How to Prevent Weevils from Invading Your Pantry
Weevils in the pantry can be incredibly annoying. They get into all kinds of grains and cereals, even dried fruit, and eventually ruin them. Once they invade, it can be quite difficult to get rid of them, although once you’ve managed to disperse them, keeping them out is much easier. Weevils belong to the beetle family. They lay their eggs in grain and cereals and the larvae are just 1/4 inch long. Often, the first you’ll know of an infestation is finding the larvae as you use ingredients to cook.
Step 1 - Killing Weevils
Weevils don’t like freezing temperatures. If you have an infestation of weevils, put things like flour or cereal in the freezer and keep them there for 4 days. This will kill all the weevil larvae.
Obviously, you won’t be able to get everything from your pantry into the freezer. Take any other items that aren’t canned and place them in zip-lock bags. This includes cookies, rice, crackers and everything a weevil could possibly get into. Keep them in the bags for 4 days.
Step 2 - Throwing out Infected Goods
The chances are that you’ll have to throw out most of the items, although if there’s no sign of infestation after 4 days you can actually use them. You should also remove everything from your pantry and vacuum it out thoroughly, making sure you get into all the corners and crevices. When you’ve finished, remove the bag from your vacuum cleaner and throw it into the garbage outside. If you have a bagless cleaner, empty it in the garbage outside then wash it out with soapy water.
Now you need to wash everything in the pantry in hot soapy water. Make sure you get everywhere. If there’s shelf paper, throw it away and clean the shelves thoroughly. Rinse everything down with water and wipe clean with a fresh cloth. Once it’s all dry, spray with an insecticide that works on weevils. Spray all the surfaces and crevices, then close the door and leave for the next 6 hours. After that you can put the groceries back in your pantry.
You might consider keeping your flour and other cereals in the freezer for 4 days after purchasing them. This makes sure no weevils can get back into your pantry.
Step 3 - Keeping Weevils Out
Where you have cereals or dry items in your pantry, keep them in a zip-lock bag or an airtight container. This ensures that no weevils can reach them.
A very simple way to keep weevils out of your pantry is to use spearmint chewing gum. Unwrap several sticks and place them in the pantry, keeping them near to the foods that might attract weevils. The scent of spearmint will keep the weevils away. You should replace the sticks every week to keep the scent strong.
There are other remedies available, too. You could open a book of matches and place it in the top of a bag of flour. The sulphur in the matches repels the weevils. Another suggestion is putting new nails in grains and cereals to keep the weevils away.