No one wants to begin a baking project only to find bugs in their flour. Pest control is especially important in the kitchen. There are things that can be done in any kitchen to prevent pest infestation.
A couple of the bugs to watch out for are cockroaches and weevils. While weevils are not harmful, cockroaches can carry disease.
Step 1: Freezing
Freezing flour is an important step in preventing bug infestation. Simply put the flour sack into the freezer and leave it there for a full 24 hours.
Step 2: Cleaning
If a pest problem has already been established, clear the food area completely and throw out any infested food items. Immediately remove these to the area where trash is kept until the bags are collected. Using a spray bottle filled half and half with vinegar and water, spray down the area where the bugs were found. Wipe the area well with rags and allow to dry completely before allowing food back into the area. Be sure that the area under shelf paper is cleaned as well if the paper is not glued down. It is also important to always wipe up even the tiniest food spills so as not to attract more bugs.
Step 3: Plastic Bags
Once the flour has been frozen for 24 hours, it needs to be stored. Storing flour in one gallon size zippered storage bags will prevent bugs from invading. Be sure to label the bag using a permanent marker so that the product can be more easily identified at a later date.
Step 4: Glass Jars
Using canning or other glass jars will also prevent bugs from getting into the flour. Again, freeze the flour first. Fill the jar(s). Write 'flour' on a label and then stick the label to the jar to allow for easy identification.
Step 5: Bay Leaves
Adding a bay leaf to the jar or bag before closing is another step in preventing a bug infestation. The bugs that generally like flour do not like the bay leaves. It is important to note that the bay leaves does not affect the flavor of the flour. It is also a good idea to put bay leaves in food cupboards and on food shelves. By doing this, bugs will be less likely to end up in food areas at all.
Step 6: Storage
Flour should always be stored in a cool, dry area. Place the flour in the coolest area of the food area for added protection against bug infestation. Flour can also be stored in the refrigerator. When storing this way, there is no need to use bay leaves to protect against pests.
It is easy to store flour in a manner that will inhibit bugs from invading. Once the freezing process has been accomplished, it takes no time at all to accomplish the remaining steps.