Oh bother, I have meal moths in my brown basmati rice. They are mostly just a nuisance. You know you have these critters if you see what looks like spider webs in containers of rice or flour. Rinsing the rice in a large bowl of water causes them to float to the surface where they are easily removed. They can just be sifted out of flour. The best way to be rid of them is to put the rice or flour in an air- and water-tight container into the freezer for about a week.
Agree on the freezer. I am regretting not putting a bag of cracked wheat from a turkish store into the freezer because I now have a small infestation from it. Sigh.
The good news is that they are harmless.
They are a problem here in Hawaii as well.
Luckily we go through rice fast enough that they rarely become a problem for us. But yeah…its a pain in the butt to get them out when you wash your rice, AND it’s just not aesthetically pleasing…
Mid-civid, we encountered a massive pantry moth infestation. The pasta drawer, bread drawer, even dried fruit. I found the probable entry, a lb sack of masa. Regardless, we put out several pantry moth traps. The entire colony, many hundreds, gone in a couple of weeks. Heartily recommend.
A few months ago, some bugs got into a plastic bag of sesame seeds. I buy my sesame seeds in bulk for making inside out sushi rolls and topping homemade bread. Luckily, it was just a small corner of the bag they infiltrated, so little was lost.
Now I keep my sesame seeds in fridge. That seems to work.
I keep anything that could attract insects in air-tight bags. Haven’t had any problems.
These critters appear to have been in the bag in which I bought the rice. It happens. No big deal.
But incredibly annoying!
Yes, these bugs are imported in product. But realize that the larvae chew through plastic bags. Yeah , verily, they gnaw into heavy plastic containers. They are some of Darwin’s best survivors.
Throw a few bay leaves in your pantry. Keeps them away.
Ive also put Doublemint gum wrappers in flour to keep the weevils from hatching.
Thanks for the rec. Upper midwest sure isn’t immune. It was masa for me, too. Grr!
I avoid buying flour, rice, seeds etc. in big bulk bags to avoid these incidents.
I buy my rice in 1 kg ziplocked bags from the local supermarket. Never had problems from that.
However as soon as I bought a 5 kg bag of coarse bulgur from my local immigrant shop, the moth plague started in my kitchen
I now store all my flour, rice, bulgur, pasta, sugar, semolina etc. in hard plastic boxes to avoid bugs from being able to go from bag to bag in my kitchen.
Pantry moths are not harmless. We had an infestation of them from a bag of birdseed we kept inside near our back kitchen door one winter. They laid larvae and hatched all over my extensive cookbook collection on shelving near that door. I spent days vacuuming them from the spines and the covers of the books and tossed a lot of the books out into the snow that I really couldn’t be bothered with. It was a true nightmare.
Those bugs enter in ziplock bags as well, sometimes chewing holes in the bags, sometimes they exist in the food already. I store them in glass or plastic air tight containers. They can even enter in normal screw top glass jars.
I still haven’t had any problems. Up to now.
Don’t let one come near you then, once you see one, it’s too late.
Someone told me that pantry moths are different from those in clothes and those in books. Can bug experts confirm?
Pantry and closet moths are two different species. Repeating, I really recommend buying the hormonal traps. They are chemical free as far as humans are concerned… Female moth hormones are embedded in a sticky substance on the inside of the trap. Moths are lured in and stick. You choose either PANTRY MOTH or CLOTHES MOTH traps. They rid both our town and country place in a matter of maybe a week.
Thanks for this post, my son has this problem, didnt know about this product, shared with him…