And the war rages on…

Yep, I’m still seeing those blasted Weevils.

I know I’ve gotten the worst of the problem taken care of. But there are survivors. Now and then I’ll see just one or two in random spots. They’re running. I should feel like I’m winning but instead I feel like they’re always one step ahead. I’ve been stressed out and defeated.

My plan was to deep clean out whole apartment this week so I can just do a quick once over. Life has a funny way of de-railing plans. I’m not even 100% sure where the week has gone, but I do know I’m way behind in the weevil control.

I really hope no one reading this has to go through what I have gone through the past few weeks. (If you want more details, see my other post here: https://mshattuckruns.wordpress.com/2016/09/08/174/

If you look up this stuff online, there are tons of things people suggest. I’m going to try and condense a few of these down for you.

I’ve mentioned in my last post that they’re not dangerous. As far as I know it’s not like they’re carrying disease or poisonous. But they are super annoying.  Weevils are in your grains. Your rice, wheat, pasta, cereal, etc. There really isn’t much you can do to prevent that. What you can do is prevent infestation and repel them.

  1. One of the first suggestions most sites and blogs suggests is freezing all of your grains for a few days when you first buy it. This will kill any living Weevils and any eggs or larva. I’ve also seen suggestions of using heat, either by putting stuff in the oven (at a low temp), or, if possible, laying it out in a sunny spot for a few hours. Freezing is probably the easiest way, but most of us don’t have room for all our grains.
  2. After you have frozen.heated your food (or you decide to skip that and put your food away straight from the store), it’s best to put your stuff in some sort of air-tight storage container. This is something we’re planning on doing soon. We have a few containers already, but I just need to kind of take stock of what we have and what we need. Flour, sugar, rice, pasta, cereal, all that stuff… if it’s possible and practical, put that stuff in a container! These are a few of ours: img_20160916_194715
  3. Be vigilant about cleaning. No, weevils aren’t a sign of a dirty messy home. They happen. They can happen to anyone. Kind of like lice. But, keeping kitchen cupboards, counters, and pantry shelves clean will help out a ton. You will notice them sooner and if you catch them early, you can prevent a bigger problem.

So, what do you do if you find weevils?

  1. It’s okay to cry and swear. I’ve wanted to do that a lot over the past little bit.
  2. Immediately clean out whatever are you found them in. When I find them in the pantry, I throw away anything that has been opened or that has been in there for a while. Female weevils are able to poke through some packaging with their noses, so the bags used in cereal, crackers, rice, pasta, all that, can be susceptible. (This is why you want stuff in the containers… the bugs can’t poke through!)
  3. If you have liners on your shelves, take those out!! You can always put more in. It’s not worth the risk of possibly having to deal with more later.
  4. Once everything has been removed, wash the shelves with warm soapy water. Usually I’ll just add some dish detergent to the water. This time, I’ve been using Pine sol and some of that oil mix I mentioned last time. Let the shelves dry.
  5. There aren’t any pesticides targeted for weevils because they’re in your food. You don’t want to spray that stuff on your food and all over your kitchen and house. Thankfully, there are plenty of safe, natural options. The best suggestions I have seen include eucalyptus oil, cloves, and bay leaves. I think there are a few other things that work well too, but these are what I have used. In the past, I had some eucalyptus oil, so I put a few drops on each shelf, and then sprinkled whole cloves and bay leaves on the shelves. This time, I tried something different. I made a spray with somewhere between 1 1/2-2 cups vodka or rubbing alcohol (vodka works better IMO. In case you’re worried, we keep vodka around for home made vanilla and now apparently, pest control), 15-20 drops On Guard (or Thieves) essential oil, and then I added in some whole cloves and bay leaves.
  6. I’ve been able to used this spray EVERYWHERE! I’ve been wiping down baseboards and shelves with the Pine Sol and oil mix, and then I spray the spray along the boards, along doorways, on the floors, counters, shelves, everything. I’m pretty sure I sprayed our beds and some of the kids toys. I’ve watched weevils crawl over to where I sprayed, stop, and turn around. I’m going to say it works. It should also help keep some other pests out like roaches, ants, bed bugs, and who knows what else.
  7. If I have the time and mental ability to stand the chaos, I like to keep the space clean empty for a while before putting things back. For the pantry, this might be over night. For closets, it may only be a couple hours. I like to think this gives a chance for the spray to work it’s magic to repel the weevils.

Okay, so everything has been cleaned and put away. Now what?

Well, to be honest, maintenance is key. And this is where I struggle. I always have grand plans to say, clean out the pantry once a month so throw out old things and make sure there aren’t any problems. And it doesn’t happen. But, that’s what needs to happen.

My grand plan is to finish deep cleaning every room, cabinet, shelf, etc. Then I’ll go through the closets where the weevils were the worst just to make sure they aren’t back congregating there.

Then, it’s just maintenance. Once a month, clean out the pantry and cupboards that have food. Every few months, deep clean so I catch them early, if at all.

Whew! That’s a lot to go over. I kind of feel like between dealing with this and every day life, I’m more busy now than I was with both kids home from school all day! Really hoping that feeling ends soon.

Seriously, if I see any more weevils, I’m going to scream.

 

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