« Dear Reader Column 11-21-04 | Main | Dear Reader Column 11-25-04 »

November 24, 2004

Comments

Barbara Gould

I recently bought 2 packets of poppyseed crispbread. I opened one and half way through eating them found weevils running through them. I opened the second packet by slicing through the middle over a clean white chopping board. There were dozens of them. I scooped them up, biscuits and all, into a tupperware container and took them back to Tesco. Staff there were horrified and said they would investigate. Pkease note there is no address on the crisbread packet nor could I trace the main manufacturer on the net.
Some weeks later I received a letter fronm the manufacturer denying any possibility of contamination at source and implying that they were there in my kitchen to start with! Well now they are! I have thrown out every bit ot farinacious food bought new pasta, rice etc and am keeping it in brand new plastic storage boxes. I had several spares and to my horror the other day went to use a new one and there in the bottom were about 15 of the little buggers! I like the tip about freezing them, shall try at once but I don't believe I will ever be free of them. Kind regards, you do not have a monopoly of the problem in the US, they are alive and kicking in the UK!

Amanda

I was weighing out ingredients to make gingerbread men for my children, when to my horror i saw lots of weevils wriggling around my mixing bowl. Cleaned everything and threw away every bit of dry food in my cupboards, then re-stocked. I felt guilty when my children and husband came home from school and work to tell me how much they enjoyed the chocolate brownies i made a day earlier with the same flour! I have frozen my flour now, is there anything else i can do to prevent another infestation? Does anyone know if they infest boxes of childrens cereal, like frosties, weetabix, porridge etc.?
Hampshire, UK.

Julia

I too discovered an infestation of tiny little bugs, presumably weevils in my kitchen cupboards yesterday. It was my daughter that noticed them initially in the bag of sugar. Reluctantly I threw most of my dry foods away as there was evidence of them on all manner of food stuffs.This included stuffing mix, cornflour, cereals and dumpling mix. It seems that they have aquired a wide and varied taste. I live in on south coast of UK

Richard

Find an air-tight container and drop a bit of Dry Ice into the container before closing it tightly. Even bugs require Oxygen to live.

Mike Herman

I can't see the humour in finding insects in food. Perhaps I am strange. We do not laugh at people who have phobias about spiders and creepy things.

This is a serious subject and poses certain questions which include " Why can't food manufacturers address this problem". The squeamish and concerned dispose of infested food, understandably, but there is enough starvation and shortage to make this something of gravity and importance rather than levity.
I don't apologize for putting a damper on the levity.

Georgi

I've come to the conclusion that weevil eggs are laid in the products that we buy. When you bring them home, they mature. I've found small wiggly ones that must have just hatched and old dead ones that don't move. One of the worst offenders are nuts in candy bars. If you leave the candy long enough, the eggs mature and you're greeted with the worms when you open the wrapper. I consumed some while reading a book once and the emergency nurse suggested stomach pumping or Ipecac. I chose the Ipecac, but I won't do that again!

Sarah

I bought a bag of spaghetti, went to cook it for dinner and my pot had many tiny little black bugs floating in it. I threw out everything in my cupboards, including the potatoes because apparently weevils enjoy them as well! We cleaned the cupboards using Mr Clean, left in some bay leaves, and keep nothing in it's orginal packaging anymore. We also seem to find it's better to buy the pasta that comes in a box as apposed to the bags. They never seem to be in the boxed ones.

Joni

I found you can get rid of ants with boric acid & sugar.. 1T boric acid to 1/4 cup sugar..1/2 cup water, mix & put in shallow containers, they will be gone in a day or so

Chris

Y'all, bugs are a way of life here in Texas, but I must admit, I'm not thrilled with all the stinkin' pantry weevils I've been finding lately. Little buggers are everywhere from my soup crackers to spaghetti to gravy mix to cat food, blech! But after reading all the above, I'm going to take a more relaxed attitude. I'll do what I can as far as freezing and fumigating, but I'll be danged if I'm going to throw away $$ worth of food! I just can't afford it. So what I can't kill or evict, I'll just strain out, and no one but I will be the wiser! Thanks, y'all!

Hope

I hate to break it to you, but freezing doesn't do a thing. I keep my birdseed in the freezer (it's *always* what brings weevils into the house), but then the eggs hatch when I put some in his bowl and they thaw out!! Recently I have tried microwaving a batch of seed until it's very hot, and then storing it in the fridge (to prevent re-infestation). So far this seems to work, I think I am weevil free for the first time since we got a bird!

So- keep them from hatching by storing in the cold; kill the eggs by heating them. I think.

Michele

I also have weevils. At first they were only in the flour bin, which is air tight. Now I find them all over the house. I have cleaned and sprayed bug spray everywhere, without sucess. This is the first time in 21 years I have had them. What causes them. Could it be the high humitidy? If they are in the food we purchase how many times have we unknowingly cooked them and ate them. What a yummy thought.

Becky

When I poured some oats for into a bowl I noticed lots of crawling things - obviously weevils. I didn't want to waste 3 kg of oats so I sifted them out. But then I thought - surely weevils must leave something behind. I mean, if they are eating my oats, they must have some sort of excrement! I didn't feel much like using my oats after that thought! I've heard that eating the weevils is not harmful, but what about what comes with them???

Lisa

I have a question, because I have never dealt with weevils before. If I open a box of rice a roni, and there are these bugs in it, does that mean that all my boxes of pasta and rices and such, are infested or could be infested? Or could it be that this one box had them?

Chris

I am 44 years old and am experiencing my first weevil infestation. I think it's because for the first time in my life I have an indoor dog and am keeping his bag of food on the floor of my pantry. I looked in the dog food bag and it was crawling with them. But of course they're in everything now. I threw out every kind of grain or seed in my pantry and am keeping his food in an air tight container now. I am not optimistic about getting rid of them now after reading everyone's comments.

Carol

I have been infested three times now with the little critters and now tupperware or glass jar everything. It is really worth checking food before storing it. I have had cous cous from my local health food shop which was alive..urgh, luckily I spotted it and disposed of it before any infestation began. They also seem to like herbal tea and I have often seen them trotting around the box underneath the bags. So check your shopping before putting it in your cupboards.

Denise

This is the first time I have ever had these creepy crawlies! My parents had them before they left here and the stupid things were crawling in our microwave and everything! They even go into the dishwasher if it's left with dirty dishes for more than an hour... it's GROSS!!! I have no idea how to get rid of them and I'm very concerned with chemicals because we have two dogs to think about. I heard that javex works to clean counters after you get all your dry food out. I'm going to try it, but I don't know that it will work. I'm going to throw out all the food I currently have (I feel sick doing that because of the starvation around the world, but what can I do?) and get air tight containers and then javex EVERYTHING inside the cupboards, and I'm going to freeze flour and anything with grains. It almost seems like they're nocturnal or something, they come out at night. One timeI woke up in the middle of the night for a drink and turned on the kitchen light they scatter like crazy. Its like they're having a meeting in the dark and it creeps me out! I'm really trying and I'm not being very successful. I hope this will work.

Tee

Wow, and here I was wondering what the critters were! I work in a group home and as I was preparing dinner a few moments ago, I noticed the little floating weevil bodies in the pot of pasta I was making. When I made this pasta last week I assumed the specs were seasoning and we all ate it, but this week as I looked at the bag closer, I saw tons of them crawling, I tossed the bag out, but the meal went on (I didn't eat the pasta) so I decided to come here to see if I would make my charges sick (as though last week didn't happen), but I am glad to know that these things have a name and that I am not the only person to have experienced them!

tiffany

Ilive in goa india and i foind them in cerals/grains all the time.Iused to chuck things out now i just sift and i'm not dead yet-bit absent minded though...

Rene

You can bring them in with a box of pasta or a bag of flour. Terrible to get rid of. Try microwaving, then freezing items before you use them. We have found them floating in the boiling water (dead) when we boil our pasta, and we use a strainer to remove them and eat the pasta...no one in our family has become ill as a result of it. The flour mills have a terrible time keeping the critters out. When our daughter was a baby, I purchased a well-known brand of dry baby cereal and when I opened the box to mix it with the formula, I discovered awful live bugs in the cereal. I sent it to the company and they sent me product coupons and an apology. My mother once had a live mouse in a completely closed bag of flour she brought home from the store. She is 82 and we all survived. She does keep many food products in the refrigerator just to be safe. We live in Chicago and the summer gets a bit steamy. That's when you really notice any type of bugs. Good luck to all!

Terri

Hi! Well, I thouroughly enjoyed reading these delightful and tummy lurching stories! I have a very weak stomach and could never eat anything I had removed a bug from or I thought might have one in it. Kudos to those of you who are capable of not wasting!! :) Anyway, I am 51 and the only time I saw weevils was just after arriving home from the store and finding them in newly purchased rice. NOW I have them all in my cupboard where I keep boxed things.....rice a roni, hamburger helper, pastas.....BUT I must tell you this: I have never had them before but my ex-husband insisted on me keeping dry bay leaves in all kitchen cupboards, pantry, dog food,bird food, etc. In many things you can just put the leaves inside package such as bird seed. Will not hurt if becomes smashed and injested. This tip was through many generations of his family and kept me bug free until now! I forgot to buy the bay leaves last time cleaning cupboards and thought...'Probably do not need them'...just an old habit! I KNOW better now.
Thanks for this wonderful site!

TIFFNEE

I JUST FINISHED BAKING BROWNIES WITH MY 5 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER SHE WAS SO PROUD OF THE BRONIES SHE HAD MADE... FOR SOME REASON I KEPT THINKING THAT THEY TASTED KIND OF FUNNY FOR SOME REASON I WENT AND LOOKED IN THE BOTTOM OF THE BOX... O MY GOSH BUGGGGSSSSS!!THROW OUT THE BROWNIES! WHEN WE MOVED INTO OUR HOUSE I COULDN'T FIGURE OUT WHY THE CRAZY LITTLE OLD LADY HAD BAY LEAVES ALL OVER THE SHELVES... NOW I KNOW. I PLAN ON TRYING ALL THESE IDEAS! THANKS FOR THE TIPS!

Carol

Thanks for keeping me SANE!!!
I've had minor bouts with weevils in the past but nothing as serious as recently. At first I blamed it on the pet food at the bottom of the pantry; then after cleaning the entire pantry I discovered they'd invaded nearly everything including pasta, flour, grits and apparently preferred the high-end Silver Palate oatmeal on the top shelf. They were even between the shelves and the Contact paper. A week later I'm still finding them around the baseboard (dead).

A friend suggested they were upset because I'd just had new carpet, vinyl and ceramic tile installed. After over two months of RAIN, RAIN and more RAIN I'm beginning to wonder if that played a part. It's been so humid I didn't have to water my lawn this summer until last week. Now we're back to the normal 100+ temperatures.
I must confess to sifting flour in the past when the stores were closed and I need just a bit of flour for thickening.

Nancy B

I found that they love red wine. I'm keeping a glass with about half an inch of red wine in it in the cabinet with cereal. Just pour the dead ones down the drain every few days and replinish the cabernet.

Bobbi

I also came back to florida from my summer place only to find the entire place loaded with very small reddish bugs. I presume that they had had been brought in via a bag of hwhole wheat flour as the flour was al over the pantry. I have thrown out every product that I htink may have become infested and removed all food stuff fromevery cabinet, washed all cupboards, sprayed etc My main question is does everything need to be washed? I have been runing the dishwasher for days, and may never get abefore leaving in June therefore most bugs were dead. I am getting tired. HELP

Leoni

Vaguely remember my mom finding weevils in my younger sisters baby porridge when I was growing up. She unpacked everything and tossed all contaminated goodies... Never thought anything of it for years after that living in South Africa. Now that I live on Grand Cayman I am reenacting my mothers crazy unpacking cupboards, checking all food twice routine.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

readers

My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad

Become a Fan