Author Topic: Dang bugs  (Read 6650 times)

Offline NightOwl

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Dang bugs
« on: May 27, 2009, 12:14:51 PM »
I was all set to pull the trigger on a few months of food storage.  Had figured out what to get and where to get it, and was about to order the bucket liners.

Then it rained for 2 weeks straight.  Suddenly we had invaders.  Pill bugs, carpenter bees, beetles, spiders, mosquitoes, and at least 3 distinct species of roach.  I hate roaches.  Especially the flyers.

Luckily we caught it early, when it was only a bug or two at a time.  We used multiple poisoned baits and have taken the fight to their outdoor nests.  (I love the way they flop over on the porch and twitch helplessly.  DIE BUGS DIE.)  So far we're winning.

But anyway...  As a result of the insect skirmishes, buying big bags of chow has had to wait.  I don't want to feed the enemy.  This has caused me to rethink a few things.  Frosting buckets, for starters.  If it smells like a donut to me, it'll smell like a donut to them.  And stuff in thin boxes.  Pests can munch right into that.

I'm thinking it's best to go for sturdy containers that have never held food before.  Less residual smell.  Our LDS friends might be right about the virtues of steel cans.

What do you guys know about pest-proofing food supplies?

Offline Buffy

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2009, 12:42:06 PM »
Mason jars are not chew-through-able.
Put the jars in the freezer for two days to kill anything lurking inside like eggs in flour.
Dried cucumber peels repel cockroaches, you can toss them on shelves.

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2009, 11:58:26 PM »
Someone on another thread suggested new steel paint cans (homeshow maybe?), bah I can't remember who suggested them....anyway, apparently they can be had in quantity for a reasonable price. 

Offline khristopher23

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2009, 12:40:32 AM »
I need a little clarification (really, it's late, and I need a little sleep....but). Are you having trouble with the bugs getting into your house, or just the food stores? If it's the house, or any outbuilding for that matter, I've found that Ortho Home Defense works wonders. We have trouble sometime with scorpions (believe me, I'll trade you for roaches any day). We killed three in the house this year so far. It's been a little too rainy to spray around the outside perimeter lately, but that's usually all it takes for us to be good for about 3 months, and that's just in the summer. Usually twice a year, and we're good to go. I just didn't spray early enough this year. Sorry if that wasn't what you were talking about, but maybe it'll help someone.

Offline NightOwl

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2009, 07:25:19 AM »
I was specifically wondering how to bug-proof the actual food modules.  Or at least make them not actively attract pests.  (Some of them might end up stored in a storm cellar.)  But advice on how to keep bugs out of the house is also welcome.  I'll have to look into what you suggested.

Did I mention that I hate roaches?  Haven't seen any indoors, other than one that was quite dead, since I put bait paste around the doors and windows.  Keeping fingers crossed.

homeshow

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2009, 07:34:23 AM »
Someone on another thread suggested new steel paint cans (homeshow maybe?), bah I can't remember who suggested them....anyway, apparently they can be had in quantity for a reasonable price. 

wow i'm appreciated for my input.  mom would be so proud.  DEV is right go to a local mom and pop type hardware store for best volume pricing on a box of 20-30 at about $1.40 each.  i use mine along with mylar bags (gallon size) and O2 absorbers.  i even store ammo in some.   they are not nearly as heavy as a fulll 5 gallon bucket and are chew proof.

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2009, 07:42:41 AM »
wow i'm appreciated for my input.  mom would be so proud.  DEV is right go to a local mom and pop type hardware store for best volume pricing on a box of 20-30 at about $1.40 each.  i use mine along with mylar bags (gallon size) and O2 absorbers.  i even store ammo in some.   they are not nearly as heavy as a fulll 5 gallon bucket and are chew proof.
LOL....there's so much info on these boards now that it's hard for me to keep up with who's contributing what at this point, but yeah, you are indeed appreciated for your input.  I just haven't had a chance to investigate the "new paint can" storage method.  I intend to though. ;)

They sound like the perfect option for storing food  in my camper, where 5 gallon buckets tend to take up a lot of room.

Winchester32

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2009, 06:32:47 PM »
I was specifically wondering how to bug-proof the actual food modules.  Or at least make them not actively attract pests.  (Some of them might end up stored in a storm cellar.)  But advice on how to keep bugs out of the house is also welcome.  I'll have to look into what you suggested.

Did I mention that I hate roaches?  Haven't seen any indoors, other than one that was quite dead, since I put bait paste around the doors and windows.  Keeping fingers crossed.


If you are worried about the odor of the buckets, use bleach or baking soda to clean them.  I haven't used frosting buckets, although I have several, but I have used soy sauce buckets.  Once you put in the mylar bag & the oxygen absorbers and then seal it, you won't have to worry about bugs getting into the food.  Make sure your lids are tight after you tuck the mylar inside. 

Storing in cardboard is never a good idea, something will always get through that. 

We have had pests a few times, but mostly we struggle with ants.  They are harmless, but annoying.  Despite quarterly treatments, they just keep coming back.  Anyway, I have over 2000 pounds of bulk stores (sugar, flour, rice, beans, cornmeal, etc.), all in mylar and food buckets, and I have never had any issue with pests bothering them. 

Offline NightOwl

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2009, 08:21:15 AM »
Quote from: DeltaEchoVictor
Someone on another thread suggested new steel paint cans (homeshow maybe?)

+1 to both of you for the suggestion.  I'll add it to my list of options.  How airtight is the seal on the lid?

Haven't seen any more roaches inside.  Found several more of the same general kinds (very DEAD!!) on the floor of my outdoor storage building after putting out bait.  I checked the closet where I had an unopened 25 lb bag of rice in a plastic tub and more beans and rice in foodsaver bags.  No signs of bugs on any of that.

I wonder what a spider bite looks like...



whitewave

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2009, 10:11:59 AM »
When I nitro-pak my buckets I always throw in a few bay leaves.  Seems to do the trick.  Also, sprinkling stuff like rice or pastas with diamataceous earth helps to kill any bugs that are already sprouting in your flour.  You can eat diamataceous earth so it's all good.

We had an bug infestation last summer.  In fact, we had half the plagues of Egypt living in our kitchen.  The ants were easy enough to get rid of.  They follow a scent trail so we'd squish a few and leave them where they died.  The ants following the leaders trail apparently decided the area wasn't safe and never returned.  If that doesn't work you can make a lemonade out of them. ;)

There are a few essential oils you can place strategically around your place to keep away the bugs.  Catnip oil, oregano oil, pennyroyal, bitter orange.  There are several others but this should get you started.  Essential oils have medicinal value as well so it's good to have them in your storage with all the other useful stuff.

Offline Zookeeper

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2009, 04:09:17 PM »
Diatomaceous works well for scorpions and other bugs. I sprinkle it across my doorways. You can use it for food storage but you have to be careful  not to breathe it in.

Offline Buffy

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2009, 04:43:47 PM »
Don't forget garlic.
The big thing is DON'T INVITE THEM IN!

whitewave

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2009, 11:26:46 PM »
There are different grades of diamataceous earth and I certainly wouldn't recommend breathing any of them in but the food grade can at least be sprinkled in with your foodstuffs.

What's really annoying is to buy a bag of flour from the store, take it home and immediately transfer it into plastic, airtight containers only to open it a week later and have full grown bugs fly out of the jar.  I guess the acceptable amount of bug parts in our food also includes larvae. >:(

I've taken to mixing in some D.E. with my freshly purchased grains/meals before storing them.  Just in case.

Offline mash

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2009, 12:11:51 AM »
wow i'm appreciated for my input.  mom would be so proud.  DEV is right go to a local mom and pop type hardware store for best volume pricing on a box of 20-30 at about $1.40 each.  i use mine along with mylar bags (gallon size) and O2 absorbers.  i even store ammo in some.   they are not nearly as heavy as a fulll 5 gallon bucket and are chew proof.

Also air-tight and reusable. Good value all around.

Offline NightOwl

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2009, 10:43:51 AM »
I just got off the phone with some local stores.  I asked about paint cans.

Results:

Sherwin-Williams:  $5.50 each, about $3.50 if ordered maybe 25 at a time
Kelly-Moore:  $5 each, $2.86 by case of 32-36 (he wasn't sure how many), unlined metal
Ace Hardware:  $2.49, no quantity discount
Atwoods:  Don't have any.

I forgot to ask any of them if that includes lids.  Two of them, I also forgot to ask about lining composition.  (This was after reading a thread over at Frugal's about the subject.)  But anyway, none of them were even close to $1.40.  Was there some magic phrase I should have used?

Maybe I should have my wife talk to them.  She's a much better negotiator.  I've been known to accidentally negotiate my way up from "take it for free".  ???

Offline archer

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2009, 03:34:35 PM »
What's really annoying is to buy a bag of flour from the store, take it home and immediately transfer it into plastic, airtight containers only to open it a week later and have full grown bugs fly out of the jar.  I guess the acceptable amount of bug parts in our food also includes larvae. >:(
You can also freeze the bags for a week or so to kill all bug/eggs/larva in it.

whitewave

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2009, 08:12:32 PM »
Don't know about the other stores but Home Depot is selling buckets and lids separately.  The lids are .99 cents each.  Ace Hardware sells the lids separately and they're more expensive than Lowe's.

Winchester32

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2009, 09:23:48 PM »
Quote
What's really annoying is to buy a bag of flour from the store, take it home and immediately transfer it into plastic, airtight containers only to open it a week later and have full grown bugs fly out of the jar.  I guess the acceptable amount of bug parts in our food also includes larvae.


Oxygen absorbers should kill anything present, as it is deprived of oxygen. 

whitewave

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2009, 09:47:13 PM »
I use dry ice (which displaces oxygen with nitrogen) to store the bulk food items but the smaller portions for weekly use are simply dumped in a sealed container in the kitchen cabinet.  Every type of bug is prevented from getting in but they're apparently already in the food when I buy it from the store. :-\

Freezer is full of frozen food so there's no place to put several 5# bags of stuff to freeze the larvae.  How many oxygen absorbers would be needed for a 5# bag of flour in an air tight container?

Winchester32

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2009, 09:55:43 PM »
I use dry ice (which displaces oxygen with nitrogen) to store the bulk food items but the smaller portions for weekly use are simply dumped in a sealed container in the kitchen cabinet.  Every type of bug is prevented from getting in but they're apparently already in the food when I buy it from the store. :-\

Freezer is full of frozen food so there's no place to put several 5# bags of stuff to freeze the larvae.  How many oxygen absorbers would be needed for a 5# bag of flour in an air tight container?

Yes, I think most dried goods have some critter or another in them when you buy them.   :(

So far, I have only stored in 5 gal buckets using mylar, which on average holds 25 pounds of product.  I buy cases of 750 cc packets, and use 2 or 3 for my big buckets.  When I use 3, you can see the mylar just shrink in on itself.  I have about 2000 pounds of stored product.  I opened up some sugar a while back, and found a couple of sugar ants that must have made it in the bag before I stored it.  They were dead and I imagine it was the best way to go for them.......a sugar ant in a pile of sugar!   

Here is where I buy mine. http://sorbentsystems.com/o2absorbers.html  There is a quick links to the right of the page, in an orage box, and it will give you a conversion table and other links that better explain how to use them and in what size. 

sage0925

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2009, 10:35:36 PM »
My landlady works at a catering place...she always brings home those big plastic and/or glass mayonnaise jars. We have to mouse proof everything, and having lived in Georgia, bug proof everything (stupid grain beetles run rampant) out of habit. I've never had any trouble with anything getting into those, and if you know anybody who works in a restaurant, you can usually get them for free...they usually throw them away.

Sage

Notsonutso

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2009, 07:19:42 AM »

Except for canned goods, I don't store much of anything in original containers, like boxes or bags, unless it's for immediate use.  For bugs in the general area of food storage (inside or outside) I have had good luck with hedgeapples.  They are cheap cheap and the FDA says they don't work. :(  I say they are cheap, they work, and they are not poisonous to plant, animal or people. :D  All I know is that we had a major problem with carpenter ants.  Nothing worked until I used these.  I used to get tons of sow bugs and spiders in the outbuilding that holds our water pump and most of our food supply...not anymore.   

sage0925

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2009, 10:16:05 AM »
Hey, Notsonutso...what are hedgeapples, adn where do you get them?

Sage

Offline “Mark”

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2009, 10:22:57 AM »
Hey, Notsonutso...what are hedgeapples, adn where do you get them?

Sage

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osage-orange

sage0925

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2009, 10:36:54 AM »
Thanks, Mark...I have seen those...Think they'd grow in the Idaho Mountains, or is it too cold here?

Sage

Notsonutso

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2009, 10:49:01 AM »
Hey, Notsonutso...what are hedgeapples, adn where do you get them?

Hedgeapples are the fruit of the osage orange tree.  They come from some southern states.  I think in Texas they call them horseapples.

They are usually not available until fall.  They are sold here at farmers markets and grocery stores.  I get them at Piggly Wiggly in the produce section.  They usually have a barrel full.

Offline “Mark”

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2009, 11:17:06 AM »
Thanks, Mark...I have seen those...Think they'd grow in the Idaho Mountains, or is it too cold here?

Sage

Probably not.

According to this:
Quote
SITE CHARACTERISTICS :
Osage-orange grows best in areas that receive 25 to 40 inches (640-1,020
mm) precipitation a year but tolerates a minimum of 15 inches (380 mm).
It is sensitive to cold and succumbs to winter-kill in the northern
Great Plains.

Osage-orange grows on a variety of soils but does best on rich, moist,
well-drained bottomlands.  It occurs on alkaline soils, shallow soils
overlaying limestone, clayey soils, and sandy soils.  It can
occur on bottomlands which are seasonally flooded.

sage0925

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Re: Dang bugs
« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2009, 11:23:52 AM »
Oh well...pity...I am always on the lookout for natural bug repellents. Thanks for the info!

Sage