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I've been having a problem lately with getting little black bugs in my rice and/or rice side dishes (such as Rice-a-Roni). They are the same kind of bugs like get in flour. I've also had them in raisins and paprika. It is very frustrating and I'm not sure what to do to prevent them. Any ideas? I know flour you can freeze but does that work with rice or Rice-a-Roni?
You have cereal moths.
Sorry, but you will have to THROW everything out (unless you want to eat the bugs), any cereal foods, grains, anything those bugs will get into.
Then take EVERYTHING out of your cabinets and pantry, spray with bug spray, let sit for an hour and then wash out.
From then on you best oput anything in that food group into the freezer for 3-4 days because you can often get infested food from the store (yes, even in sealed packages).
Then go to : Gardens Alive.com and look for the pantry pest traps. That is the only way you can keep them out of your house.
You may be able to get cheaper traps if you ask your County Extension Service, they may have another source and they should also have inadvise/structions how to avoid infestation.
I have been through it twice, once in WA and once in OR but since we moved to ND I have not had any problem, but then I am still using the method of freezing those food that are easily infested..
It is costly to throw all this food but is the only way to get rid of the pests.
Weevil eggs are in virtually every grain product you buy (flour, rice, cereal, oatmeal, etc, etc, etc). Under the right conditions, they'll hatch. Once hatched, they will invade your kitchen, finding pretty much any other grain stuff you've got on hand. They're not harmful--while obviously not appetizing, it won't hurt you if you happen to ingest some of the little critters with your food. They are unsightly, though, and you really don't want to continue to nurture them in your cabinets.
A few suggestions. First of all, find a new place to shop. If you buy grain products in a store where they either don't have a good turnover, don't rotate their stock, or don't store it correctly, you're more likely to bring the live critters home from the store with you. If you're having the problem you describe, I'd be willing to bet you brought a box of live ones home from one shopping trip. If you want, you can sift stuff like flour through a fine sieve to remove the live bugs. Or you can skim them out of the water when cooking rice or pasta--they generally rise to the top. if there are only a few, this is a reasonable thing to do. If your food is totally infested, it's easier to just dispose of it all. Clean your cabinets well. Then, when you restock, put your food in heavy duty ZIPLOCK BAGS (NOT plastic containers like T-ware--weevils are small enough that they can generally find a small crack in the seal to get in, if you haven't eliminated every weevil and egg). Store as many things as possible in the freezer. Cold slows down the life cycle, and makes it less likely the weevils will hatch. Take out only as much flour, rice, etc, as you need at a time. Keep an eye on what you've got on hand, and at the first sign of any of the little guys showing up again, toss, and reclean.
Annoying, definitely, but fortunately as I mentioned above, not a dangerous problem, and you can get a handle on it if you are diligent.
I put a bay leaf in my flour, etc. Just replace it every 3-4 months
My mom always uses a stick of spearment gum in rice ,flour,etc. I keep my rice in the freezer till I need it.
I do have to agree with other post regarding changing your place of shopping. The bay leaf is one way of controlling the little critters. I have several dryer sheets on each shelf in my pantry. This deters the buggy-boos and also ants.
I just successfully "cleaned" a horribly weevil-infested 25-pound bag of rice! In case anyone else wants to try it, here is how I did it. It took several hours of my day, but it worked, and here is what I learned.
If it had been a hot, bright sunny day, I could have spread the rice out on a board off the ground supported by 2 saw horses. The live bugs would either have walked away (as they did in my kitchen method), or the hot sun would have killed them, I suppose. But the rice would still be "dirty" with all the bug debris.
It was a dreary winter day, so I looked at my in-the-kitchen options. The rice was rife with bug debris and live bugs, and 25 pounds of rice is a lot of rice! So I processed small batches (1-1/2 to 2 cups) in a quart sauce pan. Working at the sink with the garbage disposal, I covered the rice with water, swirling the pan to bring the debris to the surface and then draining off the water but not the rice. I repeated that 3-4 times till the water came clean, then dumped that rice into a fine mesh strainer and set it aside while I processed the next batch. When the second batch was cleaned, I dumped the 1st batch, which has now drained pretty dry, into a huge container (I used a clean cat littler box) and dumped the 2nd batch into the strainer. Continuing this way, it took a couple of hours to clean all 25 pounds.
To dry the rice, I spread the first 10 pounds or so of cleaned rice very thinly on a sheet on the kitchen floor, and it dried quite quickly. But then I decided I wanted to be sure any remaining larvae and bugs were dead, so I loaded my turnkey roaster with the wet rice and baked it for 2 hours or so at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. I had 2 pans going at a time in the oven and it took 2 "loads" to process all 25 pounds. I cooled it overnight. If you are going to dry in an oven, you don't need to dry the rice on the floor first!
This rice is so clean I wouldn't hesitate to eat it, but I plan on using it for craft projects. I don't know if it will cook up right after having "baked" it, but I can't imagine why not! I think I'll try it, just to know the answer!
Wow kitkatkid, you've been busy.
I keep flour in sealed tuppers with bay leaves in them, but I also make small pouches out of cheesecloth and stuff them with bay leaves, before hanging them in various sections of my pantry. Has worked pretty well-and you can by=uy bay leaves in bulk- cheap!!
"Practice random acts of kindness"
yeah, it was a big job, but worth it to me! I also keep my rice, flour, etc in sealed 1 gallon jars, but this bag of rice I stowed in my garage to do a house project with and then forgot about it! I am going to put up cheesecloth bags with bay leaves for my pantry... thanks for the suggestion!
I had these nasty little bugs in my pantry a while ago. I cleaned everything out several times and they would be gone for a couple weeks then they would come right back. I searched the web for ideas on how to get rid of them and came across a product called Weevil Away. They are these little adhesive sticky pads that have sort of organic/natural solution on them that repels weevils. I thought this would be great since i'd rather repel them and keep them away rather than wait to see them then get rid of them. It's been almost a year and they haven't returned. LOVE this product!
I endorse the use of Bay Leaves. Sometimes you can score good prices on them at import food stores. Thumbs up, Willo.
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