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Apr 18

Weevils

Post by Tigger2 from our forum:

Weevils

Where do they come from? How do they get in your food?

You just bought a bag of beans. You looked at that bag and did not see any weevils. You put that bag of beans up for six months. You come back to look again and you got weevils or bugs. The female weevil bores a small hole(think microscopic) in the bean while the bean is still on the vine. She lays her eggs in that hole. The hole is way too small to see.
When you bring the beans, flour or corn meal home, the food gets warm and warmth is what the weevil eggs need to hatch. The weevils are not there but the eggs are.
The eggs hatch and then you got baby weevils. Soon after that you got adult weevils.
You need to treat the dry food that you store up. This includes dry beans, flour and corn meal. If you don’t treat the food the eggs will hatch and spread like wild fire. The weevils will go to your pasta and everything else.
There are two ways to treat the stored food: freezing and heating. If applied properly, either cold or heat will kill the weevil eggs. I have found from working with it that freezing is the easier method. I just throw my beans, flour and corn meal in the freezer for at least 72 hours. Most modern freezers are set at around 0 degrees F. That is enough cold to do the job. The job is killing the eggs not getting rid of them. There is no way that I know of to get rid of the weevil eggs. Your goal is to treat the food so the eggs don’t hatch. Most of the time, I forget and leave the food in the freezer anywhere from two weeks to a month.
Dry beans are the worst culprit for weevils. They are washed off(maybe) and put in a bag. That is weevil heaven. Those eggs are just waiting for some warmth to hatch. And they will.
Flour and corn meal are both made from grinding a seed into a fin dust that we call flour. The grinding process without a doubt kills most of the eggs but some will survive. And then they hatch.
Pasta is made from flour that has been cooked with heat. That heat will kill the weevil eggs. So, if you got weevils in your pasta, they probably migrated from another food supply.
Now, let me get back to the other way of treating your food, heat. You can use heat to kill the weevil eggs. I have tried it and it is a pain in the butt. Heat is hard to regulate or control. Too much heat and you will burn your food. Not enough heat and you are wasting your time and energy. Stoves are pretty much useless. Sun light does not get hot enough. The easiest way that I have found to use heat as a treatment for weevil eggs is a food dehydrator. I have 2 food dryers. They get up to about 150 degrees F. That is hot enough to kill the eggs. It takes time. There are not that many articles on how long it takes to kill the eggs with heat. There is no way that I can tell you how long it will take. My best guess would be 12-24 hours with a standard pre-set food dehydrator.
The bottom line is that if you don’t want weevils in your food, you got to treat the food. You treat the food with cold or heat. You want to kill the eggs so they don’t hatch. There is not really much you can do about the eggs. They are there. If you have ate beans, you have probably ate weevil eggs. Just don’t think about it.

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