Table of Contents
Understanding Pantry Pests
What are pantry pests? You’ve likely asked this question at least once. Well, you should know pantry pests are also known as stored product pests. The term is used to describe a group of pests that prefers consuming household food products. For instance, these pests are going to consume flour, dry pasta, dry pet food, powdered milk, crackers, spices, birdseed, and more. Although many species fit into this category, you’ll find that the most common are Indian meal moths, cigarette beetles, and saw-tooth grain beetles.
These pests can enter your home and turn your life upside down. Since they live inside of their food source, they’ll be able to thrive and breed around the clock. Despite having pantry pests, it doesn’t mean that your home is unclean. Pantry pests are not a sign of poor housekeeping.
Pantry Pest Appearances
Indian Meal Moths
Indian meal moths are one of the most common pantry pests on the planet. They’re small, reddish-brown moths that have wings. Indian meal moths are coppery on the back and gray on the front. Although the moths are annoying, the larvae are going to damage your food products. They will attack an assortment of food products, including cereal. Indian meal moths are very difficult to remove from your home. They can build cocoons on your ceiling and you’ll need to deal with those as well.
Saw-Toothed Grain Beetles
Saw-toothed grain beetles have slender bodies and they’re brown. Most will grow up to a tenth of an inch. They have six saw-look teeth on both sides of their thorax. Adult and larvae will consume your dried food products. Although they’ll eat various foods in your home, they prefer flour, cereal, dried fruit, and candy. Don’t be surprised if you find them eating pet food or rodent bait.
Cigarette beetles are light brown with most growing up to an eighth of an inch. They have a humped back and smooth wings. Furthermore, their body hairs make them look fuzzy. As the name implies, they prefer consuming cigarettes and cured tobacco. However, they will also eat cereal, nuts, pet food, and candy. You may find them in your spices too.
Why Do I Have Pantry Pests?
In most cases, you have pantry pests because you brought them into your home. You purchased packaged food that contained pantry pests. Then, you brought the food packages into your home. There is always a risk that pantry pests are going to enter your home from outside, but this doesn’t happen often. It only takes a few pantry pest insects to create a full-blown infestation. Since they have constant access to food, they’ll be able to breed around the clock.
Pantry pests can easily produce several generations of offspring each year.
Signs Of A Pantry Pest Infestation
Are you worried that you’re dealing with a pantry pest infestation? Well, you’ll need to find out immediately. Look around your home for small insects. Do you see them around your food products? If so, you’re likely dealing with a pantry pest infestation. These pests will stay close to their food source.
Are Pantry Pests Dangerous?
Although pantry pests are problematic, they’re not dangerous. Indian meal moths, cigarette beetles, and saw-toothed grain beetles are not dangerous. The main problem is that they’re going to get into your food products and spoil them. Once you’ve found pantry pests in your food, you’ll need to throw the food out and replace it.
The good news is that these pests are not going to transmit diseases. They won’t make you sick even if you swallow their eggs.
Preventing Pantry Pest Infestations
To prevent a pantry pest infestation, use the tips below.
- Make sure that your food products are stored in airtight containers. Don’t use cardboard or paper because pantry pests will be able to chew through those materials.
- It is pertinent to clean your shelves often. Be sure to remove small crumbs and leftovers.
- Are you worried that a food product is infested? You can find out by placing it in a plastic bag and letting it sit. If bugs grow in the bag, you have pantry pests.
- Once you’ve identified pantry pests, you need to dispose of the contaminated food. Then, you’ll need to clean the container before reusing it.
Eliminating Pantry Pests
Ultimately, it is not easy to deal with a pantry pest infestation. Still, you can get rid of them and you need to do so. The biggest problem with pantry pests is that they’ll live in their food source. They often blend in with their environment exceptionally well and this makes them difficult to spot. Furthermore, you’ll discover that DIY techniques are not always reliable. They might not work.
If you wish to tackle this problem on your own, you should follow the advice below.
- Dispose of items found to be infested as quickly as possible. Seal these items in a plastic bag before getting rid of them.
- Be sure to clean your pantry shelves thoroughly. Use a vacuum to deal with pests, eggs, and food crumbs. All contents should be sealed in a plastic bag before being disposed of.
- Wash your shelves, walls, and other surfaces.
Unfortunately, not all over-the-counter products are effective for eliminating pantry pests. They might work, but they may not. And, there is a risk that they’re going to be dangerous. Hiring a professional may be the best way to deal with the problem.
When Can You Get Here?
Contact our office to schedule an appointment today. Our exterminator will likely reach your home in 24 to 48 hours.
Is Your Pantry Pest Treatment Safe?
Yes. Our company works diligently to provide its clients with safe solutions to the problems they’re facing. We utilize EPA-registered products and follow strict protocols to keep you and your loved ones safe. We’ll tell you if special safety precautions are required.
Preventing Pantry Pest Infestations
You may not be able to prevent all pantry pests from entering your home, but you can reduce the risks. When purchasing food products, make sure that they’re free of pests. Don’t bring infested items into your home or you’ll regret it. Furthermore, you should make sure that your pantry remains clean and free of food crumbs. Take steps to keep pantry pests out of your home and you may be able to avoid an infestation.