The holidays are over. The flour, spices, oatmeal, cereals and chocolate have been put back in the pantry to be saved for Valentine’s or birthday baking. As those baking essentials hide in your dark cabinet until they are needed again, so can pantry pests.
Beetle and Moth Pantry Pests
The two most common pantry pests are the Merchant Grain Beetle and the Indian Meal Moth. Both are found throughout the United States. They tend to gather around food stored in pantries and cabinets, feeding and breeding until there is a full infestation.
The Merchant Grain Beetle are found year round, mostly in pantries, food processing areas and warehouses where any accessible food can quickly become a smorgasbord. As their name implies, these little beetles prefer grainy foods such as cereals, cookies, cake mixes and noodles like macaroni. Their body shape enables them to easily crawl into packages where they eat, live and reproduce. The products them become contaminated and cannot be eaten. These tiny little pantry pests have six saw-like teeth on each side of their flat bodies, allowing them to actually chew through your grains. One good prevention tip is to keep one bay leaf in packages or canisters of dry goods. The leaf’s sharp scent repels the beetle and other pests as well.
The Indian Meal Moth are also found year round. These moths are attracted to light and any area where food is stored. They actually have a wider palette, enjoying grains and dried fruits, vegetables, seeds, candy, chocolate, nuts, powdered milk and pet food. Once infested, any product having the moths are unfit for use. It is best to always store food in thick plastic or glass containers with air-tight lids. Once Indian Meal Moths are spotted, it is best to call a pest control professional quickly as these moths reproduce quickly and spread throughout the pantry.
An infestation of the Merchant Grain Beetle or the Indian Meal Moth can be costly. Once these pantry pests are into your food supply, those products are unusable and must be replaced. The longer they are allowed to reproduce in your home, the bigger and more costly problem it will be. Pantry pests can literally take over your kitchen.
Watch Out For Those Weevils
Other pantry pests include the Flour Beetle and Rice Weevil. These pests feed and breed in similar food products but the Rice Weevil actually lives inside of the grain. Undetected rice weevils can destroy an entire crop in storage.
Following simple steps in food storage and clean up will go quite a long way in prevent a pantry pest infestation. Always avoid purchasing a food product that has been opened or damaged. Store food in airtight containers. Store bulk products like pet food in airtight storage bins. Always wash storage containers before adding fresh food. If you have a new product, avoid adding it to a stored product. Lastly, regularly clean storage areas like pantries and cabinets with warm soapy water, eliminating any spills. Pantry pests like warm, moist environments so keep the pantry dry and cool.
Buzzkill Keeps Your Pantries Clear
If you have noticed insects in your stored food products, in your pantry or cabinets for more than a couple of weeks, then you should contact a pest management professional. Pantry pest populations can increase rapidly costing you food and money. BuzzKill Pest Control has the knowledge, tools and skills to eliminate any pest problem you have in your pantry or around your home. Get in touch with us today to find out about our services we offer in your area.