*"Dad, There's Bugs in the Flour"*
Lessons Learned the Hard Way TM
By: Osage
28 November 2011

This morning we ran out of white flour in our upstairs container. "No problem" said I, "There's plenty downstairs. Go get 2 bags."

"Dad, there's bugs in the flour."

"That's a problem", I replied (or words to that effect; really, it was close to those exact words, kinda...).

I had played roulette with storing white flour. Face it, we all play roulette every day. We balance risk against cost in almost every act of life. If you refuse to face the risk of going outside for fear of fast-moving trucks or the occasional passing asteroid you'll go bankrupt and eventually starve to death. If you refuse to get out of bed for fear of falling you'll likely die of septicemia from massive bedsores. We all do it. This time I lost!

Why Do It?

I store white flour for two reasons:

The Bad System

I've been storing all-purpose white flour in 5-lb bags in a massive tote; a Rubbermaid ActionPacker aka footlocker meant to ride around in the back of a pickup truck. I stacked the dated bags two deep and about 12 per layer so I could maintain rotation. I've been hitting the tote with CO2 every time I add bags. I forgot to the last time.

Yep - forget just one major step (which ones are 'minor' by the way?) and ya pay!!

Another mistake is that I had not been pre-treating the flour in any way. The CO2 would be enough, I thought, to prevent any outside infestation and contain anything that rode in with a package I bought.

Upon investigation I found I had both Dermestid (aka Larder or Warehouse) Beetles and (probably) Grain Mites. That led to 110 lb of flour being pitched, followed by a thorough cleaning of the containers and immediate environs (aka a GI Party; with my face I can't claim to have 'pulled a Cinderella').

What I Changed

What I Didn't Change


So, how's it going? Ask me in 5 years. That's how long I'd been doing it a bad way.

But, as Robin Williams says in 'Aladdin': "He can be taught!"

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