Pantry pests may have been in your kitchen and pantry for some time. With summer behind us and fall winding down, we look to settling in for the winter. With that comes stocking up on wintry weather ‘comfort’ foods and cleaning out items not needed until next season.
Common Pantry and Kitchen Pests
Pantry pests can be found in even the cleanest kitchens. Pantry pests are small and often undetectable. These pests are little hitchhikers tagging along from big box stores and supermarket shelves. These stores are not always unclean, but the food left on pallets in warehouses can attract a stray pest or two.
The most common types of pantry pests are Indian Meal Moths, weevils, and small beetles. These pests do not bite or sting humans, but they can cause damage.
The Indian Meal Moth gets its name from living in kitchen pantries, grocery stores, and food storage facilities dining on “meal made of “Indian corn” or maize.” They are often called pantry moths, flour moths, or grain moths. According to the AEPMA, “Alternative common names are North American high-flyer, Weevil moth and pantry moth; less specifically, it may be referred to as ‘flour moth’ or ‘grain moth.’ The Almond moth (Cadra cautella) is commonly confused with the Indianmeal Moth.”
Weevils are a type of beetle with a longer snout. Weevils are often referred to as flour bugs because that is where they are most frequently found. Weevils do not just eat pantry foods such as grains, cereal, nuts, and dried beans; they lay eggs inside the food. These eggs eventually hatch, and the larvae consume the food to support their growth. Weevils are of no danger to humans or pets.
Pantry pest beetles are tiny, less than a grain of rice, and usually brown to black. These beetles, especially, are no strangers to hitchhiking in bread, rice, and pasta as it is transported from the packaging facility. These small beetles also have a desire for dog food, chocolate, and nuts!
4 Things You Need To Know About Pantry Pests
Now that we know what is in your kitchen, here are four things you need to know:
- Finding any bugs in your flour, rice, or other packages? Please throw them away. Removing the bug you can see does not ensure you have removed any larvae or other stragglers.
- What happens If you have eaten from a package and then you find a bug? Don’t panic. Pantry pests are not poisonous, they won’t hurt you physically, but we know it is not a pleasant thought.
- If you find an infestation, empty the cabinet or pantry and thoroughly clean all the shelving, walls, and floors. Remember, you are storing food here, so do not use harsh chemicals or pesticides.
- Ok, let’s start from scratch. Store foods in airtight containers, especially foods in bags such as sugars, rice, and cereals. Yes, it does cost a bit to purchase these storage items, for discount stores offer great deals for this necessary one-time purchase.
Should I contact a pest control company for pantry pests?
Yes! The pests we described within this post are the most common pantry pests. However, if you also experience mice and ants, we can help. We offer organic products, baits and traps, lures/lure traps, and liquid applications. Mice, however, present a different problem. Mice require treatment and, often, repair.
Our AccuShield Technicians can fix most damage, depending on what has occurred and for how long. Part of the process includes sanitizing the area and removing droppings if they have made a mess of things. In addition, we look for common openings, which would be windows and doors, behind the stove, dishwasher, fridge, and plumbing. All products used in a kitchen would be labeled for use in a kitchen and are safe for people and pets.
Stu can help!
Stu knows that ‘simple sightings’ can turn into infestations quickly. So, contact us for a free inspection, and Stu and the technicians will return your pantry, kitchen, basement, or garage into a pest-free environment.
resources: Food Network