to freezing, this works for other stages and weevils.
How Long Will It Take to Get Rid of Weevils?
It’s not easy to determine how long it will take to get rid of weevils in your pantry, apart from the 3 to 7 days with freezing and 15 minutes in the oven.
If there are eggs left behind or adult weevils left alive, there can be another outbreak.
How Do Weevils Get Inside Flour?
There are breaks in the packaging that allows weevils to get into flour. Some products may have been contaminated before they arrived at the mill.
Flour weevils lay their eggs in the crevices of any packaging, so by the time it is opened, they can also damage the product.
Is It Possible That Weevils Get into Sealed Packages?
Weevils can get into sealed packages, but it depends on the material they’re made of.
They can chew through cardboard, thin plastic, and aluminum foil, so be sure to check the packaging for any tears or holes.
The weevils can’t chew through sealed packaging, so there aren’t likely to be any.
How Can I Identify If Flour Has Weevils?
Adult insects or their larvae can be spotted in the packaging of flour. The red flour beetle is usually found in home settings.
The adults are long with a metallic, reddish-brown hue and an oblong shape. Unlike rice or grain weevils, they don’t have long snouts, so they are not true weevils.
Light brown and worm-like with six legs, their larvae are like that.
The smell of weevils coming from inside the packaging, holes in the flour bags, and the flour having a grayish tint are some of the signs of weevils in your flour.
Is It Possible to Use Flour That Has Weevils in It?
If there were only a few weevils, you can use the flour with them. You should either heat or freeze the flour before using it.
If you found several weevils, and the flour has changed smell or color, throw it out. It is possible that using the ingredient could be unsafe.
How to Get Rid of Weevils?
You need to get rid of the adults that lay the eggs as well. There are several measures you can take to do that.
Check On Things
If there are tears or openings in the packaging of other products in your pantry, it’s time to inspect it.
These can be used as a way for weevils to get into other products, so it’s best to be thorough.
If you suspect that weevils got into any of the products, it would be a good idea to throw them out.
If you want to avoid wasting products, you can try to save them by freezing or heating them in the oven, which will be discussed later.
Take Things out
When you discover that you have weevils, the first thing you should do is take out the contents of your pantry or storage space.
If you can locate the product where most of the weevils are coming from, then throw that out. Check the bags, opened containers, and cardboard boxes for adult insects and larvae.
Some weevils remain in the pantry and any stray grains that could attract more.
To make sure you get all the places where the insects can survive, pay special attention to the corners or cracks.
You can take the time to clean the pantry and storage space in general. Pesticides are not necessary and other measures such as ammonia or bleach do not provide much benefit.
It could be harmful to use pesticides in a place that is used for food storage.
Seal Things up
You should transfer the products to sealed containers before you put them back in your pantry.
If some of your products had weevils, you should take out the contents of the containers and clean them before you reuse them.
You should call a pest control service if you feel that there is too much to deal with.
Tips to Prevent Weevils:
- It’s a good idea to check out the packaging of the flour or grain before purchasing it.
- If there are any holes or tears in the packaging, it can be a sign that there is a problem.
- You should occasionally check the products in your pantry.
- If they are in packaging that weevils can chew through, look for some holes or tears.
- Check the opened products for adult weevils and larvae.
- It’s a good idea to regularly clean your pantry and remove any crumbs or grains that are spilled inside.
- Before storing the grains or flour, they should be frozen in a tightly sealed container.
- It is possible to store them in the freezer.
- If you keep your flour or grains somewhere dry, weevils will be attracted to it.
- If possible, transfer your products to containers that are sealed.
- Try not to mix newly bought grains and flour with older batches inside the containers.
- Before you reuse the containers, make sure they are cleaned thoroughly.
- You can buy your grains or flour in small batches, which you can consume.
- If you have too much, it will be spoiled and will attract insects.
It can be difficult to get rid of the weevil. Sometimes the problem keeps coming back, which leads to wasted food and frustration.
With proper cleaning, food storage, and other steps, you may be able to eliminate these pests for good.
If the problem is more than you can handle, professional pest control services will always be available.
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