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You put your right foot in...

Posted by lynn_r_ct (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 13, 13 at 20:21

I have a freezer/faucet/DW dilemma, which is slowly being resolved with the moral support of many of you on this board.

BUT NOW!!!!!!!! Not having a DW or water has created a HUGE problem. Started to clean the dishes, by hand (now that I at least have water - DW guys comes Tuesday) that had piled up when I found a waffle iron my daughter had used, pre-problems, that she left on the counter. When I opened it, the leftover waffles were moldy and there were thousands, it seemed, of these itsy, bitsy, tiny white moving creatures. Smaller than a grain of salt, there were so many of them and they were disgusting. Had my son carry the thing right to the outside garbage can. Then noticed them on the counters too - Wanted to vomit first, then burn the house down.

Started my "google"" search... they are "white" mites. Could be either mold or flour mites, both mold and flour were present on the dreaded waffle iron. Determined they are not uncommon in kitchens, but it can be a long and difficult problem to get rid of them. Bottom line is I could find no conclusive way to get rid of them. Some took everything out of their cabinets, threw away any wheat based products, then sprayed everything with a bleach/water product. Others said that didn't work.

So I am now here, begging for real help (not just pity like last time!!!). ANY suggestions are welcome. I have the heeby jeebies.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: You put your right foot in...

Jeez, I was going to suggest putting everything in the freezer for a few days, until I read this article. Sounds like they can even survive freezing.

Here is a link that might be useful:

RE: You put your right foot in...

They may be susceptible to boric acid -- many insects are. In addition to the other cleaning you are doing, dust the boric acid powder around the backs of shelves, molding, baseboard cracks, backs of cupboards, etc. It is reasonably (though not absolutely -- read up) safe around children and pets, but deleterious to insects' digestion and exoskeletons. You can buy the powder at any drugstore.

RE: You put your right foot in...

Angela12345, best article I had read yet, so thank you for that. When I read the other article about freezing the food, both my daughter and I vetoed that because we would still be eating mites, just dead ones! Yuck!!! The article said one way to identify them is to rub them between your fingers and see if they smell minty. Don't think so.

So tomorrow we start the massive cleanup. Ironically I just bought a steamer/cleaner thingy. That will really help sanitize things. And we are back to paper plates and cups, but who cares, better than eating those sickening creatures. I HATE INSECTS

RE: You put your right foot in...

I did have them in my cupboards a few years ago and being the hater of all things creepy-crawly I threw out every single thing in my cupboards - spices, cereals, baking goods, everything. I put all my dishes/glasses, etc. through the DW and scrubbed the cupboards, floors and counters almost raw.

I might have overreacted somewhat but I haven't had another problem since.

RE: You put your right foot in...

Are you sure they were white mites and not just recently hatched fly larva?

From your description of the waffle iron with moldy rotting waffle detritus, it's sounds to me like they'd be maggots (fly larva) not mites which typically live in unmoldy stuff.

The good side (to the maggot hypothesis) is that without food to live on (or after they eat up all the food, pupate and emerge as flies) they are gone. And absent further rotting food your problem is solved. Flies and maggots are Nature's clean-up crew and once they've done their thing they (or actually their decendants) are on to the next mess.

You could go out to the trash and see if they have grown larger (trash can living won't faze them and they grow very fast).

Both freezing and very high heat (closed car on sunny July day) work to kill ongoing infestations of insects, but for flies, just removing the maggots to the outside and general cleaning solves your problem with far less trouble.

Cleaning up after maggots is smelly and gross. The smell part comes from their excreta (poop), but hot water and strong soap resolves all that. I'd use heavy-duty dishwashing gloves for that part ....



RE: You put your right foot in...

L. I believe you, but maggots sound so much worse. Honestly, right now I just want them gone. I am tossing everything in the cabs not in cans. Good time to purge. If I haven't used them in a year I don't need them. This is about the only time I am happy the kitchen remodel is still in it's infancy. If I had to use all these chemicals (the bleach, vinegar, steam and all), I would go back to heavy drinking.

And yes, you have helped a great deal, all of you. I don't know where else there is a support group for kitchen creepy crawlies.

Progress to date: Faucet is in (I now have water), DW guy comes Tuesday (so I can wash all the dishes, pots, utensils, ets. and put them in my clean cabs). And if the appliance guy can fix my wonky SXS, I'll be in heaven.

Then I will look around my crappy kitchen, with all the mixed cabs and appliances and say "isn't she beautiful?"

TYA, Lynn fr CT

RE: You put your right foot in...

'Then noticed them on the counters too - Wanted to vomit first, then burn the house down. '

that'd be my first thought too. and my 2nd, 3rd etc...

RE: You put your right foot in...

As a Master Gardener, I'm used to answering consumers' questions about household pests. Grain mites were a new one to me. So I looked them up, and I definitely shouldn't have read it. It's completely put me off carbs. Read the attached link at your own risk.

Actually, I agree with liriodendron, at least maggots (gag-inducing though they are) go away. The grain mites are around all the time. Yet another thing that you don't want to think about having in your food. I think the part about "you can't see the individuals, but an infestation will cause the surface of the product to seem to move in waves" really brought it to life for me.

You were wise to throw out anything that could be infested.

Here is a link that might be useful: Grain mites info

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