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What Is A Pantry Pest?
Pantry pests are a group of pests that are also referred to as stored product pests. These pests share many characteristics, including the fact that they love eating dried and processed foods you’ve stored in your home. They will eat a variety of foods, such as flour, dry pasta, powdered milk, crackers, spices, bread, dried fruit, dry pet food, and cereal.
This name is used to describe several pests, but the most common pantry pests are Indian meal moths, cigarette beetles, and saw-toothed grain beetles. These pests will often be found in Massachusetts kitchens and cupboards. When you experience a pantry pest problem, you have to act quickly and diligently. You’re dealing with a severe problem because these pests can reproduce around the clock. After all, they reside in the food they eat.
Many pantry pests will produce many generations annually. While they eat stored food, a pantry pest infestation doesn’t mean you haven’t cleaned your home thoroughly enough.
What Do Pantry Pests Look Like?
Indian Meal Moth
These moths have forewings, and they’re small and reddish-brown. The back portion of the Indian meal moth has a coppery appearance, while the front is white or gray. Indian meal moth larvae will destroy and contaminate your food. Unfortunately, this pantry pest is difficult to eliminate. Once you’re dealing with Indian meal moths, you’ll find cocoons in your kitchen and bugs crawling on your ceiling. Since they reproduce rapidly, they’re hard to eliminate.
These beetles are tan or brown, with most growing up to 1/8ths of an inch. The cigarette beetle has a hump-backed design with smooth wing coverings. They have a fuzzy look thanks to their body hairs. As the name suggests, cigarette beetles prefer eating cured tobacco, cigars, and cigarettes. However, they can also enter your home. When this happens, the cigarette beetle will eat candy, nuts, and cereal.
Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle
This unique beetle is small, flat, and slim. Most grow roughly 1/10ths of an inch, and they have six tooth projections that resemble saws. These projections are found on both sides of the beetle’s thorax. Saw-toothed grain beetles and their larvae will consume dried foods. They prefer candy, dried fruit, flour, and cereal. In addition to this, they can be found in bags of birdseed, rodent bait, and pet food.
What Causes Pantry Pests?
Most pantry pest infestations are not caused by the homeowner or their housekeeping activities. Instead, most people get pantry pests by purchasing and bringing home infested food packages. Some pantry pests will enter the dwelling from the outside. A pantry pest infestation can start with a few insects before quickly spiraling out of control. Once they’ve gained access to a food supply, they’re going to reproduce and quickly grow their numbers.
Again, they live in their food source so they can breed constantly.
How Can I Tell If I Have A Pantry Pest Infestation?
Are you worried that your home might have pantry pests? Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell since these pests live in the food they resemble. You’ll likely be able to confirm an infestation when you find small moths flying around your kitchen. Also, these pests are attracted to light so you can find them around light sources.
Is A Pantry Pest Dangerous?
Ultimately, most pantry pests are not dangerous. However, you’re dealing with a handful of pests. Therefore, the risk will depend on the pest you’re dealing with. Cigarette beetles, Indian meal moths, and saw-toothed grain beetles are not dangerous. They aren’t going to bite or sting you. However, they can contaminate your food. Once this happens, you’ll want to replace the food immediately, and this can greatly increase your expenses. You likely won’t get sick if you eat these insects of their eggs, but you don’t want this to happen. Get rid of the pests immediately so you don’t have to worry about it.
How Do I Stop Future Pantry Pest Infestations?
To stop future pantry pest infestations, you need to make sure that your food products are properly stored. You’ll want to use the tips below too.
- Keep your dried food products in airtight containers. Don’t use paper or cardboard because pantry pests will chew through these materials.
- Take the time to clean your pantry shelves once or twice a week. Get rid of crumbs and leftovers immediately.
- Before storing new food, you should dispose of the old food and clean the container thoroughly.
- Are you concerned you have an infestation? Place the food in a plastic bag and leave it for a few weeks. If the food is infested, you’ll be able to see the pests in the plastic bag. It can take up to a month to ensure that the product is free of pests.
How Can I Get Rid Of Pantry Pests?
You’ll want to get rid of pantry pests as quickly as possible, but this is going to be tougher than you could ever imagine. These pests blend in with their food source. As a result, you won’t be able to identify or eliminate them easily. For the best results, you should think about hiring a professional exterminator in your area. Be sure to use the following tips to deal with the problem effectively.
- Get rid of infested food items as quickly as possible. Seal the infested items in a plastic bag before tossing them into the garbage.
- Remove all food items from your pantry shelves. Clean the shelves thoroughly and use a vacuum to remove pantry pests, pupae, and eggs. The vacuum’s contents need to be placed in a plastic bag before disposing of it.
- Clean all aspects of your pantry, including the shelves, doors, and walls.
Unfortunately, many DIY pantry pest pesticides are not effective. Some are going to be harmful to you, your pets, and your loved ones. It might be best to hire a professional because they’ll take care of the problem while minimizing the risks. Our company has been dealing with pantry pest infestations for our clients for many years. We know how to provide satisfactory, long-lasting results. Contact us and take care of this problem immediately.
How Soon Can You Start?
Are The Treatments Safe?
While some pest control companies aren’t interested in protecting their clients, we are. We want to make sure that nothing goes wrong. We only use EPA-registered products because we want to protect you, your loved ones, and your precious pets. We wouldn’t use any products that might pose a risk to humans or animals. Our service technicians have been extensively trained so they know how to fix your pantry pest problem without posing a risk.
How Can I Avoid Future Pantry Pest Infestations?
Stopping future pantry pest infestations won’t be easy. You need to be aggressive so you can prevent similar problems in the future. First, check the food products you purchase. Make sure you check your food products before bringing them into your home. Also, store these products in airtight containers. Clean up your messes quickly and dispose of infested foods before the infestation spreads.