Why on earth are there bugs in my sugar and what are they?
How do I identify them and will I be okay if I accidentally eat some of them?
In this guide you will learn:
- What are the Brown or Black Bugs in your Sugar
- Why are these bugs in my Sugar in the first place,
- If Sugar with Bugs in it is safe to eat,
- All About Weevils in Sugar.
The last thing anyone wants to see in their sugar jar are the unwelcome, six-legged pests helping themselves to a sweet treat that was meant to go in your tea or coffee. Yuck!
Don’t worry, because we’re going to go over what these pests are and how you can identify them.
Identifying the Bugs in my Sugar Bag
While the majority of these insects in your sugar are actually safe to eat, you never really know what you’re going to find.
Here are a few commonly found pests you might find in sugar:
1.Sawtoothed Grain Beetle.
An insect you may find in your sugar that you have probably never heard of before is the Sawtoothed Grain Beetle.
This small insect is slender and brown in color, and they enjoy lurking around in a persons cabinets after they’ve spilt some sugar from baking.
These beetles do not pose any threat to humans, but any food that they infest including sugar is considered contaminated and should be thrown away immediately.
2.Sugar Mites or Flour Mites
The most common pests to find in your sugar bag is the Flour Mite or even sometimes Sugar Mites.
Sugar Mites, as you would guess, like to infest sugar and can also be found in dried fruits.
This tiny pest has a white body with plenty of long hairs that stick out in all directions.
Sugar Mites or Flour Mites could easily blend right in to your sugar if you’re not paying enough attention, so make sure you watch for moving grains of “sugar” in your bag or jar.
Thankfully, accidentally consuming Sugar or Flour mites won’t hurt you, especially if they are in your flour that will be baked anyways, or if they’re in the sugar you’re putting in your hot tea or coffee.
Getting rid of these mites is an easy task, because all you have to do is frequently clean and declutter your space, as well as vacuuming regularly.
Not only Weevils are known to infest pasta & flour, they also are quite found to get in your sugar.
Weevils are one of the most commonly found pests in Pantries and they mainly feed on grain,however, they will feed on other things such as sugar as well.
Weevils are very small slender oval-shaped bugs around 1/8 to 1/4 inch in size.
Often times Weevils in your sugar can be identified by their extremely long snout that often is as long as their whole body.
Why Are There Bugs in my Sugar?
The answer to this is actually a lot easier than you think. Certain pests go for sugar because it gives them energy, just like it does for us!
Sugar mites, fruit flies, beetles, and weevils don’t go for sugar just because it tastes good and they’re craving something sweet.
They need it to survive, but unfortunately for them, the sugar bags in our homes are just not the right place for them to be getting that energy.
Another common cause of why you could have bugs in your sugar is that your area could be cluttered or messy.
Make sure to always keep your kitchen as clean as you’re able to, and you should be able to avoid these unwanted pests.
Bugs in Sugar – Safe to Eat?
I know, the last thing you want to taste in your sugar cookies is the crunchiness of baked bugs, but don’t panic!
The insects that you commonly see infesting your sugar actually don’t pose any threat to humans and they contain a little bit of extra protein as well.
Either way, it’s still a rather unpleasant experience.
Although, you probably still wouldn’t be completely safe from getting sick.
Sugar mites as well as some other insects have the tendency to cause mold wherever they’re at and they can also carry harmful fungal spores as well.
What Happens if you eat Sugar with Bugs in it?
So you accidentally ate a sugary treat that just so happened to carry insects in it. No need to worry, you’re going to be fine!
At the most, you’ll probably be feeling sick for a day or two, give or take.
Even this is extremely rare and for the most part there is no reason to worry even if you consume some of these bugs in your sugar.
As I mentioned above, the majority of these bugs are harmless and actually contain proteins that are good for the human body.
Although, bugs are still able to carry fungal spores on their bodies and they can spread, causing mold on your food and, in this case, your sugar.
Weevils in Your Sugar
Weevils are quite the pest to everyone, and not just farmers. A weevil infestation can absolutely wreak havoc on a farm’s crops as well as your small vegetable garden that you’ve been growing over the past few months.
These infestations usually go completely unnoticed for a few weeks until there is a sudden boom, and all you see in your gardens and food (including the food inside of your home) are these wriggling little pests.
How do weevils get in our sugar bags, exactly?
On top of that, are they even safe to eat if we accidentally ingest some?
Thankfully, we will be going over just about everything you will need to know about weevils and most importantly, how to keep them out of your precious sugar!
How Do I Know if I Have Weevils in my Sugar?
The most common sign of a weevil infestation is when you see actively moving bugs in you sugar.
You may also notice small webbings along the sugar that’s being caused by the Weevil pupae in your sugar.
Weevils have a rather unique look to them as they have long and slender snouts that would almost resemble a Hummingbird’s beak.
If they didn’t have the long snouts, they would look like your average beetle that’s small in size and brown in color.
Is my Brown Sugar and Powdered Sugar Safe From Weevils?
Unfortunately, other sugars are not safe from a possible weevil infestation as well.
Weevils can easily infest your brown sugar and powdered sugar in the same exact way that they can take over your granulated sugar.
Thankfully, getting rid of them is just as easy, as you can simply place your bags of sugar in the freezer for a week or more to kill off any eggs.
Is Sugar with Weevils Safe to Eat?
This is probably the most important question someone could ask; are weevils safe to eat? Thankfully, that answer is yes!
Weevils actually do not pose any threat against humans, even when they’re accidentally eaten, so there would be no reason to visit emergency care if you noticed that your cookie or tea happened to have weevils in it from the sugar.
Although, it would be incredibly hard to accidentally eat them when they’re in the stage of adulthood.
It would be impossible to miss those small, dark bugs darting around inside of your sugar bag.
It would probably be easier to accidentally ingest some of the pupae, since normally the pupae are a pale, sometimes off-white color.
So I’m sure if you were in a big enough rush, it would be possible to miss them.
From a scientific standpoint, weevils, along with many other insects around the world, actually contain a good amount of protein that is good for our bodies.
Many people don’t know this, but in some cultures around the world, bugs and worms are eaten on the daily!
A wide variety of insects are even considered a delicacy.
Interestingly enough, finding weevils in your sugar is actually a good sign that it does not contain any pesticides.
So, of course those little pests want to be the first ones to get a taste of that premium sugar!
Related: Can you eat Eat Worms
How to Keep Weevils out of Sugar
Keeping weevils out of your sugar and grains may seem a bit tedious, but it’ll be well worth it in the long run.
The first and best thing you can do to prevent a weevil infestation is to inspect your sugar.
If you sugar looks free of weevils and/or their pupae, then it is recommended that you store your sugar in a tightly sealed glass container.
Avoid moving your sugar into a plastic bag! The bags that sugar comes in from the grocery stores are not as protected from pests as a good mason jar.
If you happen to find weevil eggs in your sugar bag, you can place your sugar in the freezer for up to one week to kill off the eggs.
You can also store your sugars (or grains if they have infested those too) in your freezer permanently.