35 answers

How to get rid of bugs in flour?

Hi Moms,
I have been finding bugs in my flour and sugar. I have heard of them before but I have never had them until now. Please tell me what they are and how do I get rid of them? I have found them on my counters as well. We are not over run by them, but I find one here and there. Please help!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?


The bugs in the flour and sugar are called weavels. You need to dispose of all the flour produces (pancake mix, etc.) Wash the canisters and wipe out all food cabinets. Keep your flour in air tight containers. If they persist, contact the pest control professionals.

So What Happened?™

Thank you all so much for your responses! I have cleaned my cabinets and put all my flour sugar etc. in air tight containers. I will be storing the flour in the freezer from now on too! Again, thank you to all the moms who gave such great advice!

Featured Answers

I remember my mom having problems with them. She always taped bay leaves on the inside of the lid and never had problems again.

They are called weevels I think that is how it is spelled.Try Martha Stewart or Rachel Ray web sites

I think they are called weevils. My mom used to get them in the wheat she stored from time to time. They look like little white worms?

More Answers

Hi K.,
Other responses will resolve the immediate problem. I can assist you with a long term solution. Check out my website: http://my2tupperware.com/cabass

Call me ###-###-####!
C. Bass

I stopped leaving loaves of bread on the kitchen counter I keep them in the fridge, don,t know why but ants come, if there is bus in the flour it means different things like its expired or you may need to do a cleaning in your pantry, i put my 5 lb bags of flour and sugar, i slip it in a freezer bag then put it on the shelf,

Hi K. -

The bugs in your flour and sugar are called weavels. You need to dispose of all the flour produces (pancake mix, etc.) Wash the canisters and wipe out all food cabinets. WE have had these too. My husband bought Ortho Home Defense (which is safe for children and pets once it is dry. We sprayed the inside of the cabinets and around the cabinet bases. This will also take care of the teeny sugar ants or other insects that appear occasionally. I started putting a ziplock bag down in the canister and then filling each one. Seem to have stopped the bugs. Also be sure and check the cabinet where the cake boxes and cereal are in. You can also get what are called meal moths. The oatmeal can do the same. They nest in the meals and before long you have them in everything. They can also come directly from the grocery store as they may have been in the warehouses. I have just started putting everything in airtight containers for this reason. It was getting too expensive to have to through everything out. Good luck and don't get too upset over a little ole' weavel.

Stuff like those items...flour, sugar, pancake mix, etc need to be in a cabinet AWAY from the oven or microwave!!!! I do not know exactly what the coincidence is, but I know that can cause the 'bugs'.

Someone above said that there is ALWAYS bugs in flour...WRONG!
Those are flour beetles and please take care of them for the sake of your family health. Do what many suggested, keep them in fridge or freezer, throw away the old ones...etc. Good luck

Wheat bugs probably. You will have to throw out whatever you found them in. Then go through all the other boxed items like cereal, bags of beans, and so on until you find them all and throw them out. You will need to put flour, sugar, cereals, beans, and things of that nature in tupperware type sealed containers. I don't believe you need to spray. My mom just started keeping all that stuff in tupperware containers or big jars with lids. That way if she bought something that was infested it wouldn't spread to other items. I think it was more prevelant years ago, but you can still purchase stuff these days with infestations on occasion.

My daughter made my mother-in-law a bean mosaic one time. She noticed little bugs on her counters for a few weeks but didn't figure out where they were coming from right away. They had hatched from the dried beans we used I suppose, but she had to throw it out and then her infestation was gone.

So I've decided that we will toast our beans first before making another mosaic.

Hi K.,
Bugs are not attracted to the food, they are attracted to the glue in the bags and boxes in your cabinets. They could be coming in from outside sources or they could be in the products when you bring them home. Tupperware makes a pantry storage system called Modular Mates where all the containers stack together to maximize your storage space. They are virtually air and liquid tight. They will keep bugs out. If they are in the products when you bring them home and you put them in the Modular Mates right away, they can't get out to contaminate other foods. They will be searching for air and they will die on the inside of the seal. If you would like further info on how they work, please let me know. You can also go to my website at www.my.tupperware.com/jenniferpetricig. I have lots of Modular Mates customers that would be happy to give a testimonial/referral. Hope that helps! Thanks.

We had this last year. Throw away everything you find the bugs in and wipe down the cupboards and counters with 1 part bleach and 2 parts water. I also suggest storing flour, sugar, grains, etc in tupperware type containers.

Once i did this they were gone and I have not had any since.

I've heard of them but not seen them. A quick google search says you should

1. discard all flour, cereal, grains, etc.
2. place new products in airtight/cannister containers
3. disinfect all areas including cracks
4. maintain a clean cupboard

I hope you're able to resolve it.

I had these years ago too. Not sure how they get there. But heed all the below advice. Get rid of everything flour, sugar, rice, pastas, pancake mix, anything that is not air tight sealed, and wash everything down with bleach water; counters, cabinets.

It is not easy and very tedious, but it works.

Good luck

we keep our flour, and sugar in tupperware containers, and never have had those little bugs. don`t know exactly what they are, but i have heard of them before. i think once u contain the flour, etc, that will stop the bugs...Greg

They are called weevels I think that is how it is spelled.Try Martha Stewart or Rachel Ray web sites

This problem is a result of the "filth allowance" of the federal governments's food policies. It is an occupational hazard of the harveting of the grain and then the milling of the flour. Insect eggs will always be part of that process; it can't be helped. I have never had bugs in sugar--only flour. They may be tiny ants, perhaps, attracted by the sweetness. I keep my flour in the freezer so that the insect eggs present won't hatch as rapidly as kept at room tempaerature. It doesn't affect the flour for your cooking and baking. I also try NOT to think about what's in the flour because I'm rather squeamish! Hope this helps.

F. Clark

I was told to keep my flour & sugar in the freezer. The bugs can't get to it there. Since I've been doing that no bugs.

I think they are called weevils. My mom used to get them in the wheat she stored from time to time. They look like little white worms?

K. -

I remember when I found those little critters once. They come into your home most probably from the grocery store where they are stored. The eggs remain and grow into those little bugs while they are stored in your home. They escape and get into rice, pasta, pancake mix, etc. and other foods not in airtight containers. If you see one or two on your counters, they are everywhere, and still reproducing.
To get rid of them you will need to throw out all packaged foods that are not airtight (you will not be able to detect the eggs that haven't developed yet) and thoroughly clean your kitchen pantry or cabinet - where these foods have been stored. Anything you are not sure about, repack in airtight containers.
This is not a result of your poor cleaning habits at all - this problem travels to your home via the grocery store.
Good luck.

M. K

We had those before. I heard the are call Weevles? not sure of the spelling. They can migrate and build little cocoons, then they can fly around. Very annoying. The way we had to get rid of them was to look through all of the food and boxes we had with flour, crackers, cornmeal, sugar, etc. The managed to get around. We had to throw the food away. Then scrub all the cupords with soap and water. That should get rid of them. What I do now is whenever I buy flour, sugar, pancake mix, etc. I put them directly in the freezer for a few day. The bugs die with freezing temps. We haven't had a problms since.

depending on where you live, I would suggest, open the bags as soon as you get them home... if no bugs then put in freezer, refrigerator or tupperware...drpending on the amount of use...

sometimes they hatch in the bags... humidity can be a cu;prit, but not always... and where the paper origionated as well...

as far as the kitchen...I wash things down in bleach...then rinse with a cold vinegar mixture with water...

good luck

First of all, you are probably finding the bugs in your sugar because they are coming from the flour. Flour naturaly has these bug eggs in them, if it sets too long... they hatch, which is what you are seeing. Any flour you are going to keep for longer than a month or so place in the freezer. This keeps the eggs from hatching therefore eliminating the bug problem! :)

I always keep all my flour in the freezer and just pull it out as needed that way I never have to worry about it.

This has happened to me before. Not sure what kind of bugs they are, but I NEVER leave my sugar or flour out on the counter in containers now. I store them in my freezer. No bugs like it there. I've heard that putting a piece of mint gum in your cabinets helps as well.

I had this problem a few years ago and I sought advise and was told to go through everything in my pantry and check for the bugs and get rid of everything that had them, which was almost everything that was dry and be sure to wash the area good. (cereal, flour, sugar,cake mixes, etc) It was quite a task but it got rid of them and I haven't had the problem since.n Good luck!

I keep flour, sugar, pancake mixes, etc. in the refrigerator. I don't get the little bugs like I did in the south, but I get the little sugar ants.

Sorry to say, but cock roaches come in paper grocery bags or boxes, paper goods, etc. If you have them, you must call an exterminator. Roaches live on the glue that seals paper products, I've heard. I had them once in my 2nd apartment, years ago..and believe me, I cleaned with hot soapy water and bleach. They multiply by thousands. Check your kitchen drawers at night with a flashlight; you'll probably see them scatter. Someone on the first floor had just moved in and the roaches bred in the walls where the water is (kitchen) and right up to the 2nd and 3rd floor by me. We all had to spray but the maintenance took care of it for us. Then you have to wash everything in the kitchen because the spray seeps into every cabinet and nook and cranny. Have hubby wash walls, behind frig, etc. Good luck honey. It was a lot of work but the problem was solved quickly. Thank GOD I've never seen one since at my house.

If they're tiny, brown/black worm looking bugs, they're weevils. They show up in flour that has been in your container for too long (or in the package) and you just need to get rid of your flour, wash the jar and start with a fresh bag (this is a perfectly normal occurrence and is no reflection on your cleanliness other than you just need to use up your flour faster). I even had one in one of the cakes made at Corner Bakery once (ew!). Do a search on them for more info if you're interested.

Have a great day - Wendy

I have read the others advice and agree with them. You can purchase air tight, liquid tight containers to store your food in your pantry from tupperware. Check out my site at www.my.tupperware.com/jenniferhoernig and you can purchase online and have the products shipped directly to you and they have lifetime warranties so if you ever have any problems we replace for free. Hope this helps. J.

My husband and I keep our flour in the freezer to prevent that from happening and we have had no problems at all. You might want to throw out all of the flour and sugar and anything else you have like pancake mix that has potential bugs, clean everything and start over. Tupperware would be good also but the freezer works!!!

You need to throw out your flour, sugar, etc - anything that something the size of a piece of dust could get into/crawl into, disinfect where you store them, and you should be fine.

I don't know what they are but I remember this happening when I was growing up when the flour was in the cabinet too long, they developed.

Throw away all dry goods. Clean your pantry thoroughly and possibly use some insect gaurd. Keep your dry goods in seal tight caninsters and be sure to wipe up any spills.

the bugs actually live in the cardboard, according to the Tuperware sales ladies I've talked to. Put the flour, cereal, etc. in Tuperware (or knock-off brands of storage containers. Your cabinets stay neater and no bugs!

There are ALWAYS bugs in flour, no matter what you do. A friend is a chef and told us that. To keep them from growing, put flour in the freezer. There are never bugs in sugar, as the way the crystals work, it is too densely packed to support life.

i have heard stories of them myself and have never had them. But i was told to wash all the cupboards and surfaces with very strong bleach...but like i said i have never had them myself its just stories i have heard.

Sounds like you have grain beatles. You should call an exterminator to spray, and you should throw out the flour and sugar (or anything else that they got into).

They breed, so you need to clean out the cabinet they are in, spray, and then for the future make sure to keep all grains (and spices) in sealed containers - plastic or glass - that they can't get into.

We had this problem when we moved into our house, and it has been fine ever since I took the above steps.

Yes, toss everything and start fresh...there is a website called Garden's Alive which has traps to catch anything that might hatch, http://www.gardensalive.com/category.asp?c=13 but when you toss everything, and buy new, put the stuff in the seal & store containers found at walmart, target, etc they have snap tight seals on their lids....but go with non toxic/natural remedies around your foodstuffs instead of regular sprays.

Ugh - we had this once, too. No real way to tell where they came from -- they can come into your house from boxed mixes, etc - they were in egg form and they hatched, is what I was told.

Completely EMPTY your cabinets that hold any type of food and vacuum them thoroughly. Check your spice cabinet too - we found them feasting on a package of yeast. Once you start looking, you will probably find more.

I would also recommend that you check all your boxes of mixes, even if they are sealed. Sorry, its a pain but if you don't get every last one of them....ugh.

I remember my mom having problems with them. She always taped bay leaves on the inside of the lid and never had problems again.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.