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How to Keep Flour From Getting Wormy

by Fern Fischer

A number of insects invade home flour and grain supplies, including Indian meal moths, weevils and other grain beetles. The larvae of these insects appear as worms in flour and grain products, even if adult insects are not apparent. Insect eggs may be on your pantry shelves, or the packaged products themselves may contain eggs when you bring them home from the store. Whatever the source, you can control and eliminate the tiny tan or white worms.

Pantry Raid

Check flour, corn meal, rice, barley, oatmeal, dry beans, pasta and other grain and cereal products, looking for silky mesh webs, tiny cocoons or specks in the products as well as for live insects. Wrap and seal any infested products in plastic and burn or dispose of them immediately. Wipe clean all pantry and cupboard shelves to remove traces of existing insects. Wash storage containers in hot soapy water and dry them thoroughly before restocking -- check the lids to ensure a tight fit. Pantry insect traps placed on shelves effectively lure the bugs away from your food. Aromatic bay leaves and cloves can be successful repellents: crush them to release fragrance and dust them onto storage shelves. Storing grain products in the freezer or refrigerator also thwarts insects.

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About the Author

Fern Fischer's print and online work has appeared in publications such as Midwest Gardening, Dolls, Workbasket, Quilts for Today and Cooking Fresh. With a broader focus on organic gardening, health, rural lifestyle, home and family articles, she specializes in topics involving antique and modern quilting, sewing and needlework techniques.