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prevent flour weevils?

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:46 am
by the.fee.fairy
I bought a 5kg bag of flour a month ago and I've thrown the whole lot away in two batches because of flour weevils :(

I transferred the flour to a clean airtight container and they still infested it. The container takes about half a bag, so about 2.5kg. The first lot was infested in a week or so. I threw the flour away, cleaned the container with boiling water and washing up liquid, let it dry and then filled it with the rest of the flour...a couple of weeks later there were bugs in it again. I've just thrown the flour away and will clean the tub again. this time, I'm going to fill it with boiling water and a bit of bleach to make sure it's definitely clean.

How can I stop them in the future? Or will it be a case of getting different flours to see which is least infected? I had a 5kg bag last year that was no problem.

An I right in hoping that it was just this one bag that I bought that was infested? I'm going to buy the next one from a different shop...

Re: prevent flour weevils?

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:04 am
by Lost-in-the-Day
Sounds like the flour was infected before you got it, we've always been ok to just keep flour in air-tight containers.

Re: prevent flour weevils?

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:16 pm
by Mrs Moustoir
I'd agree with the above. It would seem that the flour is already infested when you buy it. I suppose you could sieve it with a very fine sieve when you buy a new supply - you might not find the eggs but you might be able to see the adult moths (or parts of them!)

Re: prevent flour weevils?

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:53 pm
by diggernotdreamer
You can put it in the freezer in containers or plastic bags, it will kill anything about to hatch. If I buy powdered herbs in bulk, I put them into a paper bag inside a plastic bag, they keep very fresh for years that way.

Re: prevent flour weevils?

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:35 pm
by marshlander
diggernotdreamer wrote:You can put it in the freezer in containers or plastic bags, it will kill anything about to hatch. If I buy powdered herbs in bulk, I put them into a paper bag inside a plastic bag, they keep very fresh for years that way.
Even if you haven't got room for long term storage in the freezer, just keeping it there for a couple of days zaps the blighters!

Works with dust mites in pillows too.

Re: prevent flour weevils?

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:14 am
by The Riff-Raff Element
This is one reason why recipes have traditionally called for flour to be sifted through a sieve. I agree that it does rather sound as though the flour you're buying already has the eggs in it because an air-tight container would keep the swine away. The freezer is a good idea, but I'd seal the packaging first just to guard against any frost getting into the flour. Here we can buy sticky pheromone traps for the moths, which are very effective.

Re: prevent flour weevils?

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:13 pm
by the.fee.fairy
Thanks Guys.

I bought the flour from a small local supermarket. I'll get the next lot from one of the bigger ones in town.

They weren't moths, they were weevils. Horrible little things!

I'll have to try and invest in a sieve as well I think!