Saturday, October 10, 2009

How to Control Pesky Bugs in your Cupboard

I've been browsing the Internet for reliable sources on how to do this and finally found something here.

Some guides tell you to clean your cupboard with bleach or even use insecticides, but I didn't really think using poison in a place where you keep food was a good idea and had some serious doubts about bleach. The Department of Entomology of Iowa State University states that it's not a good idea to use insecticides in an area where you store food and that "washing shelves with detergent, bleach, ammonia or disinfectants will not have any effect on insect pests". They recommend "freezing for 1 week or heating in a 140 degree oven for 15 minutes" and vacuuming your cupboard and getting rid of the vacuum bag which could turn into another colony of insects. Store everything inside airtight containers.

For more detailed information, you might browse here.

Bugs in food freak out a lot of people (and to be honest they freak me out a bit too), but try to look at the bright side. If bugs can survive in your flour, dried fruit or herbs, it means your flour/dried fruit/herbs are not so pesticide laden that no larvae could possibly survive.

I've seen more bugs inside flour and other food, than I ever have since moving to Spain and guess what? It was really easy to make sourdough starter with the flour here.


Palidor said...

"If bugs can survive in your flour, dried fruit or herbs, it means your flour/dried fruit/herbs are not so pesticide laden that no larvae could possibly survive."

Murasaki... that does not comfort me at all!! :-P

♥peachkins♥ said...

this is very interesting. thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

I'm a BIG bug hater too ! In Sri Lanka there used to be bugs in the flour ALL the time, it would be impossible to bake anything without sifting first. CREEPY !

Thanks for sharing MS, Its true, using chemicals near food is a big NO NO...and an even BIGGER NO NO in homes with toddlers...

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Oh, thank goodness this is one issue I haven't had to battle.
I guess the colder climate helps.
I do use plain vinegar to clean areas I want to be food-safe, like my counter. If that helps.
I just put the plain 5% acid white vinegar in a spray bottle and keep it under the sink.

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Palidor: Not comforting at all, no. ;)

Peachkins: :)

Nat: In the oldern days they sifted flour in Europe too. I mean flour was so precious you couldn't just throw it away in those days...and they didn't have tupperware, ziplocks or freezers!

Natashya: I'm phobic of vinegar so that would keep me out of the kitchen. I think I'll stick to rubbing alcohol. I'm sure some of my other fellow bloggers here could use that tip though - so thank you. :)

Dorte said...

This was a very helpful post. I did not know the name of the bugs, but following the link I see that these were the ones that had invaded my kitchen when I came back from holidays in July. I threw out all the dry food stuff and the plastic containers (from Ikea) and made a new trip to Ikea to buy air tight glass jars instead.
It's very un-appetizing to find those animals in your food!

Baking Soda said...

Brrr...never encountered those but the man at the mill where I buy my flours told me to stick a bay leaf in your container with flour.
Also, whole star anise helps to keep fruit flies away.