How to Store Flour Properly to Prevent Bugs

Bugs and other pests are not uncommon in flour as well as other dry food. How many times have you reached for the flour only to see bugs crawling inside? 

Regardless of how tidy your kitchen is, these tiny creatures can invade your food if you don’t store it properly. In this post, we’ll show you how to store flour so bugs can’t invade it.

What Kind of Container is Best For Storing Flour?

If you only buy a pack of flour from time to time and use it quickly, you don’t need to worry about proper storage. However, if you bake often and like to have a supply of flour in your kitchen ready for use, you’re likely to experience the problem with bugs and other pests. 

The key to keeping your flour bug-free lies in the container. It is crucial to know what type of containers are best for grains. In this case, containers made of glass, metal, or very thick plastic with tight lids are ideal because they prevent bugs from crawling inside. 

Is It Better to Store Flour in Glass or Plastic?

As we mentioned above, all these materials (glass, metal, or thick plastic) are great for storing flour as long as they are airtight. If you buy flour in bulk and it takes you a long time to use up all of it, you should invest in a good airtight container made of any of the abovementioned materials.

Below, you’ll see our top pick of airtight containers for flour.

OXO Good Grips POP ContainerPlastic; 1.6 liters capacity
Rubbermaid Container, BPA Free PlasticPlastic; available in a variety of sizes
Glass Food Canister with Airtight Bamboo LidsGlass+bamboo lid; capacity of 3000ml
Essos Glass Jars with Wood LidsGlass+wood lids; available in a variety of sizes

Right after you purchase it, transfer the flour to a glass or plastic container right away to avoid any chances of bugs laying eggs in the flour. However, this is assuming that the flour you purchased is bug-free but be aware that sometimes, the flour may have already contained bugs and their eggs when you brought it home

This can be easily checked if you open the bag of flour right after you bring it home and examine the surface. If it appears brownish, chances are, bugs are present in the flour. 

There is another way you can check whether there are bugs in your flour. Open the bag of flour or the container and leave it opened for a while at a place where there’s plenty of sunlight. If, after a few hours, you notice the surface appears messed up, it is possible that bugs were moving around. 

Tip: To make sure the flour you just bought is safe for use, transfer it to a container with a sealed lid and put it in the freezer for about 2 days. The cold should kill insects if there are any. 

How Do You Store a Large Bag of Flour?

When it comes to flour, the safest option would be to buy it in smaller amounts and use it up rather quickly. This is the best way to prevent bugs and other pests. However, many people prefer to stock up on flour because they bake often and don’t like to be running to the store every now and then. 

If you’re among them, fret not because all you need to do is make sure the flour is properly stored and you can use it for a long time. 

If you’re using all-purpose or regular flour or any similar refined type of flour that typically doesn’t go bad, it is enough to transfer the flour to airtight containers, plastic, or glass. Make sure it is tightly sealed and store it in a dry place such as a pantry. The tight lids will prevent any bugs from crawling inside.

If you buy a large bag of flour, it wouldn’t hurt to perform the freezer test prior to transferring the flour to containers to make sure it is pest-free. 

Generally, bugs tend to avoid whole wheat flour, or so they say, as we mostly see them in white, refined flours. If you only use whole wheat flour, you shouldn’t have to worry about pests but regardless, it doesn’t hurt to be cautious and store it in containers with tight lids. 

Can You Still Use Flour With Bugs in It?

There’s nothing worse than reaching for the flour while you’re in the middle of baking something and you spot tiny bugs moving around all over it. Insects are hard to eliminate and chances are, this has happened to you before. They can even appear in your loaf of bread which is why storing bread in a stainless steel bread box is recommended. 

Consuming infested flour won’t kill you so it’s generally safe to use. If you’re not disgusted by the crawling bugs, you could simply sift the flour. Or you could put the flour in the freezer as we explained earlier as this will kill the insects. 

However, if you’re utterly grossed out, just toss the flour in the trash bin and purchase a bag of fresh flour, but make sure you store it correctly this time to avoid similar problems.

Easy Kitchen Tip: Bay Leaves in Flour

Bay leaves have a reputation for being successful at keeping bugs, cockroaches, ants, and other insects away from your pantry. Hence, bay leaves are often kept next to your staple groceries inside cupboards. 

When storing dry food such as flour or cereal, it is recommended to place a few bay leaves inside as well. They will keep the weevils out so you won’t have to worry about insects. Just make sure you don’t accidentally put bay leaves in your cookies along with the flour!