Chemo & Weevils

Janet is getting chemo today. She has 5 more chemos with the current schedule and we hope that is the end of it. CA125 and HE4 were taken today, but the HE4 takes about 2 weeks.

We are both doing great.

Some friends just asked us by email
"We just found weevils in our cream of wheat. Sad smile emoticon Actually, we don’t know what they are. There are clumps of web-like stuff. We thought you may have suggestions from living on the boat. Can they get in a screw top jar, or did they come in the package? Do you just ignore them?"

Re weevils or whatever they are
We have had those cobweb things many times. They seem to use tiny cobwebs to join a tiny glob of fine grains into a ball. Being really cheap, we sift them out, and cook the "good stuff" but most folks toss the box.

If you put a cup or 2 or 3 of water in the microwave AND the box, jar, bowl or other non metallic container of grain, etc in there and nuke it until the water boils, that SHOULD kill any life or eggs. (Oh, WAIT!! Many plastics do not like the heat of the steam coming out of the flour or grain and may distort. We have two deformed jugs that we how we know this. So, only use glass or ceramic and let it cool well, while covered to keep out new bugs before puttin it back in plastic. Even HDPE.)

We use food grade diatomaceous earth and put about 2 Tbl in a gallon jar of beans. Use more or less in ratio for larger and smaller jars, and the exact amount per gallon is not critical. Food grade diatomaceous earth is safe to eat and some people do eat it to kill intestinal parasites.

We usually only use it in things that we can rinse. A hold over from the days before we learned that it can actually be good for you. But, you can use it in flour, and things that you do not rinse.

Pasta, beans, rice, grains, flour and damn near anything can and often does have the bugs or eggs in when it arrives. The bugs can and often do chew through plastic if they can’t find a hole. In Mexico, soon after we had food grade diatomaceous earth, we opened a gallon of pinto beans, from the last time we re-provisioned. Months earlier. When we opened the jar the pinto beans looked like the practice golf balls. FULL of holes! No joke and thousands of tiny beetles. We thought, well let’s see if this diatomaceous earth is any good. We dropped in several Tbl of diatomaceous earth, put the lid on and rolled the jar this way and that to distribute it. About 10 days later, nearly all were dead. A week or so later, ALL were dead.

We tossed the lot as there were no whole beans and weeks of beetle pee & poop. The gallon jar is a hard plastic, but not brittle. Not HDPE or PETE, (common plastics) but something close to HDPE. The beetles had drilled hundreds of perfectly round, tiny holes, ALMOST through the fairly thick plastic, but the jar still holds water. Many were over half way through, if they’d only known, they cold have been out with less than 1% as much work.

Anyway, diatomaceous earth works great. The kind for swimming pool filters is said to NOT work for some reason. They say that it has been fired. The idea is that diatomaceous earth is the tiny, cockle burr like skeletons of ancient diatoms. Find a photo, like

The little insects, adult and especially larva have very little volume and their surface area ratio is immensely greater than say a dog or a mouse. They have a soft wax like film as their water vapor barrier. The diatoms scratch the "wax" and they quickly desiccate to death. So, it is an excellent ‘non-toxic toxin’ as it were. Even if you do not rinse it off or out of the food.


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