It is important to be able to identify these stored product pests so that you know how to get rid of pantry bugs in your home. Read on carefully to imprint in your mind the traits of these dastardly beasts.
What Are Stored Product Pests?
Stored product pests, or pantry bugs, are those insects that feed on the staple foods of your household and include weevils, moths, bores, and beetles. These pests can be anywhere from a sixteenth of an inch long to a quarter-inch long. They also can vary in color, though most of them are brownish to black.
These stored product pests are harmful because they may contaminate your food, as well as cause damage to clothing and furniture throughout your home.
They commonly feed on several different kinds of things, such as spices, books, upholstered furniture, clothes, dried fruits, and grains.
Pantry bugs easily penetrate packaging materials and can be found mostly in kitchen cabinets and pantries.
Beetles, moths, and mites are capable of infesting whole grains or processed foods in your pantry. The first sign that there is a problem is the appearance of small beetles crawling around on your countertops, moths flying around the room, and/or caterpillars crawling up the walls behind cabinets or across the ceiling.
Other stored product pests will feed inside of whole kernels. These pests are typically the granary weevil, rice weevil, and the Angoumois grain moth.
The common infested foods inhabited by pantry pests that feed on whole kernels are barley, oats, rye, and corn.
The largest portion of pantry pest insects feed on processed grains and broken kernels, as well as spices. These common offenders include the red and confused flour beetles, sawtoothed grain beetles, drugstore beetles, cigarette beetles, and Indian meal moths.
The flour beetles and saw-toothed grain beetles cannot attack whole or undamaged grains so they feed on a large assortment of processed grains such as flour and meal in addition to sweets, tobacco, meat, and other edibles found in the kitchen.
Pest Control For Stored Product Pests
Generally, the more pantry pests you find, the older the infestation. This means that the original source of the infestation may be partially used boxes or bags of food staples left forgotten in the backs of shelves and pantries.
As you go through your pantry searching for the possible source of the problem, don’t forget to also look at any decorative kitchen items like harvest corn and pet food bags.
The best and most immediate way to rid your pantry of these pests is to remove the food source; find and destroy the infested products where the pests have resided.
Wipe down or vacuum all of the shelving in the area to ensure you’ve got everything cleaned up thoroughly. Disposing of the infested materials is the best pest control method for stored product pests.
Placing all long-term pantry staples like grains, spices, baking products, dried fruit, and pet food in air-tight containers or ziplock bags is the best pest prevention method.