Posted on: 17 February 2017Share
Storing large quantities of foods like pasta and instant rice goes a long way toward ensuring you have a lot of food if you need to live off emergency rations. However, those foods are also prone to pest invasions from external sources like mice to internal sources like weevils hatching inside the bags. There is little worse, food-wise, than finding your food storage crawling with bugs. Here are some ways you can ensure pests don't take over your food storage.
Airtight Glass and Metal
Store your grains in airtight glass or metal containers. It helps to wrap the grains themselves in plastic, like a thick zippered plastic bag, when they're inside the container -- it helps reduce the chances of pests smelling the food. Pests are pretty good at literally sniffing out food despite tight storage. But place those in metal or glass because bugs can't chew through those. Thick, stiff plastic containers will work in a pinch, but for truly long-term storage, avoid using plastic as the outer container.
- Pour grains, pasta, flours, and so on into plastic bags, and seal up the bags, squeezing extra air out.
- Place those bags in the larger glass or metal storage containers.
- Seal the glass or metal containers (these need to be airtight).
Once you've got everything sealed up, keep inspecting the storage frequently. Don't assume that, if you see a tiny mite, it's just one that came into the storage area from outside. Inspect all of the lids and make sure you don't see any other bugs. You may want to occasionally open up the metal or glass containers to check out the bags inside.
That's also another reason why you should place the grains in those separate plastic bags. When you open the containers, you don't have to worry about flies or other bugs suddenly zooming into the storage bins and ruining the grains.
Break Up and Freeze
One additional step you may want to take when you first get a bag of grains is to freeze the grains. The freezing will kill off any weevils that may have hitched a ride on a rice grain, for example. If you've ordered a mega-huge bag of pasta or another grain, freezing the whole thing at once can be a little difficult, and you'll have to break the bag up into portions. Freeze these for at least two days but preferably a few more.
Emergency preparedness and food storage companies are no strangers to the problems of long-term grain storage. Talk to them about the styles of airtight containers they offer and see what other tips they have for ensuring all that food remains yours and doesn't become bug food.