How to eliminate moths from stored beans/rice,etc?

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Old Sarge, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. Old Sarge

    Old Sarge Old Sarge

    Over the past year, we have bought extra supplies of dry beans, peas, blackeyed peas, and rice. They have been stored up to now, in ziplock bags in the pantry.
    This morning, we discovered lots of ??? in the beans. Appears like sawdust. In the rice, we have a few small like looking moths. All appear to be deceased, but they are still there. In checking the various methods of getting rid of these pests, most information states "find and eliminate the source, and throw out the infected grains".
    Since we have quite a bit already stored, we are thinking of putting them in the oven for 30 minutes at 130 degrees, as one source recommended, then sealing them into vacuum packed bags, rather than zip lock. Another said to freeze them for 4 days at zero degrees. We do not want to throw it out. All suggestions appreciated.
  2. vegasrandall

    vegasrandall Monkey+++

    bay leaves are said to be a good way
  3. RouteClearance

    RouteClearance Monkey+++

    If you can afford to. go to your nearest surplus store and buy ammo cans for your dry bulk food storage. I can buy all sorts of sizes for a good price.

    I have a few 20mm cans full of wheat, corn, beans, and sugar that has been stored for a year now with no infestations. I checked them for the first time last month.
  4. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    We have had bugs get into grains before as well. DW will just put them in the pot to cook the bugs float to the top and she skims them out. Yea we have likely eaten a few as well, but hey it's just extra protine ;) We had a family give us 40 lbs of flour a couple of years ago because it had a few bugs in it, DW put it through the sieve and it was ready to use.

  5. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    They have traps for those little moths, birdseed moth traps[​IMG]. You can find them at your local farm or hardware store. It only attracts one sex, and supposedly stops the breeding process.

    I found some in my stores, originating from stuff given to me, a while back and threw out entirely too much food. Now, just to be safe (I don't do bugs), I store pastas and powders in sealed buckets and the freezer. They even like spices, so look everywhere!

    Once you have them, be diligent in your hunt. Look for little web-like traces of them. Check your rice for little white worms (they look like rice with a black dot on the end). They are like ants... if you see one then you know there are more somewhere.
  6. QuietOne

    QuietOne Monkey++

    Traps won't work; the insect eggs are already mixed in with the grains. The insects die when they use up all the oxygen; you can speed this up by packing in buckets with dry ice (leave the top loose until pressure equalizes) or putting packets of "oxygen getters" on top of the grains.

    Or do what Ozarkgoatman said. :D
  7. ramallamamama

    ramallamamama Nobody's Slave

  8. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    We had a bad infestation once with these worms all over the wall. OGM is correct that the eggs are in the flour and eggs become worms and worms become moths. So, there needs to be a two fold attack.

    1. Put up a couple of these traps in your pantry. These moths will eat any type of grain or nuts.

    2. if you can grind your own wheat, buy it in 50 lbs bags and then grind it yourself. Store in gamma seal pails with oxygen absorbers. O2 absorbers kill both the eggs, worms, and moths. The dry ice method is good, but not 100% reliable as multiple freezings can be necessary to kill the eggs.

    If you are buying ground flour, then you are stuck with what is in the flour. You have eaten plenty of these creatures over your lifetime so don't fret too much about them. But where there is one, there are hundreds.
  9. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    I've been storing rice and beans in thicker clear plastic bottles (Dixie Crystals Sugar bottles are great! Recycle code is '1'.) - fill, shake, fill some more to eliminate air pockets and get it denser, then seal with plastic bag under cap and then clear tape over it. I recently opened and ate the rice from three years ago - not a bug seen, and it tasted like fresh! No eggs seen.
    I check all bottles occasionally - haven't seen any bugs forming inside.
    I have some stored in unused 'paint cans' too, inside zip-lock bags placed in the can, then sealed. The key I think is maximum product density and minimal air inside. Works for me.
  10. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Never seen that before.
    I have had the weevils in flour, cornmeal, and pasta....
    But, they float, and I just screen them off.
    Most die, probably from lack of air/oxygen
    I'd probably go with plastic lids on buckets, use co2, nitrogen, or oxygen absorbers.
    Vacumming would work, but not for large quantities of stuff.
    I have heard about the diatomaceous earth being used....
  11. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    Mmmm... protein. [rofllmao]

    That's why I love this forum. Ask a question, get great advice with a little fun packed in.
  12. Cephus

    Cephus Monkey+++ Founding Member

    This is what me and the wife do,them things will never hurt ya.

    And if they could we'd be dead and wouldn't have to worry about all this
    BS that is happening to country .[coffee2]
  13. WestPointMAG

    WestPointMAG Monkey++

    I use popcorn tines. They keep the mice out also.
  14. Old Sarge

    Old Sarge Old Sarge

    What are Popcorn tines???
  15. The Expendable

    The Expendable Bread and Circus Master

    I think a popcorn tine is similar to a henway.
  16. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Hm. Google asked me if I meant popcorn tins. 'Bout like those Danish shortbread cookie cans, I guess.
  17. Cephus

    Cephus Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Every Christmas we get at least two of them that come from the Rite-Aid or CVS drug stores .

    They will hold about 3 gal. of rice or beans ,put tape around lid and it works well.[beer]
  18. The Expendable

    The Expendable Bread and Circus Master

    As far as eliminating the moths, some of the ideas mentioned here are pretty good. However, for long-term storage I wouldn't rely on a can with the top taped on. You need to eliminate the oxygen from the food being stored. One of the best and easiest ways I've seen is using mylar bags, heat-sealed, with oxygen absorbers inside. The bag is placed in an air-tight bucket. There's a really good video on YouTube showing exactly how to do this:

    YouTube- Long term food storage part 1
  19. snowbyrd

    snowbyrd Latet anguis in herba

    freeze the rice (flour) for a day or two and then store in air tight containers. Place a chunk of cry ice (with the lid loose) in with the 'product'. once the dry ice is gone seal the container. Works like a charm, have rice, still good since '98. Kept in a cave, buryed. Hey I can't haul all my stuff with me.
    Just back for an hour or so.
  20. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    What? Nobody asked 'whats a henway?'
    I'll bet Tracy is waiting to pounce on that one!
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