Pantry Pests 101

“Pantry pest” can refer to a variety of insects that may infest the dry food stored in your home. Most pantry pests are different types of beetles or moths. For example, flour beetles, weevils, cigarette beetles, drugstore beetles, and grain beetles are just some of the potential offenders. They are tiny and can be brown, black, or reddish. Indian meal moths are the most common stored food pests and can infest a wide variety of foods. These tan, skinny moths are about the length of your fingernail.

Pantry Pests Pain & Prevention

These insects do help break down and recycle grains, nuts, and other food items in the environment, but they are definitely unwelcome guests in our homes. Nobody wants a side of bugs with breakfast! So how can you prevent their presence in your pantry?

Store all pantry items, dry pet food, and birdseed in airtight, hard plastic containers, jars, etc. Thoroughly vacuum and wash cupboards, pantry shelves, and floors to remove any spilled food.

Don’t forget to vacuum under kitchen appliances, like the refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher.

Eliminating an infestation is all about finding the source. But finding these pests in one area of the home does not necessarily mean the infestation is in that area. We can help you locate and eliminate food sources, which will rapidly decrease pantry pest populations. Insecticide sprays do not effectively control pantry pests until the infested materials are removed and the area is cleaned, so please refrain from using them.

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Bird seed and dry pet food are often targets of pantry pests.

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Pantry Pests Habits & Habitat

Though they may find their way inside from outdoors, most pantry pests are already in food products brought into the home—with the original infestation originating at the processing plant, the warehouse, the delivery vehicle, or the retail store. Pantry pests live in the food they eat. That’s the life! They can re-infest the same container of food until all the nutrients have been depleted. And pretty much any dried stored food product (cereals, grains, chocolate, oatmeal, nuts, pasta, flour, tobacco, herbs, spices, medicine, dried fruits, birdseed, dry dog food, etc.) can become infested with some kind of pantry pest.

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