I recently noticed some little brown bugs in one of the boxes of dog treats. And since we keep quite a large amount for our rescues, I decided to do a bit of research.
Here is what I discovered. They are Grain Weevils that contaminate dry goods such as flour, rice, grains, pasta, dog food, dog treats and basically anything made from any type of grain. They can only survive in humidity over 55%, therefore making Houston a perfect environment for them to thrive and multiply.
This is the process, if you are squeemish, you may not want to read this as you may not want to eat anything made of grains again.
It starts in the Farm where the crop is being grown. The female weevil lays an egg inside the grain kernel and she can do this up to 254 times. The eggs are so small that it is difficult to see with the human eye. Therefore everything we eat that is made from grains most likely is already contaminated with the weevil eggs as this happens in the farm while the crop is still in the ground. It can take up to 6 months for them to hatch and turn to worms, then eventually become those pesty little brown bugs we see in our dry goods. And as mentioned before if you live in an area with humidity over 55%, they will eventually hatch if you keep dry goods for a long period of time without eating.
HOW TO PREVENT THEM!!!
The best thing to do is not to buy food in bulk if you are not going to use it right away. If you do buy in bulk as most rescues do, or if you just want to take precautions, then this is what you can do.
Keep any flour and grains in the refrigerator or freezer if possible as they can not survive in cold temperatures and it will kill the eggs.
If you can not keep in the frige then what you can do is freeze your dry goods, including dog treats for at least 2 days, if possible an entire week would be best. Putyour dog treats in a freezer bag and in the freezer. The cold temperature will kill the eggs and they will never become weevils. And just to ease your mind. They are harmless and contain no diseases. So if they were accidentally eaten, no harm done.
You must then put them in a vacuum sealed or air tight glass/plastic container and store in your pantry….dog food is best not stored in the bag it comes either. You can get air tight plastic containers especially made to store dog food in most discount stores such as Walmart. Never store dry goods in their original cardboard box or bag it comes in unless you plan to eat them immidiately!!!!
I hope this information is helpful as it was a learning experience for me and I am in the process now of freezing dog treats….