What is a Pantry Pest?
For the purposes of this article, a pantry pest is defined as one of any number of grain beetles that enter a home or business and infest stores of food or other commodities. They insinuate themselves into food products such as grains, cereals, flower, processed food etc. as well as pet food, potpourri/dried flowers, birdseed, and other non edible products. They are capable of feeding and reproducing throughout the year.
How can I tell if I have a pantry pest infestation? What are the signs?
The presence of small, dark-colored beetles, worms, or moths in or around food is a sure sign of the presence of pantry pests. They can be seen inside the food itself regardless of whether the package appears open. They can also be found in or around drawers and cupboards, especially in the nooks and crannies around the kitchen such as in the corners of a drawer.
For reference, what are some of the most common types of Pantry Pests?
- Indian meal moth
- saw-toothed grain beetle
- dermistid beetle
- flour beetle
- cigarette beetle
- drugstore beetle
- bean weevil
- spider weevil
- flour beetle
- maize and rice beetle
- granary beetle
How do I get rid of Pantry Pests for good?
- Call a licensed exterminator.
- Keep the kitchen or food storage area clean and crumb free.
- Carefully inspect anything the insects could be feeding on to look for signs of contamination. Seal any affected food or materials and remove them from the house immediately.
- Thoroughly vacuum the area and disinfect with soap and hot water or other cleaning solution.
How can I prevent an infestation from happening again in the future?
“All that is necessary for the triumph of weevil is that good men do nothing”
- Purchase smaller quantities of food so that they do not require long-term storage. Avoid storing food products for longer than four months at the most.
- Inspect food products to insure that their packaging is sealed and unbroken.
- When in doubt, 3 days in the freezer will eliminate any insects that a food or material may be harboring.
- Use heavy-duty containers to seal food. They may be able to penetrate common packaging materials such as cardboard and thin plastic.
What do these pests look like?