The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Flour beetles?

jhegg's picture
jhegg

Flour beetles?

OK, so I just ordered from the KA website three 25# bags of unbleached white flour with free shipping for $20.00 a bag (it costs me about $7.00 for five pouns locally). Afterwards, the ladies at work said it would get all "buggy" before I could use it. They said "flour beetles" get into the flour and ruin it. Just what are these "flour beetles", where do they come from and how do I defeat them?

Jim

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

The larva is in all flour so if you let your flour sit to long they hatch and then you have beatles.  The only way I know of is to use your flour quickly or put it in the freezer.

Hope that helps.

 

sue cardiff's picture
sue cardiff

That is one of the strangest things I have ever heard. Can you provide any kind of reference or back-up for this claim?? Frankly, I think this is a myth.

sue

Ford's picture
Ford

You have been VERY lucky, if you have nerver had an infestation of these pests!  I noticed them about three years ago in my house, and I have not gotten completely rid of them, yet.  I now do not see any products infested with these insects, BUT I do see the moths flying around every now and then, so I know there is an infestation somewhere.  I seal opened boxes of cereal, flour, rice, etc in Ziplock bags.  The whole wheat, cornmeal and other whole grain cereal in the refrigerator, or the freezer.

This is no myth!

Ford

jhegg's picture
jhegg

Faith,

If I put it in the freezer, do  I need to seal it with plastic wrap?

Also, doesn't the grinding destroy the larva?

Jim

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

I would put in a plastic bag and try to reduce any moisture  from the anti frost cycle affecting the flour.

Sue here are just a few.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18608514

http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-prevent-get-rid-of-grai-140955

http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2089.html

There are many others search    Sitophilus granarius

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

mealy bugs, old flour, flour bugs

All raw grains and cereals carry them.  That is why buying flour (products from flour and grain mixtures) too far ahead of your needs can end with a healthy batch of added protein.  A good sieve will also remove them.  Problems arrise when they reach adulthood and many will fly and crawl around into other foodstuffs and soon everything is invested with them.  That's what storage bins are all about and rotation of stock and expiration dates.  Oh, and they can eat thru plastic bags and cardboard.  Some sure signs that they are in your cupboard are dust inside noodle boxes, chewed corners of boxes, extra dust around such boxes and fine webs and tiny moths coming from "nowhere."  

 

Grenage's picture
Grenage

Flour weevils; I've never seen them, and I've had a 25KG sack of flour knocking around for a year!  Yes you can get them, but it's hardly guaranteed.

I've heard of some commercial places using the flour regardless.... I personally wouldn't.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Bay leaves are a very effective repellent for grain moths.  Wherever you have grain, cereals or anything related, sprinkle a few bay leaves around. 

It works,

Jeff

jhegg's picture
jhegg

Thank you to everyone for your comments. I finally realized that the pests in our house last fall were these. The source was a vase full of pheasant tail feathers. Once we got rid of the feathers, they finally died out. Just to be on the safe side, I'm packing by flour into large zip-lock freezer bags and storing them in the freezer. Thanks again to everyone.

Jim