Help, mites in panrty

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by devittjl, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. devittjl

    devittjl Well-Known Member

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    I think I have grain mites in my pantry! Small whitish "bugs". We are clearing off the shelves and separating the grain items (cereal, flour, mixes) from the canned items. Will be keeping these separate until things are under control.

    Cleaning all can items and shelves with a mild bleach solution as well as vacuuming.

    Any thing else I can do?
     
  2. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've been in the pest control business for 15 years, and I don't know what grain mites are. Your description is too vague. I got white and small. Could you provide more detail? Wings on the little white bugs? One body segment or 2 or 3?

    Cleaning up is a great start.

    Are you a grain producer? What products are the "mites" in? How much volume of product must you protect?

    Small volumes of food can be cycled through the freezer to kill bugs in the food. You'll need several days after the food reaches freezer temperature. Four days minimum should kill anything inside. Take it out of the freezer, let it come to room temperature and then in the freezer again for a couple days.

    Food debris which is swept under baseboard edges, under the dishwasher, in the cracks between the wall and shelves are prime areas for pantry pest reproduction. A flour spill from years ago will provide opportunity for many kinds of bugs.

    Gary
     

  3. poppy

    poppy Guest

    You're doing good. You need to find what the infestation is in. Look for a small hole about the size of the head of a pin. These are usually found on the edge or fold of the package, rarely on a flat surface. Good luck.
     
  4. jennigrey

    jennigrey Well-Known Member Supporter

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    whatever the little wretches are, they appear in my horse's sweet feed too after a few months. i only feed about 2 cups per day as a topdressing snack so i don't go through it fast enough to use it up before the bugs appear. same physical description. maybe it's a just-hatched stage and by the time someone calls in the exterminator they've gotten bigger? definitely teeny-tiny... pinprick sized. multitunidous. if you don't look too close you might think there's some kind of white fungus or dust on your grain. when you lean in and squint, you notice IT MOVES. yeck.

    i'd been storing the grain in a 30 gallon rubbermaid trash can with a plastic bag liner and the lid snapped on tight. either their eggs are in the grain already or the culprit responsible for the eggs is a houdini. i had this happen with all three consecutive bags of sweet feed. finally gave up on the stuff.
     
  5. devittjl

    devittjl Well-Known Member

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    I should mention that this is my pantry in the garage. Seem that they like higher humidity (75-85%) and came out when is started raining. I don't think that they will survive in the house as it is drier.

    Here is something about them
    http://ipmofalaska.homestead.com/files/grainmites.html
     
  6. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks for the site.
    I noticed it doesn't do well in dry climates. That explains why I have never seen them in CO.

    Mites are typically resistant to most pesticides. We get clover mites here, a lawn pest that invades southern exposures of homes in winter. Regular sprays do not kill them. Dish soap will, though! The problem with using the dish soap is the label doesn't help with concentration. I tell people 1 tsp per gallon of water because the state ag dept says so.

    The site you provided suggests using DE or silica aerogel. If you are not reselling the product, this may work fine in your humid climate. I have read others on this forum indicate you can put it directly in the pantry products. Should work in the horse's sweet feed also. I don't know how much you should use though. I wonder in the sweet feed if it would stick to the grain instead of filtering through.

    You could definitely dust your pantry shelves with the DE.

    Good luck.
    Gary