Weevils

I bought a 10kg bag f flour on the weekend, well, my wonderful husband did actually, and when I opened it today I found it was full of weevils. I don’t mind the odd weevil or 2 to be honest. They’re small and harmless and normally I would just sift them out and carry on, but sadly this bag is absolutely riddled with them and they are small enough to fall through the sieve. I don’t mind sifting them out but eating them is a whole other ball game and one I’m not willing to play. I rang the place the flour had come from and they will replace the flour but that’s not the purpose of this post.

File:Sitophilus.granarius.jpg

Weevils are really common, more common than you might think. Have you ever found your flour sticking together like it’s stuck to cobwebs but still in the packet? Or found tiny round holes in the side of the packet? Or actually seen their little dark brown bodies in the flour packet? Weevils lay their eggs on the wheat and then the larvae hatch and do what larvae do and eat the wheat. When the wheat is harvested and ground into flour the eggs can still be there. It’s kind of a revolting thought isn’t it, but weevils are kind of one of those inevitable things when it comes to flour. At some stage you will find one. And if you find two, always choose the smaller one…
Because you should always choose the lesser of two weevils! 😀 I HAD to put it in there. 😉

So, what can be done with weevily flour? During times of greater frugality than now, flour was sifted to remove the weevils, the weevils destroyed or given to the chooks (you have to get them out of the house to prevent re-infesting any further flour or grain. The flour was then used as per normal. If eating the now weevil-less flour is too much to stomach you can feed it, weevils and all to the chooks or compost it – it’s just tiny particles of wheat after all.

I’m planning to compost and chicken feed mine. If it was just a kilo I’d merrily sift it in a small sifter I have and my chooks would score the siftings, but 10kgs is just a bit too much and now that I know it’s had lots of weevils in there I strongly suspect that should I sift and then store the flour, I would keep the cycle going with the next hatch of weevils. The pupae can mature in as little as 5 weeks and the females can lay up to 254 eggs (someone actually counted the eggs laid by an insect that is only 3-5mm long?) so that could mean a LOT of extra weevils. I think the chooks and compost will score this time.

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6 thoughts on “Weevils

  1. Lisa Sleep says:

    i freeze anything that they can get in pasta flour everything when i buy it this kills them then i feel a lil better about it i hate them sooo much i moved into a house that had moths and decided to get into everything and the only way i got rid of them was to move and to throw everything out i feel for you babe and 10kg of them ewww vomit

    • Meh, they don’t really phase me all that much, which considering I’m so phobic about so many other creepy crawlies… My main concern was the cost to be honest and I need to take the barcode back in to the shop for a replacement. Seems it was a bad batch which I know can happen. I’d actually prefer this happen on occasion than eat wheat that has been sprayed with pesticides to prevent it though. 🙂
      And yeah, keeping those foods frozen will prevent any hatchings although it may not always 100% kill them (should but may not from what I read).

  2. narf77 says:

    (emmm weevils…free protein… 😉 ) seriously though…I put all of my flour, grains, nuts everything that could harbour a weevil into the freezer as soon as I get it (10kg flour into the chest freezer) and if its full of weevils good luck to them surviving the equivalent of the next weevil ice age. I agree…10kg of flour stuffed weevils might be a bit much to bare but so long as you are having it replaced and the chooks are getting a bonus pile of weevily flour to ingest its a win-win situation for you :). By the way…it will kill them if you leave the flour there for long enough. I have NEVER had anything hatch out after leaving the flour in the freezer for a couple of weeks. You can use it straight from the freezer and it’s not really a problem if you have enough freezer space 🙂

    • Not enough freezer space but good to know. I’ve never really had any weevil issues with any hatching over the years, more finding them in old flour before i was into baking or buying flour already crawling. Flour just doesn’t sit for long enough in my house now. 10kg is only a few weeks of flour here. Buying it with that extra protein however… As you say, win win though. My compost, chooks and wallet are all happy.

  3. I always put a few bay leaves into all my dry goods, and it somehow magically keeps weevils away.. really! try it!

    • I’d read that Bay leaves have anti-weevil properties the other day when I was looking for how to dispose of my 10kg of wevilly flour. I reckon I might have to get a few muslin bags and put in some bay leaves as I will be storing bulk grains and flour in my pantry drawers. Thanks.

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