Flour mites and weevils are common kitchen pests that are often found in pantries and dry food cupboards. They thrive in dark and humid conditions, making your kitchen cupboard the perfect breeding ground. If you’ve discovered tiny bugs in your flour, it can be rather alarming; this article will provide guidance on how to deal with an infestation of flour weevils or mites, and prevent it from happening again!
What Do Flour Mites & Weevils Look Like?
Flour mites and weevils are completely separate pests, although they display rather similar habits. Flour mites are very small insects in flour that are almost invisible to the naked eye. They have white bodies and brown coloured legs and usually live in flours, grains and cereals.
Weevils are larger than flour mites and so are easier to spot. They also have a darker body, being brown in colour. They are a form of beetle and so are slender and oval shaped, with scales or shiny hairs on their bodies. Adult weevils have a distinctive snout shaped nose and are between 3mm and 10mm in length.
Are Weevils/Bugs in Flour Safe To Eat? Can Flour Mites and Weevils Make You Ill?
Neither weevils or flour mites bite, sting or poison, so aren’t dangerous to touch. But what happens if you eat flour mites or weevils – are they harmful? If you eat flour with weevils they are unlikely to harm you, so don’t be too concerned if you’ve used the contaminated product beforehand. If you’re using products in baking, the high temperatures would help to have made the flour safe to eat. That said, it’s not recommended to make a habit of this – if you find any products with mites or weevils, it’s best to dispose of them immediately and take steps to ensure the infestation is dealt with.
Flour mites can spread fungal spores and cause mould, so it’s possible it can cause people to get sick if you used a contaminated product. It is also possible to be allergic to mites, which can make the skin itch and, in very rare cases, cause swelling of the throat and difficulty breathing if consumed. In this case, call a doctor immediately for medical attention.
How Do Mites/Weevils Get in Your Flour and Kitchen?
Both flour mites and weevils will have come into your kitchen through your flour or wheat products. A few flour bugs can lay many eggs, and if your products are being stored for a long time, these eggs can hatch and cause an infestation. Other factors, such as heat, can increase the reproduction rate of kitchen mites and weevils, making the problem much worse.
How To Get Rid of Flour Weevils & Mites
The best way to completely eradicate the problem is to throw out any packets in your cupboard or pantry that may have come into contact with the infestation as the flour insects could have crawled into any of the packaging and begun another infestation.
Thoroughly clean the cupboard with soapy water – you can use bleach, but be sure to take care – and make an effort to get right into the corners of the cupboard. Pesticide is the most effective way to get rid of the pests, although it can be very dangerous to use the chemical around food supplies and should only be handled by a professional.
Prevention of Flour Bugs
To prevent the problem reoccurring, store your products in clean airtight containers. You can even try some simple home remedies such as freezing the produce for a few days to kill any flour bugs present and prevent the eggs from hatching, or adding a few bay leaves into your wheat products, which will act as a deterrent for the pests.
Whether in a commercial or domestic setting, Pest Defence can assist you in completely ridding your property of flour mites and weevils in order to ensure that your kitchen is safe for food preparation. Our expert team will work quickly and efficiently to remove the problem with minimal disruption.
As a trading standard and local authority approved company, you can be assured that all of our work is completely safe and 100% effective. For more information on how we can eradicate your pest problem, get in touch with us today.