Earlier this week I tossed nearly the entire contents of my pantry due to a bo weevil infestation. While I'm mostly pissed off about throwing out so much food, a large portion of me is sentimental and nostalgic about my childhood. For most of my childhood, I was raised by a poor, single mother of two who cried with every lice outbreak. She couldn't afford to miss work when we were kicked out of school for hair bugs and she couldn't afford the treatments either, but lice never seemed to break her resolve quite like weevils did.
If you aren't familiar with bo weevils, they're a small beetle that eats cotton buds and flowers. Normal weevils, however, chomp on flours, grains, seeds, legumes, etc. While I actually have only experienced weevil infestations, my mum always called them boooooo weevils, so that's what I call them. Flour bugs, essentially. Here are some images:
I vividly remember my mum throwing away nearly the entire contents of our pantry while trying to hide sobs when we had our first weevil outbreak. All food in cans were washed in the sink and when the labels came off the cans, she turned eating into a game. My sister and I would grab a random unmarked tin of food, try to guess the contents before we opened it, and then eat whatever was inside for dinner. We were always on edge when it came to weevils and would carefully eat our breakfast cereal while searching for weevils floating in our milk. If we thought we saw one, my mum would come look at our spoon to inspect a charred bit of Cheerio, usually. She made a game out of most things out of her control.
After throwing away my pantry contents, washing all the food cans, and looking at my empty cabinet, I cried. I cried because so much food was wasted, but I also cried thinking about how frustrating it must have been for my mum when we had weevils as a kid. It wasn't enough that my mum was poor and worked so hard to budget and make sure my sister and I didn't go hungry, but having to throw all that food away, essentially throwing money away, and still having to find a way to feed her children must have been beyond stressful. I feel your pain momma, I adore you for your strength, and I love you!
And in your honor, momma, I present you with my favorite mum-related hip hip song. (Sorry, Pac)