How to Kill Mealy Bugs in Flour

Mealy bugs are small insects sometimes found in the pantry in flour, pasta, cookies, bread and grains. They especially love bread. Once they've invaded one bag of flour, it is likely they are already established in other packages of dry flour products. Most of the time these insect pests are already in the food when you buy it. It can't always be avoided or spotted. Prevention, when possible, is the cure, but failing that, you can cut off their food supply.

Things You'll Need

  • Bleach
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Bay leaves
  1. Finding Bugs in the Flour

    • 1

      Remove all flour, flour products, cereals and grains infested with the bugs from the pantry and all cupboards. Even if you can't see any bugs in some packages, empty the contents out and thoroughly examine it.

    • 2

      Throw out -- outside in a trash can, in a sealed bag -- the infested flour and other contaminated food. Don't leave this in the trash can in the house because they may find a way out and get back into the pantry.

    • 3

      Take everything out of the pantry cupboards and examine it for any signs of further infestation.

    • 4

      Dilute some bleach in a bucket of hot water, open a window and put on rubber gloves. Wash any food storage areas in your kitchen thoroughly with the bleach and water solution. Leave cupboard doors open to dry them and air them out for a while.

    • 5

      Check for bugs around the kitchen floor and any areas where there is clutter, under objects on counter tops and smaller appliances.

    • 6

      Put all bug-free food back in the pantry and cupboards.

    Staying Bug Free

    • 1

      Prevent further infestation by putting all flour, flour products, grains and cereals in sealed, air-tight jars. When you buy flour, place it in a large, clear jar and check to see it is free of bugs.

    • 2

      Put bay leaves in the pantry and in all dry food storage areas. It keeps mealy bugs away because they don't like the smell.

    • 3

      Take further precautions if you are really concerned about repeat infestations. Place flour bags, flour products, cereals and grains in the freezer for a week before putting them in the jars and storing them in the pantry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep all food in containers and keep the kitchen clean by wiping down counter tops and cleaning up spills or crumbs.
  • If you have the receipt for any bug-infested flour you bought, go back to the store and get a refund.
  • Do not try to salvage your flour even if you do kill the insects off by freezing it.
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  • Photo Credit country kitchen nuts flour and sugar image by Stephen Orsillo from

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