bugs in my pantry


I know there have been posts in the past regarding worms in the flour and the pantry moths they often come from (or vice versa). But I have a problem with these little dark/black bugs, about the size of an ant, kind of hard shelled, they are like a bettle, but not one. I can't find out what they are, and every now and then I have them in my "bakers cabinet" that I keep my flours and baking items in. I usually have my flours in sealed containers, so it's rare they get into the flour, but I keep finding them in the cabinet, and therefore will get in if I leave the lid off, or will even find them in the measuring cups stored in the cabinet. This is an old cabinet, specially made for my grandmother during the depression. The drawers are made from fruit crates, so the wood has been "repurposed" so to speak. Is it possible that the bugs are harboring in the wood? Any idea what these bugs are, and how to get rid of them? Oh, and the bay leaves idea doesn't work, nor does the pantry moth trap, at least not for these. It works great for those moths, but not these little bugs.

badge posted by: flourgirls on January 05, 2012 at 9:42 pm in General discussions
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reply by: ebuendia on January 05, 2012 at 9:54 pm

I'm still relatively new here, but I recall seeing a thread about this. Search for "infestation" using the search box at top right and you'll see various threads.

I'm a bit OCD about tidiness and I still got the bugs in my home. Nowhere near my kitchen, but still. I spotted some in a pack of dry Chipotle peppers I had just bought and opened. I keep all my dried stuff in Tupperware in a closet under the staircase, so I had no further problems (except I had to throw away all my dried chiles, oh well).

I remember when I was a kid, my mom would fastidiously examine every bag of flour before she bought it looking for the smallest hole or opening. She said that the flour shelves in stores always had "gorupos" or flour weevils. I still think that's how they get in our pantries and cupboards: we bring them home from the store. To this day, I inspect every bag of KAF I buy at my local co-op. If I see one that may have the adhesive seal even starting to ply off, I don't buy it.

Hang in there! Look at the threads and get rid of the little bastards.

reply by: omaria on January 05, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Could this be a woodworm? Can you find tiny round holes in the wood? They certainly look like little beetles. Sometimes you see little tiny piles of wood dust. If that is what they are, you can google and see what you can do to get rid of them. Hope this helps.

reply by: frick on January 05, 2012 at 10:04 pm

That's what we call weevils. I haven't seen them in years in my kitchen but I swear by cleaning cracks and crevices with vinegar and a toothbrush. I also swear by pushing Comet into the cracks, which stops ants from coming in the openings in double hung windows. I put it on window ledges and have pushed it into crevices beneath the floor moldings, wherever ants came in. You can vacuum it out occasionally, then put in more if necessary. Bugs hate the stuff and it can't do much harm.

You might also consider laying down something sticky like double sided tape or masking tape that will trap them. Since the cabinet, though rough, is an heirloom, you don't want to damage it. Empty it out and vacuum deeply in the cracks. Seriously, try the Comet. It works.

reply by: --jej on January 06, 2012 at 5:25 am

Yes, frick... I agree about the Comet. It contains bleach, which is lethal to those little critters. When I come across a bug or ant in my kitchen, I put it in a bit of water and sprinkle a tiny bit of Comet over. They're soon gone, and I flush them down the garbage disposal. And I sprinkle the stuff under the baseboards, wherever. Takes care of all of them.

Also, Years ago when I was cooking during my college summers, I was really worried bugs would be found in the kitchen. So I sprinkled the cleanser on the window sill where an occasional ant would venture in. None ever followed their 'scout.'

Now, those little black bugs. Just recently I began finding some of them. Haven't yet located where they come from, but they all 'take a swim' when I see them.

reply by: Mike Nolan on January 06, 2012 at 1:28 pm
Mike Nolan

Indianmeal moth larvae are fairly long as is the adult moth.

See http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2089.html

If you have round little bugs, those are probably warehouse beetles.

See http://phc.amedd.army.mil/PHC%20Resource%20Library/WarehouseFSMar08Final...

In some ways they're nastier than Indianmeal moths, and the pheromone traps don't work on them.

reply by: swirth on January 06, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Things like weevils can be trapped with some sticky cards...no scents involved. Many years ago, I got a pkg. of maybe 25 yellow double-sided sticky cards. I just peel off the backing of one side and leave the other sticky side covered. Lay them around where weevils, spiders and other creepy crawlies are seen. They are about postcard size or maybe a bit smaller. I got them from a gardening/seed type catalog and they were for catching white flies or other house plant creepies...if they are stuck into a plant stake with a little fork thing at the top like flower shops stick the little cards into, they catch house plant bugs easily. I place them around baseboards and we catch a lot of spiders with them as well as the little flat weevils.

reply by: flourgirls on January 07, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Thanks for the help. With some of the links and places to start, I found out they are "flour beetles". I didn't see alot of specific ways to get rid of them, but keeping them out is the key. They are found in flour, cake mixes, etc. I even find them in my measuring cups sometimes, but I don't wash my measuring cups after each use. (does anyone?)
Thanks for the advice. I am going to try the comet, then put down the sticky traps.

reply by: PaddyL on January 08, 2012 at 12:40 am

If they're really flour beetles, they should react and stay away from anything with bay leaves.

reply by: Mike Nolan on January 08, 2012 at 11:36 am
Mike Nolan

Wouldn't you love to know how the 'confused flour beetle' got its name? Sadly, this article doesn't say:


But this one does, and it isn't that interesting, it is called 'confused' because it is often confused with the red flour beetle. But this Wiki article does have a good color picture.


I must have missed that episode of Mythbusters, though.