Home Improvement

Bugs In Sugar | How Can I Avoid Them?

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Bugs in sugar are a real problem and it affects many people. So, from this article I am going to cover the various bug types which could infest your sugar. Further you will be able to learn whether it will be safe for you to eat the bug infested sugar and the precautions you could take to keep those bugs away from sugar.

Bugs In Sugar

Does sugar get bugs in it?

Bugs can reach the sugar. You may come across bugs in the pantries, cupboards and they would infest your food. Those bugs prefer to depend on processed food made from sugar. For example, pantry bugs  prefer to depend on food items as breakfast cereals, chocolaty food and sugary food. Sugar will remain good until the pantry bugs infest them. Otherwise, if the sugar gets contact with water, it will create mold in the sugar.

Storing sugar properly is very important so that you will not have to go through these issues.   In fact, you can use them safely for a number of years.  

Little bugs in sugar will not change the quality. However, if you ever come across a situation where the bugs had infested your sugar, it is important that you identify where it came from and act accordingly to  eliminate them. No bugs can live in the sugar. However, they would love to feed on sugar and to keep crawling around them.  In case they do not leave the sugar container it is very unlikely that they will survive.

What types of bugs do you find in sugar?

Weevil

Weevils are such a menace for everyone, and you would commonly find them in sugar. Furthermore , they would cause so much trouble for farmers’ cops . Apart from that , they would be so troublesome for the vegetable gardens which you were cultivating for so long with so much effort. What is more concerning is that their attack may go unnoticed for so long and there could be a sudden outbreak of weevils. 

Weevils are known as bugs which could infest pasta  flour etc. More than anything they love to occupy your sugar. 

They prefer to feed on sugar a lot. They are tiny in size and slender. They tend to take the shape of an oval. Size wise they would be 1/8  to ¼ inches in size. You can identify them by looking at their long snout which could be spotted as the same length in your whole body.

Sugar mites

Sugar mites are another commonly found bug type in your sugar.  Sugar mites, as the name depicts, are fond of infesting the sugar a lot. Besides, they prefer to eat dried fruits as well. Sugar mites usually have a  body in white. Moreover, they may consist of long hairs as well. 

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Those long hairs will strike in all directions. There is a high probability for the sugar mites to blend in the sugar if you are not vigilant enough. However, if you accidentally end up eating sugar mite infested sugar, it will not create any harm for you. 

Particularly if you have put the sugar mite infested sugar into your hot cup of tea you will not feel it at all.

To get rid of the bugs in sugar, you  simply have to clean them frequently and declutter your space. Further consider vacuuming them regularly.

Saw-toothed Grain Beetle.

Saw-toothed Grain Beetle is yet another bug type which could infest the sugar. The Saw-toothed Grain Beetle is slender too. You could spot them in brown. They prefer to lurk around the cabinets once they split sugar from baking.

Saw-toothed Grain Beetle are not harmful for humans at all. However, if any Saw-toothed Grain Beetle has infested your food, it is considered as your sugar is contaminated.

Pantry moths/bugs

If you expose the sugar for pantry moths, they will feed on them. They are fond of eating sugar, and other stuff made of sugar such as chocolate, breakfast cereals, sugary dried  fruit etc. Pantry moths could start infesting your food when they are in the caterpillar stage. Once they mature, they will burrow into your sugar and start eating them.

Once the pantry moth caterpillars are large enough , they will start to spin their cocoon on the food. 

Pantry moths could be troublesome  and contaminate the food once their larvae get in contact with the food. They can infest the food rapidly and it will take about 6-8 weeks for the entire life cycle to complete. Hence there is a great chance of spotting Pantry moths in big numbers in your sugar content. They can even infest the stored sugar as well. 

You could commonly spot them landing on your sugar content when you store them in the pantries or in cupboards. 

Out of all these, Indian meal moths are a commonly spotted bug type in all sorts of environments.  They can simply deposit their eggs in the food stores and reproduce. A female moth can lay more than 300 eggs in a lifetime. It will take about two days for the eggs to hatch.

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Bugs In Sugar

How do I know my sugar has bugs?

If you could spot moving bugs actively in your sugar, it could be mainly due to  a weevil infestation. Furthermore, you will see tiny webbings also in the sugar and that could be due to a weevil pupae present in your sugar. Weevils have their own unique look since they carry snouts which make them look like they have a hummingbird beak.

Bugs in sugar | Is it safe to eat?

If you had mistakenly eaten  bug infested sugar , it would give you a crunchy feeling. In fact, the commonly spotted insects in sugar are not harmful for humans and they do not create any bad impact for you. Literally if you eat them, they will be like a  protein source for you. However, it will be a very unpleasant feeling to eat them. 

Usually, sugar mites contribute to mold in the sugar. Chances are that they may carry poisonous fungal spores too. In case you eat bug infested sugar, stay calm and do  not panic. However, there could be very few occasions where you will get sick too. That is very rare. However, there are some bugs which could carry fungal spores poisonous for humans, and it would cause mold in your food.

Can weevils (in sugar) make you sick?

Weevils do not make you sick at all. They do not create any harmful effects for humans. If you eat them by mistake with your cookie or with your tea, you do not have to visit any emergency care. However, if they are matured it is very unlikely that you eat them by mistake. That is simply because, you can spot the small dark bugs when you look at weevil infested sugar. However, you may probably end up eating pupae as they are pale and off white in color. 

However as aforesaid weevils and other insect types contain protein and in fact many people around the world eat them on a daily basis due to this reason. On another note, if you find any weevils in your sugar it is a sign to let you know that it is pesticide free.

How do you keep sugar bugs away?

It is a little challenging to keep the weevils out of sugar. However, it is important that you try all your level best to keep them away from sugar as it will be worth it on a long-term basis. The very first thing you need to do to overcome this  issue is to keep inspecting the sugar on a regular basis. Moreover, I suggest you store your sugar in tightly sealed glass containers. Do not move your sugar into plastic bags.

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It is not a good idea to store them in plastic bags as they are not protected from pests.

In case the bugs in sugar have infested your sugar bag, you can simply keep it in the freezer for about one week’s time as it will kill the eggs. Alternatively, you can keep the sugar in the freezer on a permanent basis too.

How do bugs get into sealed packages?

There are some food ingesting bugs which could reach the package using their strong jaws. All they need is an edge to start attacking them. Hence if there are more edges or folds in the package, the more susceptible those bags would be for the bugs infestations. Bugs such as weevils, moths will find it very easy to infest the sugar if they find the folds and the edges. 

On the other hand, if there are other bug types which cannot chew and reach in the bags can simply squeeze and come in the sealed packages. They can enter the packages through  the sealed seams or through the stitching holes as well.

Bugs In Sugar 3

Recently asked questions

Does white sugar get bugs?

If you store the white sugar properly, you will not encounter any pests attack in the sugar. You could use them for years if you had stored them properly as there will not be any change in the quality. Literally sugar is not the type of environment  that the bacteria would love to occupy.

Does brown sugar get bugs?

Again, just like with white sugar, if you do not store brown sugar in airtight containers, you will end up having bugs in there too. Hence it is critical that you store them properly so you will not experience bug infestations in brown sugar. Brown sugar can stay indefinitely if you do not expose it to air and moisture. It  keeps the bugs away from brown sugar. However, if you keep brown sugar for more than two years there will be a tendency  for them to change their taste and their texture.

Credit to : Christian Cooking Show

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I'm Dr. Chamika and I'm a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. Our highly qualified team is trying to educate you in various aspects of the day to day life in many ways. Their mission is to help others to enjoy their life to the fullest.