Easy Kitchen Tip – Keeping Weevils Out of Flour, Rice and Pasta

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How to keep bugs out of flour

Did you know you can repel weevils by placing a bay leaf in your flour, rice and pasta?  Bay leaves are an easy {and CHEAP} alternative to taking up valuable freezer space and still keeping the critters out.  No bay leaves?  Check out this post on buying spices in bulk to save money– a couple of bay leaves would cost pennies.

Do you do this? Are you even worried about critters in your dried food products, or do you just consider them extra protein?

~Mavis

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Comments

  1. Awesome ! Who knew!

    However…..Does the Bay Leaf eventually make the flour or rice taste like Bay leaves?

  2. That’s pretty neat. I’ll have to try that, though I have a few of them in my cabinet. Pantry moths are my real issue. Found one in 20 pounds of rice.

    • If I have room in the freezer, I freeze all grains for three days before adding the Bay leaf. This kills any critters that may be in there.

      • I will try that next time. The rice was in a sealed batter bucket I got from the bakery. I cleaned it of coarse. Imagine my shock to see the moth when I opened the bucket.

      • Madame Chow, I checked your blog. The 6 grain bread recipe
        looks delicious. I get the mailings from King Arthur Flour also.

  3. I’ve heard of it before, but I was afraid that my flour would start to taste like bay leaves – not sure that I want that for my breads. I just cleaned out my pantry over the holidays and found a bag of pearl barley that was invested with weavels. I was finding an occasional weavel in a cabinet, but not many. Haven’t seen any since I threw away the barley. Do you think it would help to just put a few bay leaves in a cabinet shelf, or must they be put in a sack of flour or bag of beans?

  4. I’m more worried about pantry moths. Did you know that during the years after 9-11, that inspectors were taken from food stuff port of entry places and put into airports to guard against terrorism? There weren’t enough inspectors to cover all the bases. Because of that, we had some unwanted pests gain access to our country through our food supply causing problems to orange groves and other places. This is from news reports I read, so I’m not an expert. I saw evidence through my grocery store, and have noticed packaging change so that it seems to accommodate better protection against unwanted creatures. The worst was buying pet food.

    Another reason to buy local when you can.

  5. I’ve been oven canning flour so I can keep it longer. I’ve read it works fine on dry ingredients.

  6. YES since doing this no buggies in the pantry. I buy them from a guy at the farmer’s market by the branch!!

  7. Also works to put a Bay Leaf with your wool yarn or clothing.

  8. I’ve actually heard that this is an old wives tale; bay leaves do not do anything to actively discourage weevils.

    • In my homemakers club they have a handout listing bay leaves for this purpose. Homemakers is part of the County Extension, the place to call for canning and gardening and food preservation questions. My grandmother, mother and I did/do this.

  9. I’ve never dealt with weevils or moths in my food. Am I lucky or blind? Maybe I shouldn’t jinx myself…

  10. Mavis, you are great. Have you written a book? i read you everyday. ok, thats a lie. Not on Saturday and Sunday cause i don’t know how to turn on the home computer. I read you at work. When i’m supposed to be working. i just admire you! awesome

  11. Mary Tonar says:

    I’ve been doing this for about six months, and it really works great!

  12. Helen in Meridian says:

    Down the Mexican aisle in the grocery stores are clear bags of spices for .59, 79, or .99. Some of them say Laurel on them. They are bay leaves too. at least they smell the same.

  13. My friend and I each bought the small burlap bags of basmati brown rice from Costco and they had bugs in them. . The white rice from Costco is great. If you buy the brown rice from Costco freeze it first. I won’t ever buy it again though.

  14. Weevils suck ! I throw the food away. And pantry moths are a pain and I throw the food away, too. I am going to try this in bags and I am going to try placing some just in the cupboard to see if it helps with the moths! those who had not seen any you are lucky! I saw none for years until a couple years ago. i wonder if it is climate as we don’t get very cold in the winter anymore.

  15. This is just great. I wish I had thought to ask before I threw out all of my jars of flour. I have the glass with the rubber washer and pull down seal. Yauk. Thanks.

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