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How to Get Rid of Weevils (Flour Bugs)

Have you found creepy crawlies in your pantry? Don't wait; they lay many eggs! Here is how to remove weevils and keep them away.


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    Freeze the flour. As soon as you bring flour home, seal it inside a freezer bag and put it in the freezer for 96 hours (four days).[1] Remove and store as usual. The freezing process will kill off any eggs and weevils already present in the flour.
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    Place a dried bay leaf in each container or bag of stored flour. This will discourage weevil infestation.[2]
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    Keep flour in canister type containers with lids.[3] Storing flour in a container with a lid can prevent spread of weevil infestations through the pantry.
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    Use flour regularly. Leaving flour in the pantry too long will encourage pest infestation. The faster it is used, the fresher it is, and the fewer the chances for infestation.
    • Purchase only the amounts of flour that you'll use within a month or two. Any more than this and you risk weevil infestation.
    • Rotate older products to the front and newer ones to the back so that you're always using up older products first.
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    If you discover an infestation, stay calm. You won't get much done if you're shrieking and acting all grossed out. The bugs will not bite, sting, or harm you.
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    Remove all food from the cabinet or pantry. Throw away all food that is or might be contaminated. In addition to flour, be sure to check your sugar, grains, dried beans and legumes, and breakfast cereals for signs of weevils.
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    Clean shelves and containers thoroughly after an infestation.
    • Remove shelf paper (if necessary).
    • Wipe all areas clean with soapy water. Get into all corners and crevices.
    • Rinse with water. Bleach, if preferred.
    • Wipe the area with eucalyptus oil or ti-tree oil to discourage weevils from resurfacing.
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    Once the shelves have dried, reline them with shelf paper.
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    Put all the food back. To deter future infestation, place a few bay leaves in both the cabinet and the canisters.


  • Do not throw contaminated food away in a kitchen. Throw it outside, or else your problem may come back.
  • Return flour when weevils appear in it only a few weeks after purchase; this means it was milled at least half a year ago and is old stock.
  • Pyrethrin can be sprayed on the shelves, but all food and containers must be removed first. Be sure to follow the waiting period specified on the pyrethrin product label before returning food to the treated shelves.
  • Use a flour sifter to remove the obvious weevils.
  • It is possible to eat flour that has obvious weevils in it; it's simply "insect protein." You've already eaten non-obvious weevils without knowing it, as they're present in most flour in the form of eggs and exoskeletons.[4] Doing so grosses out a lot of people, though, including vegetarians! It won't harm you; it just depends on how frugal, iron-stomached, or desperate you're feeling!
  • Don't microwave the flour; weevils survive and simply run everywhere. If you want to use heat, use the oven. Place the flour in the oven at 130ºF/54.4ºC for half an hour[5], or 120ºF / 48.8ºC for one hour.[6]


  • If you vacuum the shelves, empty the bag outside and get rid of the contents immediately.
  • Remove old contact paper and replace it with a new one. Otherwise, weevils might hide under it.

Things You'll Need

  • Storage containers
  • Plastic freezer bags
  • Bay leaves

Sources and Citations

  1. Phillip Glogoza, Bugs in Your Cupboards,
  2. Hanna McAbbot, Kitchen Hints & Tips, p.70, (1990), ISBN 1-86282-066-X
  3. Phillip Glogoza, Bugs in Your Cupboards,
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