Can you eat flour with mites

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “can you eat flour with mites?” We will also discuss what mites are, how you can get rid of them, and what are the differences between flour mites and weevils.

Can you eat flour with mites?

Yes, you can eat flour with mites. Mites do not represent any harm to human health. However, they can work as indicators for spoiled foods such as several dead mites and weevils, and their poops will be present in the food. 

Also, depending on the preparation of food, mites can be killed whenever you bake or cook flour, remember that flour is a raw material that needs to be baked or cooked in order to avoid food poisoning.

What are flour mites?

Flour mites are a very common pest, you may have noticed some around your kitchen, but what exactly are they? Well, mites are tiny little insects that live in flour and they are hard to be noticed by the naked eye.

Flour mites, Acarus siro, have a white body and brown legs, they can also be found in flour, grains, and cereals. But, why do mites appear around your kitchen? They really like dark and humid conditions, so your kitchen is the perfect home for them.

What is the difference between flour mites and weevils?

Flour mites and weevils can appear on flour, and it might be hard to tell them apart, but weevils are larger and have a dark brown color, while flour mites are almost impossible to be noticed, they exhibit a pale body and brown legs.

So, if you can not spot flour mites, some other indicators can tell you about their presence, such as:

  • A brown dust residue will be left by dry foods, like flour and cornmeal.
  • You can differentiate a minty smell when you crush some powder with your fingers.

A mite infestation can occur very quickly, that is because a female mite lays up about 800 eggs during her life cycle, which tend to last around a month or less.

Why do mites appear in your food?

Flour mites are the worst nightmare for anyone who works with flour, like bakers or sellers of flour and grains. Everybody can affect anyone as they can get into your home with contaminated packages, and their population quickly grows.

Flour mites do not have a long life, sometimes they can only live for a period of 9 days up to a month, this will vary according to the environment. But, what is the life cycle of flour mites?

  • Everything starts with an egg, the female mite can lay around 30 eggs daily, and repeat it for a couple of weeks. The maximum number of eggs laid is 800 eggs during the whole life cycle, can you imagine that many insects?
  • Of course, with such a high number of eggs produced daily, a mite population can grow quickly, and be in one location for a really long time.
  • After hatching, flour mites immediately enter their juvenile stage, and some others the adult ones.

    Some of them may develop little appendages that permit them to adhere to pets, boxes, or anything that can be a means of transportation for them.

How can you get rid of flour mites?

Fortunately, flour mites are not that hard to eradicate. However, it might be a complex mechanism to eliminate these arthropods completely. A popular item that can help you deal with flour mites is pesticides.

However, pesticides will only fight them for a short period, but to spray the pesticide you will need to spray the shelves on both sides, and also dust areas above this specific location, to achieve it you may need to move all your foods from your shelf.

It is important to place foods like flour, cereals, or grains in items with sealable plastic containers, to avoid the problem starting all over again.

If you want further guidance on this subject, please click here.

Are mites safe to eat? 

We know that it might not be that appealing to consume food infested with flour mites, no one would like that. However, as sometimes they can be hard to spot, we might have consumed some of these insects and notice it until we are done.

If this has ever happened to you, you know it is not a big deal as flour mites can not harm you or kill you, so do not panic! To reduce the chances of weevils or flour mites entering your mouth, baking and cooking can help kill all the eggs and hatched insects.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “can you eat flour with mites?” We have also discussed other queries related to the subject at hand. 

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Citations

https://www.pestdefence.co.uk/news/how-to-get-rid-of-flour-mites-and-weevils/

https://www.exopest.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Fact-sheet-Flour-mite-.pdf

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.