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Tiny Bugs in Oatmeal: What Are They? How to Get Rid of Them?

Oatmeal is the national breakfast food for people around the world. Finding tiny bugs in them might be very disgusting and unappealing which is why it is important to know more about them as well as how to get rid of them. 

What are the little bugs in my oatmeal?

If you find little bugs in your oatmeal it is most likely to be weevils or grain beetles. They are tiny and brown in color and move on their own. If you find them in your oatmeal then it is highly likely that you will also find them infesting other dry grains in your pantry as they are fond of it. 

It is not uncommon to find tiny bugs in your oatmeal or other dry items in your pantry such as flour, rice, grains, or cereal. In fact, they can also be found in pet food because they love growing in such dry places. 

This simply means that you have not been properly storing these foods hence why such insects are manifesting them. 

Other than weevils and grain beetles there can be a lot of other and more harmful pests manifesting your dry food in the pantry. It is important that you are aware of it so that you can deal with it accordingly without having to waste all your food. 

Tiny/Small bugs:

If you see tiny or small bugs moving around in your oatmeal box or container then it is likely to be flour beetles or weevils. They are more distinguished by their colors since both of them are too tiny bugs. 

They are drastically stubborn bugs and it is also quite hard to get rid of them. 

Black bugs:

The colors make it easier to identify the bugs. If you notice black bugs in your oatmeal then they are grain beetles. They might as well have been in your oatmeal packet before you purchased it. 

They live on grains and can be commonly found infesting your oatmeal, cereal, or flour. You have to also find out if it was there from beforehand or something in your pantry triggered the infestation. 

Flying bugs:

Finding flying bugs in your oatmeal boxes or any other dry food in your pantry can be quite disgusting. These can be flour moths and it is very important that you get rid of them immediately and store your dry foods in air-tight containers. 

Brown bugs:

Finding brown bugs is not uncommon. It is more commonly found in rice grains, but you can also find them in your oatmeal containers as well. These bigs are known as weevils and they are brown in color, almost camouflaging with your oatmeal. 

However, what sets them apart is you will notice them moving around in your oatmeal. 

White bugs:

White bugs in quaker oatmeals are more commonly known as white moths. They are very small and almost invisible unless you look at them very closely. 

It is hard to tell when this particular insect has manifested your oatmeal unless you inspect your pantry fully once in a while.

Little red bugs:

Granary weevils are also very common insects that usually grow in the dry foods present in your pantry such as oatmeal boxes, pasta rice, etc. It is red in color with some brown specks on it making them appear reddish-brown. 

Is it safe to eat oatmeal with insects?

Contrary to popular belief, it is almost always safe to eat oatmeal with insects. This is because as weird as it may sound, insects are actually known to contain nutrients and are actually consumed by a lot of people from some cultures. 

It is only the psychological aspect of it that makes it unappetizing and knowingly eating it might make you sick. 

How do weevils get in oats? How can oatmeal become infested with little worms?

There are many ways weevils or little worms can infest your oats. It is important to look out for the reasons to avoid infestation. 

Not freezing your oats:

When you buy instant oats or packaged dry goods from the supermarket it is very important to freeze them first in the freezer for a few days. 

This will eliminate any weevils or worms and their eggs present in the package so that it does not infest your oats or other dry foods in the pantry. 

Improper storage:

Weevils or worms can also come from outside and if you are not storing your oats properly it can easily infest them. This includes not keeping them in a dry place as weevils and worms spread really fast. 

Not keeping them in proper containers:

It is also drastically important that you are storing your oats not in packets but in tightly sealed and air-tight containers. 

Not doing that means weevils and worms can eat through the packets and contaminate your oats and other dry goods. 

Proper cleaning:

It is not uncommon to find weevils or worms in the dry food that you buy. It is important that you clean them thoroughly and also get rid of a drastic infestation from happening. 

This will avoid the pests from contaminating all the foods in your pantries such as oatmeal and rice. 

How to get rid of tiny bugs in oatmeal?

If you have unfortunately found tiny bugs in your oatmeal then you must deep clean everything, potentially get rid of any infested dried goods. Alongside that, you will also have to store all your oatmeals and dry goods in a way so that you can avoid further infestation in the future. 

There are some steps you can follow to get rid of tiny bugs in your oatmeal. 

Clean your pantry:

Get everything out from your pantry and then throw away any opened containers or packets that are infested. Clean your pantry and shelves properly with vinegar solution. 

Change containers:

If you want to keep any items it is important that you put your oatmeals or other dry foods in a separate air-tight container and throw out their original packets. 

Deep freeze:

Keep your oatmeal inside the refrigerator for at least a week. This will ensure to get rid of all the tiny bugs and their eggs to avoid any further growth. 

Use repellents:

It is very hard to thoroughly get rid of all the bugs so it is important that after putting everything back you must keep a chemical repellent there to get rid of any remaining bugs. 

You can use either chemical repellents or natural ones such as garlic cloves or bay leaves. 

Call professionals for help:

These little creatures are very stubborn and can be drastically hard to get rid of despite full efforts. 

Even after following basic guidelines if you find it difficult to get rid of them then the best option would be to seek help from professionals. They can find the root cause and also simultaneously help get rid of all the stubborn pests thoroughly. 

Does freezing flour and oatmeal get rid of bugs?

Yes, freezing flours and oatmeals get rid of any bugs and their eggs that might be infesting them. If you keep them in the freezer for long enough such as an entire week, the cold environment will not allow them to thrive for very long. 

It will thus shut down their internal systems. It is a very good way to stop an infestation in your pantry by freezing any new flour or oatmeal packets bought recently from the supermarket. 

How to prevent weevils from oats?

There are certain ways in which you can avoid weevils from infesting your oats. 

Inspect and freeze:

When you first buy packaged dry goods from the market, especially oats, remember to check them thoroughly. Sometimes infestations may go unnoticed so it is best to freeze them for at least a week to get rid of potential weevils. 

Buy in small quantities:

Never buy grainy foods in large quantities. The longer period of time you keep it in your pantry, the larger the risk of weevils infesting your oats and other dry goods. 

Proper storage:

You must keep in mind to properly store your oats and flour in a dry spot. It is also important that you keep them inside a proper and air-tight container. These include keeping them inside sealed glass containers. 

Proper cleaning:

Also keep in mind to clean your pantry properly with vinegar solution once a week. Check for all the nooks and crevices and for extra protection you can also keep natural repellents such as bay leaves and garlic cloves. 

Final thoughts:

Finding bugs such as weevils, small moths and other different types of small bugs infesting your dry food items is not uncommon. If you are unable to get rid of it properly yourself then it is best that you call professionals and seek out tips to avoid infestation again in the future.