It’s disheartening and frustrating when your territory is overrun by unwanted guests. In this case, I’m going to refer to them as the enemy. I’m talking about the weevil. A nasty, undesirable bug that brings destruction. They come at you very stealthy in their sneak attack on your pantry. They move in when your defenses are down and, as a result, the battle is lost before you knew it even started. That’s how recent events went down for me not so long ago. But fear not, to lose a battle does not mean you can’t win the war. I donned my best weevil battle gear and prepared for the serious work to begin. The enemy will never cross this line again!
If you’re unfamiliar with the weevil, they’re a horrible little bug found in flours and grains such as cereal and pasta. The larva exists in a product you purchase at the store (I know! Totally gross, right?) and when you bring it home they hatch and infest your entire pantry. So fabulously awesome!
You’ve lost the battle. The weevils have taken over the pantry. What do you do?
- Throw out the infected boxes and bags of flour, grain and dried fruit type of product. It doesn’t matter if the packaging is still sealed, I found they ate holes right through bags to get to the Cream of Wheat and oatmeal. They got into unopened boxes of pasta so make sure you inspect everything very carefully. I tore open every box and was surprised at what I found. To be safe, I tossed it all out.
- Once the pantry is completely cleared out, vacuum every little nook and cranny, wipe it down and mop. Now you can treat it with a spray. You want to make sure you get all the nasty buggers because weevils suck. And the last thing you need is a batch of eggs hatching right after you complete all this work. So you need to pick the right treatment for your situation. Because of the deep spaces where weevils can hide in my pantry I went all out nuclear on their ass. That’s right, I bombed them. Of course that called for another good cleaning afterwards, but you can be sure the weevils were dead as there were plenty more to vacuum.
- If you find there are tight spaces where your vacuum attachments just won’t fit, an air can ‒ the kind you typically use on computers or electronics will probably do the trick for getting dead weevils out in the open for a quick pick up.
How do you avoid future infestations? Learn from my experience.
- Keep your pantry clean so the enemy has no place to dig in and hide.
- Consider storing products in air tight containers such as Ziploc bags, air tight plastic wear or glass jars rather than their original containers. It not only keeps the weevils out, but will also contain them should they break out in any particular product (This was also just an excuse to let the compulsive side of me over organize my pantry).
- When you purchase flour keep it in the freezer for four days before placing it in the pantry to insure any existing weevil larva is killed.
- Add some extra security by placing a few traps at key locations in the pantry. A weevil trap, similar to a fly trap, may not look pretty but is preferable to bugs in your food.
So there you have it. My war with the weevils. I went to battle with the little buggers and lost – TWICE. But it shall never happen again with the fortress I have created. After the first round, I tried keeping things in Ziploc bags, but it was too easy to become lazy and not follow through every time new boxes of cereal needed to be transferred to bags. Plus the children couldn’t be trusted to properly seal the boxes or bags. But with the new set up, we are golden.
Tell me, are you more disciplined and able to get by with less? What are your weevil experiences and how did you handle them? I always enjoy hearing your story.