Question: Insects in Grains
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Part of todayís section of tips and hints is in response to Pollyís question about crawling or flying insects in corn meal or other grains. I am talking about the Mediterranean flour moth (also known as the Egyptian or Mill Moth) - are you familiar with these little pests?  If you do any bulk food purchasing, you may have these little critters in your place.  The claim is that they only infest cereal products, such as flour and meal, but will infest grain and other foodstuffs and once you are infested, they will lay their eggs on and in anything including the folds of plastic bags. The moth eggs will hatch and infest your pantry if you donít take a few precautions:

  • Upon bringing grains home, such as oats, flour, seeds (including bird food), bran, etc., put in the freezer over night. (I put all dry good products I buy at bulk food stores in the freezer overnight)
     
  • If you end up infested (as I once experienced), you will see little white worms that will grow into the off white or gray colored adult moths.  The first step to defeating this infestation is to clean out your pantry and dispose of the infested items- remember, once hatched, these little moths will eat lots of different things that are being stored in plastic bags, like dried fruit, rice, potato flakes, etc. - you will know that you have these moths because they leave spider web like residue and egg sacks inside the containers of food and there will be holes chewed through the bags. Once cleaned out, the only effective way to stay on top of any future infestation is to:

    -freeze all grain items once brought home

    -place traps in the pantry, slightly away from all food items.  There is only one type of trap available and it is called the Pantry Pest   Trap. They are available in hardware stores and garden nurseries.

    -place a couple of bay leaves in tightly covered containers with your grain products as a defense against the moths

 

 

 

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