Flour Weevils Facts and 7 ways to Get Rid of Them
Weevils fall under the family called Curculionidae. It is the family that includes a larger number of beetles as compared to any other classification of the beetles. Weevils are one of the types of the beetles. They There are more than 1,000 species of the Curculionidae. The weevils have different shapes and sizes. They can be a real danger for the fruits, farms, and crops. They can hit the potato, tomato, eggplant, cotton and even flour bags.
Table of Contents
- Flour Weevils Facts
- Seven Steps to Getting Rid of Weevils in Flour
Flour Weevils Facts
It is a kind of beetle that is found in the places that have an abundant amount of flour. In some cases, they are seen in the places that have a little amount of flour. The flour weevil belongs to the family called Tenebrionidae. Some scientists believe these beetles cannot be included among the beetles. They like to feed on flour but not on the grains of any type.
1. Appearance and Size
Flour weevil cannot be considered as the actual type of weevil. The flour weevils are mostly categorized into red flour beetle and the confused flour beetle. The bodies seem to have a metallic appearance because of the tint of the outer body. Unlike other beetles that have an oval and curved shape, their bodies are ovoid. The dominant color is reddish brown. The typical size of the beetle is 3 to 4 mm. The thorax part of the flour beetle is not much different from the other types of beetles. It has a pitted outlook. There are two pairs of the wings. The hind wings vertical grooves visible in them. For the common man, the red flour beetle and the confused flour beetle are the same. The truth is vice versa. It is easy to differentiate between the two types of weevil according to the structure of their antennae. The ones attached to the confused weevils are proportionate while they are in the form of large segments in the red flour weevil. The grooves in the wings of the confused flour beetles are less shallow than the ones in the red flour beetle.
2. Diet, Behavior & Habits
As the name is self-evident, the flour weevil usually feeds on the flour and cereals. They cause damage to the flour and similar objects in the storehouse or the pantry. These species can hit any place including domestic grocery stores. They sometimes enter into the mills that manufacture the flour or food elements. These creatures are unable to feed on the grains no matter either it is whole grain or the broken grain. They can also damage the rice, nuts, beans and dried fruit stored in the home. These tiny insects can quickly enter in the grains, crevices, pantries, and cabinet. These tiny creatures become a real problem not just when they are alive but also because of their dead bodies, the foul smell, and the fecal pellets. Once they enter into the affected region, they also help in developing the molds. The red flour weevil is found mostly in the Asian region, and the southern America. It can fly into high buildings. On the other hand, the confused weevil belongs to the African continent. In America, it is considered as the intruder that can cause damage to the domestic pantries and the grocery stores. Despite the presence of wings, it does not have the strength to fly.
The eggs are collected in the crevices and the food itself. The larvae come out of these eggs and target the products that they want to eat. At this larvae stage, the beetles are usually light brown in color, and they have six legs like any insect. After one month they transform into adult weevils. They survive till the age of one year. In warm conditions age of some species is three years also. The confused flour weevil develops slowly than the red flour weevil.
Seven Steps to Getting Rid of Weevils in Flour
Once the weevil enters into your pantry, your flour is in danger. It is a real threat that can very quickly hit upon other food supplies like the rice, nuts and dry fruits. It is important to get rid of them as quickly as possible and stop weevils from increasing in numbers. There are numerous ways to fight this menace. Some of the effective ways that can kill the fear the flour weevils include the followings:
1. Freeze the Flour
It seems strange when we talk about freezing the flour, but it is an excellent remedy and easy to implement. The pest experts suggest that the flour must be sealed in the freezer bags after bringing home. These bags must be kept in the freezer for four days. By doing this the real eggs and weevils get killed in no time.
2. Place a Dried Bay Leaf in Each Container or Bag
Bay leaves are an excellent remedy against the pests and insects of all kinds. They are an equally great solution against the flour weevil. There is no need to take some bay leaves; a single one can work a great deal. Just place the dry bay leaf in the container or a bag of flour to prevent the weevil growth.
3. Keep Flour in Canister Type Lidded Containers
Don’t leave the flour open or in broken containers. As the weevils grow in the warm and humid environment, therefore it is important to use the containers with tight lids. The containers with tight lids keep the weevils away and also prevent the weevils to lay eggs in the flour. Thus, it stops the reproduction cycle of the weevil and ceases the development of the pests in the flour.
4. Use Flour Regularly
Once the flour is bought, don’t keep it for too long. Try to use it daily. Storing the flour welcomes the pests. The weevil gets a chance to reproduce quickly if the flour is stored for a very long time. It becomes a comfortable home for the weevils. Thus, avoid long time storage. The best way is to get the amount of flour that is required.
5. Do not Keep any Food in the Cabinets Unnecessarily
Do not leave any food in the open either in the cabinets or pantry. Cover the food and dispose of the remaining material. Once done with the available food add the eucalyptus essence to the cabinets. It is going to help a great deal in controlling the weevils in the kitchen. The grains especially rice and beans need much care because after flour they are the most affected food items.
6. Keep the Kitchen Closets, Shelves, and Food Containers Hygienically Clean
Prepare the plan for cleaning your kitchen and the pantry. It can be done weekly, fortnightly or on a monthly basis. First, remove all items from the cabinets. Moreover, replace the cabinet sheets. Clean thoroughly with the detergent depending on the material of cabinets. Spray with the insecticides. Spread new sheet and then organize the things correctly.
7. Put All the Food Back
It is also an essential to store the food carefully. Any leftover food must be stored securely, or it should be removed immediately. Unused food is a welcoming site for the pest development. The dry bay leaves can be an excellent deterrent against the flour weevils. They keep them at bay plus prevent the food from going bad.
These are the essential steps to keep your flour safe and sound in the storage.
Flour is an important food item. Every home and the grocery store have a considerably high quantity of flour stored in the pantry or the kitchen. It is extremely significant to keep it secure and safe for a healthy lifestyle. The major threat to the flour is the flour weevil. The apparently tiny metal colored bug seems harmless, but it can create much mess in the kitchen. They reproduce and grow by staying within the flour container. They can become a mess and harm other dry food items in your pantry. There are some ways to get rid of them. As it is said that prevention is better so, it is important that before relying on the terminators use the deterrents and the repellants. Taking the steps instantly after witnessing the signs can help in getting rid of the flour weevils completely. Thus, it is the prevention and care that can make the real difference in controlling the growth of weevil in the flour.