Monday, July 7, 2014
Stop Mealy Worms, Moths and Weevils From Invading Your Kitchen Pantry
Stop Mealy Worms, Moths and Weevils From Invading Your Kitchen Pantry Lex Loeb Contributor Network . My kitchen pantry is under attack by invaders. It is not the first time. I really get tired of having to defend my food from pests that include weevils, mealy worms and moths. My recent encounter with the invaders was going into the kitchen pantry to look for ingredients to cook with. I wanted some pine nuts, so I poured some out on to a plate and found a mealy worm lounging there among the nuts. Most people might wonder where it came from. I know where it came from, it came with the pine nuts in the sealed over size bag originally purchased at Costco. The quandary then became one of do I want to use the pine nuts in the plate, after getting rid of the worm, or do I want to throw them all away? I decided to use the nuts with the risk that there might be more mealy worms at various phases of development in the nuts themselves. I washed off the nuts and then nuked them because I wanted to brown them. Then I wanted some sliced almonds. There were some silk treads in the bag which means moths had been there and maybe some larvae were still there. Not so bad. I washed off some of those nuts before use. Those bugs must have come from Trader Joes in the original bag because I kept the bag sealed. One day my father was making spaghetti and I noticed the box was full of weevils. I told him to wash off the spaghetti before Boiling it. He would not listen. He poured the whole box of spaghetti into the boiling pan and as it boiled little brown specks floated to the surface in such great numbers it was like fabric over the water. I told my father I was not going to eat any of that spaghetti. The film of weevils floating on the top did not bother him. his solution was to skim the bugs off the top and use the spaghetti so not to waste a $2 box of spaghetti. Those weevils must have come from Fred Meyers ? in the original box or they migrated from some other package of food in the pantry. I recently found a bag of rice flour that had been turned into a solid mass in a plastic zip lock bag with so many brown weevils it looked like like a salt and pepper together instead of plain white flour. What ever the bugs did to that flour It was too hard to put in the garbage disposal and too dangerous to keep in the house in the trash so I tossed it outside where raccoons probably found it to be a delightful treat especially with the weevil taste sensation. It is not just what you see but what you do not see. A lot of the larvae are microscopic or hidden away on or in the grains themselves. I picked up a box of crackers opened it and noticed silk cob webs when moths started flying out in all directions . Occasionally I find spiders hiding out in the pantry gorging themselves on the various invaders there. I have found bags of rice full of powered where larvae had chewed up and digested the grains leaving this residue. I learned from a Japanese friend, years ago, that rice is supposed to be washed 2 or 3 times before boiling. The bugs are the reason why. Buying Asian products at Asian super markets is a sure way to get some other types of home kitchen invaders but truly they also come from domestic sources. I once had a one inch long Brazilian ant in a package of extra large cashews. Pest control in the kitchen pantry does not offer many options. The best way is not to store extra food. That is impractical with the way foods are pre packaged. Sealed jars , even glass or plastic ones do not prevent invasions. zip lock bags don't work. Often the larvae are in the packages before you buy them and it just takes time for the invaders to appear . They do not seem to attack beans and lentils for some reason but everything else seems to be their game. It is not a solution to put moth balls anywhere in the kitchen or pantry. What does work is finding a place in the refrigerator to store flours, grains and nuts that are attacked. The refrigeration slows down the development of any eggs or larvae already present in the package . I only recently found pine nuts being attacked . That was an unexpected surprised so I am glad i kept my eyes open. It might be possible to freeze pine nuts to prevent this . Freezing grains maybe a good way to prevent attack if the grains remain dry and unharmed by freezing. I know the refrigerator works fine. I usually keep breads in the refrigerator to they can last a week or longer instead of the un used portions turning moldy with in a few days. I clean out one invasion after another and they keep coming. I am sure the new bugs come back from the various stores in the original packages. It might be possible to put some dried aromatic herbs in the pantry or even use aromatic cedar to build the interior to slow down some invasions. I am going to make space in the refrigerator to keep the items usually attacked the next time and will try to buy smaller packages so the bulk of unused portions don't end up going to waste or to the invaders. When i get around to clean them up I should make a video called bugs gone wild. .