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What Is A Pantry Pest?
Pantry pest is a term used to describe a group of pests that likes eating the dried, processed food found in your home. They’re also referred to as stored product pests. Pantry pests will eat various foods, including flour, dry pasta, dry pet food, powdered milk, spices, bread, dried nuts, fruit, and cereal. While there are various pantry pests, you’ll find that the most common is the Indian meal moth, cigarette beetle, and saw-toothed grain beetle. These pests are known to sneak into homes and kitchens.
Another thing to remember is that pantry pests can breed constantly. Since they live in their food supply, they’re going to eat and reproduce around the clock. Pantry pests can produce a handful of generations each year. Having pantry pests means nothing about your housekeeping activities.
What Do Pantry Pests Look Like?
Indian Meal Moths
Indian meal moths are one of the most common pantry pests. They’re small moths that feature reddish brown forewings. On their back half, they’re going to have a coppery appearance. Indian meal moth produces larvae that will cause damage to your food items. The larvae will attack various dried food products in your home. The unfortunate truth is that getting rid of Indian meal moths is very difficult.
Saw-toothed Grain Beetle
Saw-toothed grain beetles are slender, flat, and brown. They tend to reach one-tenth of an inch and will have six tooth projections that look like saws. These tooth projections are located on both sides of the thorax. When it comes to saw-toothed grain beetles, larvae, and adult beetles eat the dried food products in your home. These beetles are scavengers, and they will eat opened products in your home. They’ll consume flour, cereal, candy, and more. In some cases, they’ll eat pet food, rodent bait, and birdseed.
Finally, you have the cigarette beetle. This light brown pest tends to grow an eighth of an inch long. You’ll quickly identify these pests thanks to their hump-backed appearance. In addition to this, they have smooth wing covers and body hairs. This pest primarily feeds on cigarettes, cigars, and cured tobacco. However, they’ll also eat pet food, cereal, candy, and nuts.
Why Do I Have Pantry Pests?
In most cases, pantry pests come into the home through packaged food products. If these products were infested, bringing them into your home means your home will be infested too. It only takes a handful of insects for a full-blown infestation to begin. Since they live near their food source, pantry pests can feed and reproduce all the time.
What Are Signs Of A Pantry Pest Infestation?
It is easy to ignore a pantry pest infestation because pantry pests are small and usually resemble their food choice. You’ll want to look for small moths circling your home. In addition to this, you should search for beetles in and around your food products. They’re attracted to light sources so you can likely find them flying around the lights in your home too.
Are Pantry Pests Dangerous?
The most common pantry pests are usually not dangerous. However, you need to understand that they’re contaminating your food. Once they’ve done that, you will need to replace the food immediately. This increases the cost of living and can turn your stomach. They do not spread disease so you don’t have to worry about ingesting them. Still, this isn’t something you’ll want to do.
How Can I Prevent Pantry Pest Infestations?
- It is pertinent to take steps to prevent pantry pest infestations. One way to do that is by properly storing your food in airtight containers. You’ll need to use tough containers because the larvae will chew through cardboard and paper.
- Make sure that your pantry shelves are cleaned regularly. Get rid of leftovers and small crumbs.
- When purchasing new food products, never combine them with old products.
- Try testing your food to see if it is infested with pantry pests. Add the product to a plastic bag and keep an eye on it for a month. If pests accumulate, you’ll want to throw the food out.
- Before adding more food to containers, you’ll want to clean them first.
How Can I Get Rid Of Pantry Pests?
Ordinary consumers will have a difficult time getting rid of pantry pests. Since they blend into their environment exceptionally well, they’re difficult to identify and kill. DIY methods are usually not effective, so it is best to hire a professional. To eliminate the problem on your own, you should start by testing your food products. Add them to plastic bags so you can determine whether they’re infested. You’ll also want to clean your pantries using a vacuum cleaner. Finally, wash the shelves and walls before adding items to your pantry again.
Many over-the-counter treatment options are ineffective. You’ll want to hire a professional exterminator since this is the best way to get rid of the pests.
How Soon Can You Get Started?
Our professional exterminator can reach your home in 24 to 48 hours.
Are The Treatments Safe?
We believe in using the safest treatments. All chemicals we use as EPA-registered. Furthermore, we technicians are trained to follow strict protocols to protect the client. When you depend on us, you can rest assured knowing that you’re going to be protected from start to finish. If you need to take any safety precautions, our skilled exterminator will tell you what to do.
Can I Prevent Future Pantry Pest Infestations?
It is common for pantry pests to target homes throughout San Diego and beyond. You might be able to reduce the risk, but you can never completely eliminate future infestations. Start by making sure that all of your food is properly stored. Be sure to use airtight containers, and stay away from paper and cardboard containers. Furthermore, go above and beyond to keep your pantry and cupboards clean. If you find pantry pests in your food, you should get rid of those products immediately.
Clean your pantry thoroughly before adding more food to your pantries.
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