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Friday, January 8, 2010

Weevil Trouble?


I receive several emails each year regarding weevil, so I thought I would share a couple of tips I have found over the years to help protect your food from weevil. Now, before I share a few of my tips, I do have to say I am NOT an expert on weevil. Although I ate my fair share of it growing up (ugh!), I have NEVER seen a weevil in my storage the past 11 years (thank my lucky stars!). However, I talk to people all of the time who are dealing with weevil trouble, so I thought I would share their tips and tricks with you :) If you have had trouble with weevil and found better solutions, or have tips to share, feel free to leave a comment for others to benefit.

Here are a few tips:

*To kill weevil, freeze your flour, sugar, wheat, cornmeal, etc. for 72 hours or longer. You can then sift the weevil out or just pick out the few dead weevils you see remaining. They are perfectly fine to eat (sounds gross, but you really wouldn’t taste them), and once you kill them through freezing, they should be pretty much dissolved or gone. If you do not have freezer space you can just try to sift them out with a fine cloth or colander. They are so small, this can be tricky, but may be worth a try.

*To prevent weevil from appearing in your food later as you store it, you can freeze all of your items BEFORE you put it in your long term storage for the same 72 hours. This should prevent weevil from hatching or spreading as you store the items long term.

*Put dried bay leaves (a few leaves) in the bottom and top of the container you are storing your grains in. This seems to be the most popular method. Many people put bay leaves in their pantry, food storage room, and closets. Costco sells Bay Leaves in a large container for fairly inexpensive.

*Dry Ice Method: Put a pound of dry ice (per 50lbs. of wheat) in the bottom of a plastic bucket. Leave the lid on loosly until the dry ice vaperizes. Then seal the bucket. Be careful not to seal the bucket lid too soon or it could crack or explode :)

*Microwave your wheat (dried) for 5 minutes to kill the weevil and their eggs.

*Place your wheat in a glass of water. Those wheat berries that float to the top are most likely infested with weevil eggs or bugs. You can remove them and use the other berries as normal.

*What do you do if you have seen weevil in your storage room? Take all foodstuffs out of your cabinets or off of your shelves. Wash the cabinets down thoroughly in case there are eggs remaining on the surface. Then wash/wipe down all items you are putting back into the cabinet with a warm/hot rag. You will be after any visible living organism; but, you are really after eggs which may be on the outside of these food bags as a result of infestations in stores and warehouses. Once you have sufficiently cleaned the surface and the food bags (if necessary) you can return the food to your shelves.

*Find the infected food source to try and locate the problem. Many times weevil or insects are coming from one main food source and spreading. This is common in a long term food storage room. If one item is infected, most likely others will be as well. When you find and get rid of the main problem/source, it should help your weevil troubles subside.

*Empty out your food items into clean buckets or keep them in plastic containers to help keep bugs out of your food. Sealed buckets are best, but any container will help protect agains these critters.

*TIP: Buy your wheat, rice, and sugar from Costco because if you ever find weevil in their food, they will return the product for a refund or exchange. It is like a food insurance policy :)

*This may seem crazy to many of you, but I actually pray for my food storage. Not on a daily, or even monthly basis, but I thank God for the blessing of having food to eat and ask Him to watch over our food and protect it. The scripture that says 'to God ALL things are spiritual', I figure my food storage can be as well :) This isn't to say I will never see weevil, but so far (11 years later), my prayers have been answered :)