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Small black insects in pasta/rice

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi all, I am on a super tight budget, and had stock piled some inexpensive pasta. Last night I realized it had some small black winged insects in it. I could shake the bugs out but some of the pasta itself had little cavities with black in them, like maybe the cocoon or something. UGH. So I put it all out for the compost, but I just feel terrible.

I have more pasta, but stored in a different place, and I'm dreading going in there to check. Other things in my cupboard were infested, like quinoa. I did find the bugs in unopened pasta, too, so I'm assuming they had a way of getting in. I feel so discouraged.

The dry brown rice, I sorted through and removed all bugs and then put the rice in the fridge, but I don't know I should serve it to my family or toss it.

So what's the best plan, to go in and open up all my pasta packets (some have like 8 pounds in them, from Sam's club), and put in some diatomaceous earth?

Toss the rice?

Cry?

Is there any hope for the rice or pasta that was infested, ie., is there a way to be confident that some does not have invisible affects?

Should I give up on stockpiling?

Is there an inexpensive way to store these things so that the bugs are unable to get in or to live? My flour always seems fine, but it is sealed in tupperware type things. I don't think I can do that for all of my pasta. I read on MDC once about some kind of super sealing pet food containers, but I have not been able to find them. Does anyone know what that is or how to find it?
post #2 of 7
If it was me, I would toss everything that was infested, because I'm queasy about that sort of thing. The rice is probably fine, I just get really ooked out by sharing my food with bugs. If I was super tight on money, I'd force myself to get over my issues.

As far as storage, your containers must be airtight. I don't have a problem now, but when we lived in TX, I kept everything in the freezer. I only kept out what I could use in a short time, like one or two weeks.
post #3 of 7
LOL...been there, done that.

In Iran...esp if you cant afford alot of white rice or whatever...it's really common to get those things in your rice.

What people do is take the rice in a bowl, add hot water, the rice sinks...the bugs float, rinse it out...they do this 4-5 times then carefully check the rice.

All the bugs-normally-are rinsed away and the rice is left clean & usable.

Its kinda gross but i'm kinda used to it...we've done that here as well.

ah well, its life.

Umm Ibi
p.s. I dont know about pasta...I probably would throw the pasta out.
post #4 of 7
What a bummer! I read somewhere that the bugs that get into pasta, grains etc are not harmful if consumed, so I just do my best to get the bugs out & use the rest. The DE is certainly a good option. If you have room, you can deep freeze things for a couple days to kill anything that hopped along for a ride, then put in an airtight container with some DE sprinkled in.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone! I appreciate your experiences and advice.

I went through my cupboards today and found some more infested items, and that's to the compost. Some types of things, like dry beans, seemed untouched. I put all the stuff I'm keeping in the fridge for now, and will add some DE and bring it out later when I am confident that there's no continued population in the kitchen.

Fortunately my big pasta stash is in another room, and I checked it and found it to be bug free.

I had been avoiding AC and let the house get pretty hot, so maybe that helped the infestation along.

I am realizing that part of being thrifty is being vigilant about caring for what I am storing.

I would love to find out what kind of good sealed containers would be big enough to be convenient for storing pasta.

THANKS mamas!
post #6 of 7
That is so upsetting! I agree, you were right to toss it. I'm so glad the pasta was ok.

One thing that absolutely helps is to freeze whatever grains you buy for 24- 48 hours. That will kill any larvae (I know, don't think about. It's protein, afterall).

Sometimes I buy large bags of things from my coop that does not fit in my freezer. I've learned to limit those large purchases to winter. If you have room and it's February, you can set the bags out on your balcony, porch or in the garage, and then repackage. (Leaving big bags of grains is a love call to rodents).

In the end, it's not so much about storage, but more about killing the buggers before they can reproduce. That's what extended freezing does.

And don't think about it.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
So I can freeze stuff and that kills the eggs & such?

Is it also true that you can bake stuff at a lowish heat to kill, you know, that stuff we're not thinking about?

I've done that with flour before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
(Leaving big bags of grains is a love call to rodents).
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