Weevils in flour are fairly common occurrences especially if you live in a hotter climate, most people simply throw out the flour if they find weevils in them out of precaution. However, if you read the below article you might find that throwing out the flour isn’t really necessary.
Yes, weevils in flour are safe to eat, weevils do not bite or sting and they do not have any toxins which could be harmful to a person. Dishes requiring flour have to be cooked which will kill any weevils and the bacteria which they do contain. You can get rid of weevils by spraying vinegar on them, using weevil traps, and storing your flour in airtight containers.
If you are having weevils in your flour you probably have a weevil infestation, my personal recommendation is to get a good long-lasting weevil trap that is non toxic Click here to check it out on Amazon.com
Weevils can become a serious pest not only for preppers but for anybody with a food pantry. These small insects can multiply fairly quickly and they can eat almost anything in your food pantry. Weevils are in the beetle family of insects, there are literally 1000’s of different weevils found in North America. Odds are if you have a food pantry you probably have eaten a couple of them already in different stages of their lives.
Usually, these weevils are found in flour that has not been used for at least a couple of months, if they are ignored they can quickly jump to other foods in your food pantry such as rice, sugar, and even spices. People who have large quantities of food stockpiles realize they have a weevil infestation when it is already too late. Weevils are fairly shy and do not really like light, they tend to stick close to their food source, although you might notice some larvae crawling up in the walls.
If you see small worm-like creatures crawling up the wall in your food pantry, odds are that you are having a serious weevil infestation. Most people who notice weevils in their flour would throw the flour out immediately, however, in a survival situation eating weevils is not only safe but it might also save your life. Pound for pound insects contains more protein, amino acids, vitamins, fats, and even sugar than beef. If you want to know how to store flour long term then check out my recent article How to store flour long term ( In 9 Easy Steps ).
Do note that no matter how clean and organized your food pantry might be if you do not store your grains and flours correctly you will inevitably end up with weevils in your food pantry.
What happens if you eat weevils?
Usually, food items stored in any food pantry need to be cooked before you can consume them. If your flour has weevils and you use the flour for cooking then you should probably be fine, these small insects are not poisonous and you will probably get just a few extra grams of protein from them. However some weevils during the harvesting and processing of different grains have been contaminated with pesticides, and some have developed immunity against pesticides.
These weevils which are contaminated by pesticides, dead or alive in large enough quantities could produce severe side effects after being ingested. Luckily most of these pesticides have some sort of activating agent which once is ingested will neutralize the effect of the pesticide, but most people will probably have no clue how they got poisoning by pesticide especially if they didn’t even notice the weevils in their food.
How to protect your food from weevils
Most flours come in the standard paper bag which isn’t ideal when it comes to weevils. the eggs and larvae found in the flour could hatch at any point and easily get out of the paper bag and infest other food types as well. The best way to protect your food items, especially for long term storage against weevils is with an airtight container. Once you got your food pantry items and put all of them in different airtight containers, if you have different kinds of grains and flours do not mix them together as this will inevitably result in cross-contamination as different types of grains and flours have different kinds of pests.
The airtight containers will prevent any weevil eggs to hatch due to the limited amount of oxygen, this limited amount of oxygen will also kill any living weevils found in the grain or flour. There are some food types that have a long shelf life and these tend to be weevil proof, for more information check out my recent article Food that last for 25 years ( Top 37 ).
How did you get weevils?
Most people think that weevils come from the outside searching for food, however, this is not the case for most weevil infestation. Most weevil infestations come from your grocery items, which during the process of harvesting and packaging the different types of vegetables and grains get contaminated by weevils or by their eggs. Once these weevil eggs are in your flour, they will lay dormant for a period of time but once the outside conditions are good for hatching such as stable temperatures they will hatch and start eating your flour, rice, and other items in your food pantry.
How to get rid of weevils in 3 steps
There are a lot of solutions for getting rid of weevils, the most popular ones use either traps or pesticides. The problem with pesticides is that you could end up contaminating your food items in the food pantry if you are not careful. Even if you are careful where you are spraying the pesticides these can still produce dangerous fumes that could get absorbed into certain food items.
Step 1 Vinegar Spray
My personal recommendation is to use vinegar, simply spray the vinegar on the shelves and wait a couple of minutes, after which you can wipe the vinegar down. The vinegar will kill any larvae it comes in contact with, not only weevil larvae but also moth larvae.
Step 2 Weevil traps
In addition to cleaning every shelf with vinegar, you can also use weevil or moth traps, you can find these at almost any store. These traps are sticky on of the side and they contain a lure in the center which will attract every nearby weevil and moths, once they are inside the trap their wings or bodyes will stick to the side and they will inevitably die.
Step 3 Airtight containers
After you have cleaned your shelf with vinegar put your grains and flours in airtight containers, this way you will have an extra layer of protection if any weevils might have survived. Do not dilute the vinegar with water, any household vinegar will do, and the more concentrated the better it is.
If you have cockroaches in your food pantry then these will eat most of the flour weevils, although you should probably not eat them, for more information check out my recent article Can you eat cockroaches? ( Superfood ? ).
If you have weevils in your flour and you accidentally eat them you should not be concerned, generally speaking, weevils do not contain any harmful parasites or viruses and in the best case scenario you might end up getting some extra protein from your meal.