My mother was a gentle southern Babtist school teacher from Texas who would not have cussed if her hair was on fire. She never gossiped or shirked her duty. She was a sterling character in every way. Her one vice, her curse was her propensity for what we children called her Webb Fits, Webb being her maiden name. They could overtake her at any time, day or night, pulling us all into a cleaning frenzy. She could decide it was her bathroom that was a veritable laboratory of filth and desease or maybe a closet that was in need of a complete reorganization but it was generally the kitchen that bore the brunt of her ocd need to clean and clean now. I wish I could say that the curse died with her but alas, it did not. I too carry the Webb gene and it pops up at the oddest times, fueled by who knows what and clean I must. I got taken by a Webb Fit last night at 8:00. I had to rearrange my upstairs bulkfood storage and, not satified with that, was compelled to hit the kitchen and clean the cabinets there as well.

Now I know you will find this hard to believe but there are people in the world who, after getting groceries, do not remove everything from the original packaging and repackage all of it in mason jars or labeled, food storage containiers. I know, I know, you have probably heard rumors but did dot believe such things really happened but I have acually seen with my own eyes, people pour cereal FROM THE ORIGINAL BOX into their bowl. Ah well. To each their own.

If you have ever been infested with grain moths, mealy worms, mice or (double, triple YUK) rats, you will understand my compulsion to keep them out of my kitchen. If you store food, this matters in a major way as one box of infested rice can lead to a kitchen full of food headed to the compost in very short order. It pays to take the time after each and every buying trip to take the steps to keep your food vermin free. (Isn’t vermin a great word? It’s so disgusting.)

I do remove all food packed in cardboard from it’s original box and repack in glass or plastic. If you have a mouse or rat problem, go with the glass. I have seen rats chew right through heavy plastic. Any food that comes in contact with rodents must be tossed.  If a rodent has been in a food space, wash the area fully with hot soapy water as rodents carry Hanta Virus as well as the fleas the cause plague. It is not enough to pick the droppings up with a damp cloth. You need to remove everything from the space and clean it. If you find an entry hole, plug it with steel wool which rodents will not chew through. I store mouse and rat traps in my preparedness supplies. The old fashioned kind are best for the my money. We got a multi-mouse trap for a garage once. We had stored our dog food out there and it was like fast food for critters. We were catching a 1/2 dozen mice a night with thing.

I like to use Mason jars for stoing most of my food. It keeps plastic out of the food chain, it’s impervious to moisture and pests and it looks neat. It also is one more way to reuse jar lids. I can now vacuum  seal the jars and food stays fresh a lot longer.

I know that some people would just heat food in an oven if they find a weevil infestation and use it anyway but I can’t. I get rid of it ASAP. This is my first year with pigs but I used to feed infested food to my chickens. They love the little buggys. You can use the dry ice method of treating, just as you would for long term storage but the little creatures are still there. I know there are probably lots of nasty things in my food. Please, PLEASE!!!! Do not post and tell me about them. I am my mother’s child and I would have to clean again today. The fair starts today and I just don’t have time.

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