The Fresh Loaf

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Brotformen invaded by bugs

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emkay's picture
emkay

Brotformen invaded by bugs

My H. Birnbaum coiled cane proofing baskets (brotformen) have been invaded by little brown insects / bugs. I scrubbed the baskets with a vegetable brush to remove all residual flour and any visible bugs, rinsed the baskets off in hot water, and then let them dry in a turned off but still warm oven (about 120 degrees F). Then I put them in the freezer for 48 hours and then baked them in the oven at 210 degrees F for 30 minutes. 

Do you think that was enough to kill off all the critters and prevent their return? The reason I'm asking is because I won't be baking bread as frequently in the coming months so I will most likely put away the baskets where they will sit unused for some time. It's a shame because autumn and winter are the best seasons to make bread. Sigh.

1. So was it enough to kill 'em and keep them from coming back? If not, what else should I do?
2. What and where is best way to store them long term? Wrapped in a pillowcase or plastic bag or other? In a kitchen cabinet or the freezer?

Any suggestions and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Mary

 

Kiseger's picture
Kiseger

In my honest opinion, I think you've done a great job at obliterating them!  Between the heat & the freeze, they're toast (terrible pun, sorry....).  I keep my cane brotforms in a tightly closed plastic bag when not in use and shake out the excess flour before storing them.  I'm sure others will have some cleverer solutions, but this works for me.  I usually stick them in the oven when it's hit ca. 100C with door ajar while it's cooling to help dry them out Before bagging them.

emkay's picture
emkay

Hi Kiseger,

I do hope I have eradicated all of them. I would hate to throw the brotformen out since they were not cheap.

Mary

PS: I'm a fan of cheesy puns!

Laurentius's picture
Laurentius

Hi Emkay,

The bug are not attacking your banneton, they are feasting on the flour and will lay eggs and later you will see  small moths flying all over your house. The easy method is after every usage, take a steel brush and remove the flour from the baskets, they have no interest the the baskets themselves. By the way, if you purchase flour and raw grain cereal in those paper bags/cardboard boxes and not seal them properly they can be infected by the same little critters.

emkay's picture
emkay

Hi Laurentius,

After I take the dough out of my brotformen I use a stiff nylon-bristled brush to brush away most of the flour and let them sit on the stove top where the heat from my oven would dry them out. I guess I wasn't doing a good job of removing all the flour and the critters found the flour stuck in the crevices.  I just went to check my open bags of flour and grains for any signs of bugs and I don't see any right now, but will keep an eye out for them.

Mary

davidg618's picture
davidg618

I live in Florida, and I swear we have at least a pair of every insect in North America. I had the same problem. I got rid of the pests exactly as you did. Like Laurentius does, I scrub my bannetons with a very stiff (but not steel) brush to get rid of flour remains. Then I store them in a Space Bag--those storage bags wherein you can create a partial vacuum with your cleaner. If the vacuum holds between uses I know there's been no re-infestation, so I give the bannetons only a cursory inspection before I use them.

It's been a couple of years since I had the problem, and there's been no recurrence.

David G

emkay's picture
emkay

Hi David,

I'm happy hear that you were successful in getting rid of your critters. It gives me hope that with the proper caution, my problem will not happen again. Thanks!

Mary

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11

after a quick google search I came across this

 

http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Weevils-%28Flour-Bugs%29 

emkay's picture
emkay

I don't see flour bugs crawling around my brotformen anymore so I packed them away in a Space Bag for safe keeping. Thanks to everyone for their help.


:) Mary