We’ve been infested

This is not something I wanted to take a photo of.

A few weeks ago, I went to take some sunflower seeds out of the plastic container (a recycled peanut butter jar) they were stored in, but noticed some movement inside the jar.  I had a vague recollection of my mum talking about weevils when we lived in Swaziland.  They must be weevils I thought.  I checked the package they had come in and it too was full of the little critters.

I threw them in the bin and didn’t think anything else of it.

Until a recent Tuesday.

I’d just come in from a swim (with my swim cap still on), and wanted to start preparing dinner.  I went to take the brown rice out of the cupboard, but noticed a few dark marks on the floor of the cupboard.  I picked these up and the looked like baby weevils.  Nothing to worry about I thought.  I measured the rice into a jug, added some water to let it soak.  And then I saw that the rice packet was alive.  The bloody things had made it into the rice as well.

“Oh no” I thought.  They’re probably not just in the rice, they’re probably in many of the other packets of grains etc. in this cupboard.  Right enough, they were in the flour, the cornflour, the icing sugar, the cous cous… they didn’t seem to like baking soda though.  Time to chuck everything away and give the cupboard a proper clean.  This cupboard does get cleaned every week.  And we had eaten the rice on the Sunday.  So, it is entirely possible we’d had a bit of extra added protein.

That wasn’t enough for me though.  I felt so creepy-crawlied out that I had to go to the mall to buy some good food canisters.  Luckily, the mall shuts at 9, so I did manage to find some canisters.  I will need more, but for now my muesli is protected, as are my oats and pasta.  I haven’t re-stocked on anything else.

I have done some reading, and it turns out that weevils are most likely already in the grains when you buy them.  In the form of eggs.  These eggs hatch if you don’t make your way through the ingredients quickly enough.  One solution is to freeze anything you buy for 4 days before putting it in your cupboards.  Apparently this kills the eggs.  Just remember to put whatever ingredient into a sealed plastic bag so that the moisture in the freezer doesn’t ruin your grains or flour.

No doubt we’ll have another infestation during our time here, but for now I’m going to buy smaller packets of rice and make sure that everything is in a sealed food canister.

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