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little brown bugs all over the kitchen

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
ok guys, thsi is driving me insane!
we have these little brown bugs everywhere.
places like rice and flour don't surprise me, but i've also found them in places like cereal, buckwheat and tea!!! the tea has spice in it and thus a pretty strong smell, but they do not mind, it seems. they are also in pasta boxes (the boxes are just carton, not sealed), oatmeal .... they are everywhere!!!
what do i do? lets's say i will thow away boxes where i can definitely see them, but i wonder if these bugs lay eggs.
how can i stop this nightmear?
post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 
post #3 of 8
I'm so sorry!

Ah, the joys of flour bugs...I'm sure they have an official name, but that's what my mother calls them. We had numerous infestations of them when I was growing up, and I've dealt with a few outbreaks in my own kitchens. The only way I've ever managed to get rid of all of them if pretty extreme - I throw out everything, and I mean everything, that they're in or that I think they might like. All flour, cereals, teas, grains, crackers, cookies, etc. On the same day, I wash all of the storage containers that were holding these items and scrub every single drawer and shelf in the kitchen with hot soapy water. I don't know what the bugs' life cycle is, or where they lay their eggs, but this seems to get rid of them.

Then I wait a week or so and start over, making myself stick to my bug-free storage rule: anything remotely edible gets stored in a glass jar (I recycle lots of mason jars this way) or a thick-walled, tightly sealing plastic container (tuppeware/rubbermaid/etc). Even if it's something we'll be eating soon, I store it in a container. I'm sure my kitchen shelves look a bit weird to some people, but it works.

Good luck!
post #4 of 8
I know these as weevils.

The only thing to do is to turf (compost) everything that is infested - they lay their eggs in the same stuff that they're eating. I'm pretty sure they got into our house with bulk food - apparently that's the most common way and we definitely buy bulk food! I think specifically that they came with bulk dog treats, although I don't know that "for sure".

Everything is now in SEALED containers. Glass jars with screw lids are the best.
post #5 of 8
I had these only once and I learned my lesson. I keep all of my flour and sugar in the freezer. Cereals and things like that are stored in ziploc bags. If a cereal is opened and not used in a month I throw it away. But we usually do not have a problem going through cereal. We eat pasta often so it doesn't sit long around here.

I have heard good things about bay leaves keeping them away but you will have to go through, clean out and get rid of the infestation first. What I would suggest doing if you do not want to throw away is to go through and sift what you can, flours and such. Put them in ziplocs and freeze them. That way if there are any lingering eggs or whatever they will be killed. If you would like to sort your pasta and rices by hand then do that too and freeze it. Then scrub out the cabinets and make sure that if you store at room temp you use ziplocs or glass jars as suggested above. Good luck.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have just read abour freezing, but I am too grossed out to sift the flour etc where I actually saw the bugs. a bunch of stuff got tossed (most of my pantry), other stuff is stitting in teh freezer right now (i read that i need to freeze for less at least a week).

now about washing the cabinets. we have natural wood, so i cannot imagine washing them with "hot soapy water", how about some diluting vinegar and wiping the cabinets with it on a cloth? not soaking them wet, but wiping.

do you think that would work?
post #7 of 8
I think vinegar would work just fine! Vinegar is my magic cleaning potion for just about everything these days: diapers, toilet, counters, bathtub, windows...I have a friend who leaves bowls of it out to keep away the evil eye, and I can't imagine those little brown bugs could be tougher than that

I should have been more specific in my description of my cleaning - I've always had natural wood cabinets, too, and I just use a sponge or washcloth that's been dampened with hot soapy water - Enough to wipe everything clean, but not enough to saturate the wood, the same amount of wetness I use to wipe down my countertops.

Good luck with the bugs!
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
thanks for the advice!
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