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  • How to keep grains safe from bugs for long storage

    Worried about insects & bugs spoiling grains? Get quick tips on how to repel them from this Ask Expert page.

    I am staying in Mumbai. Due to very humid enviornment, I am finding it very difficult to keep my grains safe from bugs. I even tried air tight containers also to store them but it also did not solve my problem. Please provide me tips for this problem.
  • Answers

    11 Answers found.
  • Try this: simply put 1-2 red chillies in the container. I put red chillies in all the containers in my kitchen which contain not just various types of dal, but also for those in which I store flour. In the case of dals, I pop in the chillies directly in them. In the case of a flour, I put the flour in its original packet and outside it, within the container, I put the chillies. I have found it to be effective so hope it works out for you too.

    I would also suggest that you not hoard dals or other types of grains in large quantities. If it is a small family, there is no sense in storing 1 to 5kgs of grains!! You can buy half a kg and only when the quantity is down to a low level buy again more. In some cases, even quarter kg is enough. For example, urad dal may not be used often, maybe just once in while to put with tadka for a vegetable. By buying less, if at all there is the possibility of having to throw away something due to excessive bugs & it being impossible to clean it up, at least you will not have wasted huge quantities.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • Here are some of the methods to keep away the bugs:

    1`. When you buy grains see that they are free from bugs .

    2. Before buying grains/flour check for the expiry date.

    3. Dispose off any food items if infested with insects.

    4. Once you bring the grains or the flour keep them in the freezer 3-4 days to kill the eggs and then use them.

    5. Do not buy in large quantities, buy in small quantities and use it.

    6. Keep the grains in air tight containers.

    7. Do not keep the grains/ flour for long time/duration. Use them frequently so that you would be consuming fresh foods.

    8. Clear and clean any left over foods immediately.

    9. Clean all the cabinets and shelves regularly with insecticides to keep away insects.

    10. Finish the older stock first and then use the fresh stock to avoid wastage of grains and to save money.

    11. Put 2-3 bay leaves in the flour/grains containers . The bay leaves are effective in keeping away the bugs.

    12. Place neem leaves in the containers to keep away the ants in sugar containers. It is very effective.

    13. Neem leaves are cost free products. When put into containers of grains, keeps insects away. This is an age old method used by farmers to keep insects away from spoiling the grains.

    14. If you want to store large quantities of grains then place dry neem leaves at the bottom of the container and then fill it with grains with few leaves , this keeps the grains safe for a longer duration.

    15. If you are buying dals like urd dhal, fried gram ,jeera ,channa dal etc in smaller quantities, you can fill them in containers and keep them in the fridge racks. It stays for a longer period.

    16. The pulses which are not very frequently used but some times, may be kept in the fridge.

    When I faced this problem I started buying in smaller quantities, 1/2kg, 1/4 kg then placing them in the fridge. I find it very helpful for me.

    Also you can place cloves on the cabinets and shelves to keep insects away.

  • This is one of the most common problem in house hold kitchens that many of our stored foods like pulses, cereals, flour get infestated by bugs and worms. Follow some simple tips to keep bugs at bay.

    1) Change the containers. Use air tight containers. Use glass jars.

    2) Wash the storage shelves completely with bleaching powder and let it dry completely. Leave it for over night.

    3) Use natural bug repellant shrub leaves like neem leaves and spread them between the jars. You can also use bay leafs.

    4) You can also refrigerate the flours and cereals. They can be stored well in a refrigerator.

    5) Watch for any leaks that drip on to the containers.

    6) You can use silion gel bags and keep them in between jars or even inside storage jars. Silicon will naturally absorb all the moist from the air.

    7) Watch for the source of bugs. If it is a single source you can easily eliminate the root. Multiple sources can also be prevented by proper use of bug sprays at their nesting places.

    8) You can use our Indian bug repellent Lakshman rekha and draw the line around the storage containing shelves to prevent the entry of bugs.

    Thank You
    Dr. V. Shashikanth

  • You can try below tips to keep your grains safe from bugs-

    1. Keep some cloves in the jar of cloves. Clove has strong odour and because of this bugs or other insects don't come in grains.
    2. Onion also plays same role like clove.
    3. If you have double door fridge then you can keep your grains inside the freezer. Cold storage avoids such insects. My mother does the same thing and keep grains, Rava (Semolina), Poha (Rice flakes) safe for longer time.

  • In addition to above points I would also suggest to avoid humid air in your home. Do not keep wet clothes inside home. Try to keep air inside home more dry and fresh.
    Few more points which can help are like before storing grains you can make those more dry and do not leave it containers often open.
    Make two containers, one is big to store complete amount you buy and another one smaller from which you will use it on regular basis. You need to refill smaller container lesser than using it directly from big container.
    For Rice you can put solid salt pieces in it to avoid bugs. You can also see in between to make sure that any grain is not having bugs, if you found in one please keep it away from other grains.
    There are few medicine like pills are also available but those may be harmful if in-taken by chance. So this is must to wash grain if you choose this way to save your grains. This way ensure more safety from bugs.

    Chitra Rana

  • long time storage of grains is a common problem.
    1. Keep the storage container tight after each and every use.
    2. Do not touch the grain with wet hand.
    3. Before storage try to dry the grain in sunlight and keep it in a air tight container.
    4. Store the grains like, horse gram and ugreen moong daal after frying.
    5. Add two or three leaves of neems into the storage container.
    6. Add 2 or 3 red chillies into the container.

  • My mother keeps the beans and grains in a plastic box and then keep it in deep freezer.

    So most of the time it helps keep safe the beans and grains into the fridge.

    Another option is keep to the grains into the plastic bag. That way you can make sure that you are not giving any odor into the bag. This works for many people and they prefer it over keeping the grains outside.

  • Here are a few tried and tested tips to keep bugs out of your grains container –
    1. To begin with stock grains in small quantities.
    2. Always check the date on the package if you are buying pre-packed stuff.
    3. Once you bring the grains home dry roast them in a big shallow pan. Just enough to remove moisture. Next spread the grains out on a table or dry kitchen top, to let them cool down. Once cool, transfer into food-grade plastic containers.
    4. Another method of keeping bugs away is by refrigerating the grains. You can pack the grains in containers or leave them in their plastic covers and store them in the fridge. The optimum temperature in the fridge prevents bugs from appearing in the grains.
    5. Leave the grains in the sun for an entire day before storing them.
    6. Add dry neem leaves, a sachet of pepper corns or red chillies to the container.
    7. Grains can also be heated in the microwave for 1 minute on high, before storing.

  • Store pulses with dried neem leaves.

    use cloves to keep insects away.

    once can also keep bay leaves with pulses and rice for storage.

    Spary a mixture made up of garlic and water in the shelves. It is natural insecticide.

  • I would like to add a tip in the above suggestions. If you want to keep your rice grains free from bugs just put some unused matchsticks in the box/ jar. I have tried this and it helped. One more tip for the storage of honey for long simply leave few black pepper in honey jar.

  • These are the some tips to help you to keep the grains free from the bugs. Some simple tips for the long-term grains storage.
    1.Keep the neem leaves in the grains. And spread over and inside the grains.
    It keeps the grains free from the bugs.

    2. When you are buying the grains for usage buy them in the small quantities.

    3.If you are buying the grains then you check there are bugs in that or not.
    These are some tips on how to get the grains free from the bugs.

    Reguards -

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