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.
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.