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Foods -- General

How can a consumer get rid of small beetles destroying flour, cornmeal, spaghetti noodles, etc. in his kitchen cabinet?

Rating: 90

The insects are most likely cigarette beetles or drugstore beetles. She needs to clean out the cabinets thoroughly and check any other stored food items to see if they are infested. Don't assume that a "sealed" box means protection from insects. These insects can eat almost any dried plant material, including dry pet food, potpourri, spices and dried flowers. She can spray the cabinets with a pesticide, using any common household insecticide that she can buy at retail stores (read the label to see if they are intended for use in food storage areas). The shelves must be completely empty before spraying and then completely dry before restocking. Until he is sure that he has eliminated the problem, he might want to store her susceptible items in sealable plastic containers or in the refrigerator.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, NC State University in July 2004

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