View Full Version : bugs in the kitchen
01-16-2002, 01:22 PM
The flour-storage post reminded me of my current problem. A while ago, I left my bread flour in the bag in the cupboard. After some time, I grabbed the bag only to find that little bugs had made their home there and were happily munching away on my bread flour. I threw the bag away, and started scrubbing. They were everywhere. Everything that was open, they got into. Corn meal, salt, baking powder, you name it. I cleaned as best I could, but I kept finding them. Under the stove burners, even in the light fixture. I scrub everything periodically, now, but I still find them one at a time in weird places. As soon as something is open, there they are.
After some internet research, I found they were saw-toothed beetles. Any one else have problems like this? If so, how did you get rid of the buggers?
My mom suggested bay leaves. I lined the cupboard with them, and the bugs ate them. AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!
Oh, here's the worst: One night I was craving sweet. All I had in the house were some grahm crackers. They were unopened. I slit the plastic, grabbed a cracker and found bugs inbetween the layers. They have pincher teeth that can cut through thing plastic!
I yelled at them, but it didn't do any good. :)
01-16-2002, 01:27 PM
The same thing happened to me!! All I can say is Tupperware, Tupperware, Tupperware!!! If everything is in Tupperware, the bugs will die due to lack of air and nothing else will be contaminated. It is quite an expensive investment but overall worth it. My exterminator said that the bugs get carried in from your grocery store (terrible thought). Good luck!
01-16-2002, 01:33 PM
I agree Tupperware, Rubbermaid, any other knock-off, ziploc baggies, anything to keep the little buggers at bay. And store flour in the freezer if you don't use it very often.
01-16-2002, 01:36 PM
Take your pick!:D Rubbermaid is much more affordable than Tupperware. Don't you hate those bugs? I know I've had them come in cornmeal.:mad: There was a long thread about them some time ago.
01-16-2002, 01:44 PM
Oh my goodness..I don' even want to look in that bag now! You guys are the best.. if there's anything I do not want it's BUGS! I have always stored my flours and other baking supplies in the garage freezer.
01-16-2002, 01:50 PM
Originally posted by JenZen
I yelled at them, but it didn't do any good. :)
Jen, I just had to say that I laughed out loud at this! I am sorry for your predicament, though. Would having an exterminator come be an option? I had ants in my kitchen last summer. It was awful! I had to put everything into ziplock bags. Know what I finally did? Moved.
01-16-2002, 02:30 PM
No, I haven't really considered an exterminator, because I rent an apartment. I suppose I could talk to the landlord about it if the problem doesn't subside soon.
For now, I have learned to laugh at the situation.
I started the Rubbermaid investment, discovered how expense it was, and promptly added it to my Christmas wish list. However, no one bit, so off to K-Mart I go. Martha Stewart has some nice containers in her line.
01-17-2002, 07:35 AM
Sprinkle 20 Mule Team Borax in the affected cupboards and along the floorboards of affected cupboards. It helps. Also great for getting fleas out of carpets. Sprinkle on, work into the fibers and let sit a few days before vacuuming. Repeat if necessary. Also leaves the carpet smelling fresh.
01-17-2002, 07:40 AM
I found this information on a "pest control website" called BUGSPRAY.COM. They are promoting their products, but you might still find it helpful:
Whether they are brought home in cereal, pet food or pasta, Sawtooth Beetles are a nuisance once inside the home. Like many other pantry pests, there are a few things which must be done to break their cycle once established. Here is an outline of what you must do.
1) First, empty all cabinets, shelves and closets where they have been seen or thought to exist. Any food stuff which has them active must be discarded in sealed plastic bags. This will help contain them until the garbage is picked up. If you are not sure if something has activity, store it in a plastic bag and check it every week. If there are any Sawtooth Beetles in it they will try
to get out within a few weeks. If some are found, throw it away immediately. Since this pest is temperature tolerant, don't waste your time trying to freeze adults, eggs or larva. Though you will certainly kill some of them, too many will assuredly live prepared to continue their cycle. Once food stuff which is thought to have activity is discarded, you are ready to prepare for doing a treatment. However, before you treat, vacuum all closets, shelves and baseboards. This will help to remove eggs which are too small to see. Sawtooth Beetles lay eggs with a glue like excretion which helps
to attach them to surfaces where food is likely to beavailable. This helps to keep them in place and vacuuming will help to remove some.
2) Once everything has been removed from the cabinets and they have been vacuumed, you can start treatments. The first product to use is BAYGON AEROSOL. This comes in a spray can with a straw attachment which makes it ideal for applying to cracks and crevices where both adults and larva like to reside. Be sure to get as many as you have - not just where you think beetles may be hiding. Sawtooth Beetles are small, fast and quick to hide when ever people are around disturbing where they have been feeding. Many will go unnoticed and missed so it is best to treat every cabinet to be sure you get proper coverage. Let the treatment dry for 1 hour and all dishes and food stuff can then go back away without hazard to people or pets.
3) Now that the cabinets and pantry areas have been treated, you may have to treat other areas of the home if activity has been noted. Laundry rooms, garages, basements and other areas where pet food and grain products like grass seed are stored are prime locations for Sawtooth Beetles to reside. One or two rooms like this will be easy to treat with Baygon but if you have
several which need an application, get some of our PERMETHRIN which will be much more effective and thorough for large applications. Apply it with one of our PUMP SPRAYERS which will allow you to get good coverage
quickly. Focus in on baseboards, moldings and floor joists if accessible. Since rodenticide is one of their favorite foods, be sure to check any bait placements you have done in the last couple of years. Attics are
common areas where Sawtooth Beetles thrive and then find their way inside living areas. If you have an attic with rodenticide, be sure to remove any suspected of feeding Sawtooth Beetles and treat with Permethrin
to insure migrating adults won't be able to find their way inside.
4) Now that you have treated all cabinets, pantries, rooms and baseboards where adults may be hiding, install some of our SAWTOOTH BEETLE PHEROMONE TRAPS in any area where you have or suspect activity. These traps use strong pheromones or sex attractants to lure adults. Once
they crawl or fly into the holding tray, the thick catching oil will hold them for good. Set these traps in the back of any shelf or cabinet area. They are
quite discreet and easy to conceal. However, the beetles will assuredly find them. Be sure to place some in any room where activity has been noted and as a general rule, try to get at least one per shelf. These traps
will remain active for 1-2 months quite well. However, you will need to replace them once they fill with insects so be sure to inspect them weekly if you have had a lot of activity.
Sawtooth Grain Beetles can be a persistent pest once they are established in the home. To break their life cycle, you will need to remove any food which is infested. Next, clean and vacuum all cabinets or closets where they have been found. Treat with Baygon Aerosol to kill off hatching larva and migrating
adults. The Baygon will provide several weeks of protection should any new eggs hatch or if any new adults come into the area. If you have them throughout the home, treat with the Permethrin to get better
coverage. Finally, set some of the Pheromone based traps out in cabinets and pantries where activity has been noted. Be sure to keep the traps fresh
so they are always helping by catching adults before they mate and try to reproduce. This program will help to break the cycle so that it will
eventually run it's course and disappear.
01-17-2002, 07:49 AM
Ok - if you do this,
Don't forget that if you use your vacuum to clean out eggs/larve you need to seal the bag in plastic and throw it out. You may want to treat your vacuum with the same stuff as your cabinets too!
I learned this from fleas -- Bugs can live in your vacuum cleaner bag!
09-03-2003, 07:34 PM
Originally posted by JenZen
I yelled at them, but it didn't do any good. :) after i read this, i took your advice and tried yelling at them, too. didnt work. :rolleyes:
okay, the first time i saw these guys it was a few years back. i remember cleaning the kitchen very, very well. threw out any infected products. yet for months after, i would still see them. but no longer in my pantry. just in random spots like walking across my counter, or in my sink, or on my window ledge. not a ton, just maybe 1 every day or so or sometimes i would go a week without seeing one.
havent seen one in over a year now, until this past weekend! i went to make 'amy's mac & cheese' and poured out the pasta into the boiling water and about 6 floated to the top! ew! i opened every box that had grains of any sort and found a few other boxes were affected ('near east' wild rice was a hard one, there are black pieces of rice and these beetles are a dark brown-black!)
i scrubbed really good but am afraid, from past experience, that these guys are going to come out and taunt me at random over the next few months.
thank goodness i looked up this thread and found some useful tips!
rubbermaid is an expensive investment, but i have started to slowly buy it.
jenzen- how is your situation? are they finally out of your apartment? what tips worked for you?
09-04-2003, 07:00 AM
how timely! I just waged war on these things this past weekend and am glad to see that I've done just about everything mentioned in this thread, other than the pesticide products. We have a cat who loves to get everywhere and I don't want to use anything that he might get into. But I'm going to check into the pheromone traps! Thanks for the advice.
09-04-2003, 07:36 AM
I had these at the beginning of the summer, too! Yech! I threw out tons of stuff, emptied all the cabinets, and scrubbed with Lysol cleaner. Everything new went into Tupperware (I have quite a stock of the stuff, built up over years). I saw a few more after that, but haven't seen any in a while, so I'd hoped they were gone. I'm going to print out this thread so I have a copy of Lorilei's great instructions.
09-04-2003, 08:07 AM
Wow. This thread dredged up some fond memories. :) Sunberst, I'm happy to say that the kitchen is under control ... just in time for me to move. :) I just kept periodically cleaning all the shelves out. Like you said, I would find one or two under random things for quite a while. Finally, they disappeared.
Those beetles are still one of my worst fears in the kitchen. Since I first got them, I've kept flour in the freezer if it doesn't fit in my sealed jar.
Good luck with your situation. I've had that wonderful experience of boiling bug-infested pasta, too. :)
09-04-2003, 10:23 AM
Try these threads, too:
I swear by the Pantry Pest Traps, but you have to clean everything first...
And I use the heavy-duty zip-loc plastic bags instead of Tupperware. They're not as neat to stack and store, but Tupperware is pretty pricey. There are also plastic storage containers at the dollar store, Big Lots, etc. but make sure that they have tight-fitting lids (and not screw-top lids since those amazing, yet annoying, bug larvae can crawl up along the threads-- I know, I saw it happen!) :rolleyes:
09-04-2003, 12:28 PM
Oh my gosh, I had no idea that other stuff was possibly lurking in my house. I just moved to South Carolina, where the bugs are humongous and have no respect for their name not being on the mortgage, and no fear of pesticide. Even my cats are afraid of them - they just meow loudly to summon me (as if I'm less afraid of bugs than they are) and wait for me to scream, find a shoe that's bigger than the bug, scream and hop several times, and then if the bug isn't gone by then, smash it and scream and hop again.
The only problem with all of the information that you all have now provided, is that now I'm afraid to dig too deeply into the pantry to look for bugs (besides the big ones that scare me) and put stuff in Ziploc bags. My new love of baking means that I have lots of flour and stuff in there now.
09-04-2003, 01:07 PM
Oh! I hate bugs in the kitchen or in the pantry. Last year, I had those little moths. I emptied everything that they could possibly get in, scrubbed, and then went to Kmart. I bought a whole bunch of those plastic shoebox type storage boxes. I think they were something like 99 cents each. And I also bought a big box of ziploc storage bags. Now, I store stuff in the ziploc storage bags and store the bags in the shoeboxes. I put labels on the front of the boxes and they stack really nicely in a pantry. They are perfect for things like couscous, rice, grains, beans, crackers, everything.
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