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Where Did It That Bug Come From?

We are often told to buy locally and support local sources. So what can happen if you don’t? I had an unusual experience with just this issue.

While I usually do try to purchase foods in season and locally, I purchased a large package of bulk garlic at a chain supermarket. I put those at the bottom and older garlic at the top of my garlic holder. Never thought anything about it.

A week or so later, we started having little moths fly around. It is winter here, so that was pretty unusual. My first thought was that we had flour moths. I have never seen them, I had heard of them. I cleaned out my food cupboards and still had moths. It did not make any sense. I couldn’t figure out where the bugs were coming from.

I then saw that I had moths near the garlic bin and started digging through it. There were bugs in the garlic. I had never heard of such a thing. In my internet search it turns out in other countries there are “leek moths”. They are not native to here, so I had no idea what to do with them. For me it was a good opportunity to look at what I am purchasing. We also have an issue of invasive plants, fish, and mussels in our area. What we bring into the area can have an impact on our community.

So how can we prevent any type of bugs in our food supply?

Start by immediately wipe down counters, shelves, and the floor with soap and water. Clean your storage bins and other airtight containers. Don’t have open packages on the counter or in the shelves. If you have an open bag, place it in an airtight container. If a package is damaged or spoiling, toss it out and wipe down the area.

Other tips include checking expiration dates and rotating the food supply. There are also home remedies to consider. Warmer months bring on new challenges and activity in the bug world.

What to do-
  • Wiping down the containers and counters with vinegar water will help.

  • Boric acid or cinnamon in the corners to prevent ants and roaches. Some people recommend talcum powders, and either salt or pepper in cracks.

  • Bay leaves will also keep out ants and moths.

  • If you have flour products issues consider freezing them for 5 days or more to kill any weevils or bugs.

  • Fruit flies- consider wiping them down with vinegar water, salt, pepper, or wine. You can take a small bowl and add apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap to kill bugs instantly.

Prevention is the best method, but if you do run into having bugs in your kitchen or pantry consider some of these home remedies. There are industrial chemicals you can purchase, but it's usually best to avoid these in your food supply. Planning ahead and knowing how to treat pests can save a lot of time and wasted food in the future.

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