If you’ve ever found bugs in your pantry or in your food, you know that feeling of absolute disgust. No one likes the thought of bugs lurking around, multiplying in food, and even worse unknowingly ingesting them! This is exactly what can happen when flour mites invade your pantry and cabinets.
When you experience this situation, the first thing you want to know is how on earth to get rid of these flour mites? You have two options, hire a professional pest control company, or apply a “do-it-yourself” method. In this article, we will walk you through the process of ridding your household of these pesky bugs and several ways to prevent their return!
Steps to Get Rid of Flour Mites
Step One: Inspect Where Your Flour Mites are Coming From
Usually, flour mites are brought into the home by an outside contaminated food item. Maybe a food item wasn’t properly stored at the grocery store or it was damaged.
Any tears or rips in food packaging can increase the chance of flour mite contamination.
Flour mites live in dark, warm environments and thrive off of eating dry foods such as grains, flour, oats, cereals, pet food, etc. These flour mite preferences make your food pantry and cabinets the ideal breeding ground for them.
Flour mites can be very hard to identify by the naked eye due to their tiny size and white/grey color. It may be helpful to use a magnifying glass to spot them. One common indication of a flour mite problem is the presence of “mite dust”.
Mite dust is simply a dust residue that flour mites leave behind, usually indicating a large infestation. If you are unsure what is dust vs “mite dust”, try rubbing the dust between your fingers. If you detect a minty smell, most likely that is mite dust. When flour mites are crushed they give off a distinct minty smell.
Step Two: Remove Flour Mites From Your Home
It is vital to remove any and all food items that have been contaminated or that have come in contact with contaminated items. Due to the rapid nature that flour mites can invade and multiply, it’s best to clear out your entire pantry and go through all food items. Ensure that food items are properly disposed of in a sealed bag and away from the house in an outside trash can.
Step Three: Clean Area Where Infestation Occurred
Flour mites and their eggs are killed by contact with hot, soapy water. Once all pantry items are cleared out, use a rag with hot soapy water to thoroughly wipe down all pantry surfaces.
It is important to wash out the rag frequently as you continue to clean to prevent further spreading of the mites. Wash out all food storage bins with hot soapy water. If containers are glass, you can consider boiling them to ensure destruction of mites.
Lastly, vacuum all pantry surfaces, ensuring to get all corners and crevices as best you can. Be sure to empty vacuum contents in a sealed bag and dispose in outside trash can.
How to Prevent Flour Mites From Returning
Properly Store Food:
Use Natural Repellents to Deter Flour Mites:
Using natural repellents can be a great option, since it’s best to avoid using harsh chemicals such as bleach around food items.
One option is using bay leaves. Flour mites and other pests are deterred by the smell of bay leaves. They can be placed in air tight sealed containers with food and around pantry area. You can tape them to the inside or outside of the container or container lids.
Another great option is using essential oils such as pine, eucalyptus, tea tree, or neem. Place a few drops of desired essential oil on a cotton ball and place around your pantry. You can also opt to make your own essential oil repellent spray. Mix 2 cups of water with 2 teaspoons of essential oil. Spray directly on pantry surfaces every few days.v
The Gecko Green Solution
We know that when it comes to pests invading your home, especially your food, nothing is more valuable than having peace of mind that they are gone for good.
If you are dealing with a flour mite infestation, our qualified licensed professionals are here to help. We offer detailed inspections of your property and personalized treatment plans. Give us a call and we will walk you through the next right steps to take for you and your family.