The following are a few tips for bug-free food storage in 5 gallon buckets, and a few preventative measures to keep bugs and insects neutralized.

Diatomaceous earth

Use Food Grade diatomaceous earth (best choice on amz) for grains, flour, legumes, rice, corn, and other dry foods.

Most all grains have the eggs of insects in it – it’s just the natural way it is… When they hatch out, the diatomaceous earth dries up their soft skin – eliminating them. Food-grade D.E. is a safe, non-toxic way to treat your grains from insect infestation.

Use 1/2-cup D.E. for a 5-gallon bucket of grain. Rule of thumb is about 1/2 cup per 25 pounds of dry food. Or 1 teaspoon per pound.

Half-fill the bucket, sprinkle in 1/2 the D.E., then put the lid on and roll the bucket around (or simply mix it by hand into the bucket of grain), take the lid off, fill the bucket with more grain to the top, add the rest of the D.E., roll it around and you’re done.

Gamma lids (spin on/off) work great for this because they simply screw on and off, making it easy. You can do it in smaller batches, too, and then pour it into the bucket.

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Dry ice

Add a small piece of dry ice to the top of the food pile in a 5 gallon bucket. Let the lid rest on top while the dry ice sublimates into gaseous carbon dioxide and displaces bug-breathable air. Then seal tightly.


Freezing your grains first, before sealing them into your food storage, will help eliminate insect problems. Freeze for 3 days. It kills the eggs that may be in waiting. You can do this for just about anything including rice, flour, wheat, etc.

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Oxygen Absorber

Use oxygen absorbers. No oxygen = no living things, and no oxidation of the contents or the container. It is advisable to use Mylar bags to hold your food and oxygen absorber, then seal the bag and store in a 5 gallon bucket with a Gamma seal lid like this one.

Related article: Oxygen Absorbers for 5-gallon Food Storage

Vacuum seal

Vacuum seal your food and store in 5 gallon plastic buckets with Gamma screw-on lids for easy access. Why a 5-gallon bucket? For protection from rodents and other ‘bugs’ from getting in.

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Use ziploc bags. Fill the bag, then compress it to remove as much air as possible, then seal. They won’t hold a vacuum as well as a vacuum sealer, and is the least effective on this list, but it’s still better than nothing.
How To Seal A Ziploc Bag

What are your ideas and experiences for bug-free food storage?