How do I salvage buggy grain?


Have you ever experienced the sinking feeling of opening a bag of grain to bug invested grain?

It’s a bit of a sinking feeling.  But here are the tried and true remedies to save the grain!

A customer writes: ” I just opened the bag & found many many little black bugs roaming about in the bag with some webbing also.” My supplier said that I could salvage the 50 pounds of grain by washing off the grain & letting it dry out.” Another option is to freeze the grain 48 hours to kill the bugs. What have you done to salvage grain?  Here are reader responses:

  • I just saw this today: Preventing and getting rid of weevils in the pantry
  • I keep mine in the freezer in airtight buckets for at least a week then store it someplace dry and cool. If I leave it in bags it goes bad, but I live in the gulf South so that makes a difference.
  • I have had this happen before. I now use a variety of strategies including freezing, diatomaceous earth, and oxygen absorbers. I don’t wash the grain – just take it out of the bag (outside) and “sift” it with my hands to get the webbing off. Then (wearing a dust mask) I add in diatomaceous earth and freeze it. I DO NOT tell my kids the grain had bugs!
  • I always recommend grain be stored cool and dry so bugs don’t come alive, or use an oxygen absorber inside a sealed pail.
  • If you don’t want to salvage it for yourself, you can feed it to the chickens as is. they don’t care about bugs 🙂
  • Always transfer grain in bags to plastic storage containers that are food quality with tight fitting lids.
  • Place an Oxygen absorber in the grain pail and then seal it tightly.

If you are new to food storage and storing grain take mental note or print out these tips.

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  1. Whats an oxygen absorber? Where would I get one?

  2. It’s my understanding that oxygen absorbers alone placed in a bucket of grain won’t due the trick. For optimum storage, grain should be placed in a foil pouch (mylar bag), add oxygen absorber(s), then seal the bag with a professional sealer or an ordinary home iron (but you won’t be able to use that iron again except for sealing!).
    Plastic buckets do allow some air to pass through their surfaces. I ruined beans that i placed alone in buckets – they dried out. From that point on, i always place grains, beans, etc in mylar bags as described, then into buckets.

  3. I bought bulk almonds one time. We opened the bag and split them up into containers in our pantry. Not long after, we go to use them and we find these little moths in them and our pantry. I called the place we order them from and they said to blanch the almonds for about 1 minute and then dry them. To help the drying process, I used my dehydrator to make sure we dried them completely. Saved a lot of money that way.

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