Weevils

I was poking about in the pantry yesterday, can’t even remember what I was looking for.

Then I saw it – that which brings a shudder to the heart of anybody with even a moderate desire to cook: Yes, flour. Not in the bag, on the floor.

“Oh oh”, says I, “some goose has knocked the bag with my special bread making flour and smashed a hole in it.”

From there, it was all downhill. The bag didn’t just have a hole, it had been shredded. Same with the bag of Rye flour, and the other odds and ends. Each bag was eaten through to the point where it looked like badly moth-eaten tissue paper.

The little buggers even ate through the lid of the big sealed plastic container with the plain-ole white breadmakers flour in:

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The BIG hole you see goes right through about 1mm of plastic, and there were numerous others. The faint marks are where they had been trying but had not quite made it through, yet.

Lots of stuff got thrown out yesterday :(

13 Comments

I didn’t know weevils could eat through plastic. Now I’m going to have to check my pantry. Most of my containers are plastic. Maybe I’ll haunt the secondhand shops and get some good old fashioned tins and glass jars instead………

Comment by river | January 19th, 2008 9:09 pm | Permalink

Those aren’t weevil holes, they are holes made by rats. what causes you to believe they are caused by weevils?

Comment by Jack | January 21st, 2008 8:57 am | Permalink

Yeah I’m a bit dubious about weevils eating through plastic too. They actually arrive already in the flour as little weevil eggs. So why would they even WANT to eat their way out of that treasure trove of food, if they could?

Better be careful Wally, this post is already the number 3 result for “weevils eat through plastic” … :)

Comment by DJC | January 21st, 2008 10:55 am | Permalink

Little bugs, lots of little bugs, and the holes are about 1mm diameter. Too small for rats.

Comment by Wally | January 21st, 2008 4:45 pm | Permalink

No, Wally, I think we are talking rodents here, maybe not rats, maybe meeses. Especially with Mr Spike being off his game…

Comment by MikeFitz | January 21st, 2008 6:29 pm | Permalink

Crikey! I think they are weevils. Very determined ones.

Comment by MillyMoo | January 21st, 2008 9:06 pm | Permalink

I vote for mice – the holes for the most part appear as pairs – or mouse-tooth sized ramped pits…though it’s hard to know without knowing the scale.

Hopfully Spike will recover soon!

Comment by don | January 22nd, 2008 10:06 am | Permalink

Damn, there goes my excuse for container shopping.
When you replace your flours and cereals, put a fresh bay leaf in each container. This keeps weevils etc. at bay.

Comment by river | January 22nd, 2008 4:36 pm | Permalink

I only showed a portion of the lid, there were lots of single marks all over.

The other reason I think its not mice or rats is that the flour inside the container, and in the bags, was full of little brown bugs, about 2-3 mm long and 1 mm wide. They all seems to be crispy and dead, though.

We were away over Christmas and it got very hot inside, several days of 40+ degrees, and the house all closed up. It was stinking hot inside, including in the pantry, when we got back. I suspect they got cooked, and that’s why they were dead.

The plastic bags contained LOTS and LOTS of holes, its as though the bag had been turned into a stocking. Now a few holes made by mice I could understand, but THOUSANDS of SMALL holes? I don’t think so.

All the bags were the same, and the bags were ON TOP of the container lid that’s pictured. So if mice, they would have had to burrow under a lot of flour in bags, and seeds in bags, to get to the lid to make those holes – why bother with all that flour sitting in bags on top of that lid?

So I still vote for weevils.

Comment by Wally | January 22nd, 2008 7:22 pm | Permalink

Weevils it is then.
This reminds me of a time when we discovered holes in our nylon flyscreens on most windows shortly after moving in to NQ. We sometimes saw these really strange crickets on the windows and found out that they had really hard mouth parts and could eat through the nylon mesh. An experiment with a tree-cricket in a bucket covered with flyscreen overnight confirmed it – the bucket was empty in the morning and the cricket gone -and a cricket-sized hole was in the mesh.
We asked neighbours and while they all had holes in their screens, they all thought it was ‘the cat’ or something else – never crickets.
we changed to aluminium screens eventually.
If you want to make money in NQ – just flog nylon flyscreen.

Comment by don | January 23rd, 2008 10:04 am | Permalink

Actually, it’s not weevils. That is the work of rats. Weevils, and other such “little bugs” actually lay their eggs in the flour – this happens before it’s packaged in the paper bags. Because of the treatment that happens with flour, these eggs won’t hatch or anything for about a month or so… they’re are completely harmless to you. However, given enough time, they will ’spring back to life’, as it were and this is why you’ll find little bugs in your flour, even though it’s sealed in plastic. Weevils CAN’T eat through plastic. Moral of the story? Get through flour relatively quickly.

Comment by Dune | January 24th, 2008 3:22 pm | Permalink

I live in NQ and suddenly have weevils in the pantry (oats, flour, everything) actually I’m also finding them around the house also. Never had them before. I’m going to try the bay leaf thing. Are dried bay leaves OK?

Comment by Deb | May 21st, 2008 1:30 pm | Permalink

Dunno. Try it and see!

Comment by Wally | May 21st, 2008 7:30 pm | Permalink

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