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Understanding Pantry Pests
Pantry pests or stored product pests are a type of pest that like eating dried and processed foods stored in homes across the planet. While they’ll eat a handful of foods, they prefer cereal, flour, dry pet food, dry pasta, cornstarch, crackers, spices, bread, birdseed, powdered milk, dried nuts, fruits, and more. The term pantry pest covers an assortment of pests including cigarette beetles, Indian meal moths, and saw-toothed grain beetles. While there are others, the aforementioned pests are the most common.
Since pantry pests live in their food source, they’re able to continuously feed and breed. Many pantry pests will be able to produce several generations over the calendar year. While it might seem like it, you should know that a pantry pest infestation says nothing about your housekeeping characteristics. The cleanest homes in Charlotte may have pantry pests.
Pantry Pest Appearances
Indian Meal Moths
The Indian Meal Moth is one of the most common pantry pests. This small moth has reddish-brown forewings with a coppery appearance on its back. While the Indian meal moth is an annoyance, the larvae are responsible for damaging your food products. They can contaminate various food products, including cereal, flour, and more. Once your home has been infested by Indian meal moths, you have a big issue to deal with. They will crawl on ceilings and building cocoons in nearby rooms. Getting rid of them may seem impossible.
Saw-Toothed Grain Beetles
Saw-toothed grain beetles have slender, brown bodies. Most are approximately a tenth of an inch in length, and they have six saw-like tooth projections on both sides. Saw-toothed grain beetles may be worse than the others because adults and larvae will consume dried food products found in your home. Saw-toothed grain beetles are scavengers that will feed on various food products, including flour, candy, cereal, and dried fruit. From time to time, they’ll consume pet food and rodent bait.
These light-brown beetles can reach up to an eighth of an inch in length. They are easy to spot because they have a humped-back. Their wing covers are smooth while they have body hairs that make them look fuzzy. Although they often feed on cured tobacco, they’ll eat household foods too. For instance, they’re going to consume nuts, candy, and cereal.
What Causes Pantry Pests?
Pantry pest infestations usually have nothing to do with your housekeeping habits. Instead, they were likely brought into your home through packaged foods that were already contaminated. They were infested when you bought them at the store. As a result, you brought the infested food home and your entire home is infested now. It takes one or two pests to create a full-blown infestation. Since pantry pests live with their food source, they can breed around the clock. It is common for a pantry pest to produce several generations during the calendar year.
Signs Of A Pantry Pest Infestation
Are you worried that you might be dealing with a pantry pest problem? You might be. Sadly, it can be difficult to find out because pantry pests blend in with their food sources exceptionally well. Therefore, you might live with them for a few weeks or longer without realizing you have a problem. Most people will identify this problem when they find small moths surrounding their food packages.
Or, they might notice beetles in or around their cereal and flour packages. Pantry pests may also be found around your home’s light sources. It is crucial that every member of your household be familiar with these signs. This knowledge can be applied to a strong preventive method to fight against future pantry pest infestations.
Are Pantry Pests Dangerous?
When it comes down to it, most pantry pests are not dangerous to humans. Saw-toothed grain beetles, cigarette beetles, and Indian meal moths aren’t dangerous. However, they can create a handful of issues for homeowners and renters. In addition to this, they’ll ruin a business. The issue is that pantry pests can destroy food products rapidly. They’ll live into your food packages and release eggs in the food. This will contaminate the food and encourage you to throw it away.
How To Prevent Pantry Pest Infestations?
Pantry pests are a group of insects that target homes with endless food and shelter sources. These pests feed on food stored in pantries. A few examples include dried cereal, flour, cornmeal, dried fruit, pasta, cookies, and sugar. To prevent pantry pest infestations, we recommend starting with the following steps:
- Store dried food in sealed containers made of thick plastic, glass, or metal
- Routinely clean pantries with a disinfectant, soap, and water
- Avoid combining used and new dried food in the same container
- Suspicious dried food should be tested prior to consumption to eliminate all potentially contaminated sources
- Wash storage containers with dish soap and rinse thoroughly with fresh water
How To Eliminate Pantry Pest Infestations?
Eliminating pantry pest infestations is a complex process that combines manpower, pesticides, and traps into a single pest control strategy. While these insects are tiny and slow-moving, they create havoc wherever they go. The devastating damage becomes obvious within a few weeks of the pantry pests moving into the home or business.
We combine the following pest control products and methods to combat pantry pest infestations.
- Removal of all infested food products, clothing, and other materials
- Removal of leftover debris, pantry pest larvae and eggs, and pupae buried deep in tiny crevices and cracks in cupboards, cubbyholes, kitchen cabinets, and shelves
- Thorough cleaning of contaminated areas
Unfortunately, not all pesticides are effective against pantry pest infestations or environmentally safe. In fact, some brands have been shown to pose environmental risks, which is why they are no longer included in our pest control strategies. We do not recommend mixing used and new pantry foods, even though it is an effective way to save money. The risk of contamination is just too high to ignore in pantry pest-infested homes.
When Should I Expect The Exterminator To Arrive At My Home?
In most cases, our customer service team can dispatch a licensed exterminator out to the customer’s home or business within 24 to 48 hours of their initial request. If you believe this is an emergency matter, bring this to the representative’s attention. This will help push your request forward to ensure a quicker extermination response.
Is Pantry Pest Control Harmful Or Safe?
Pantry pests are opportunist insects that take advantage of vulnerable residents and businesses. Once an establishment is deemed “infested,” control of the home or business changes hands. The pantry pests will continue to reign over the infested building until the owner decides to take matters into his/her own hands. Taking control means applying commercial-strength pesticides and traps throughout the infested home. To protect our customers and their assets and family, we only utilize pesticides and extermination techniques that have previously been approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency, better known as the EPA. EPA-approved pesticides have been deemed safe for the environment, humans, animals, and plants.
How To Prevent Future Pantry Pest Infestations?
There is no doubt pest infestations cause stress, fear, and anxiety. Even though the infestation is completely eradicated does not mean the victim’s stress, fear, and anxiety evaporates. In fact, experts believe these symptoms will remain around for an extremely long time because of the lingering risk of future infestations. Fortunately, there are techniques that have shown to be as effective, if not as effective as the extermination process itself in preventing future pantry pest infestations. These techniques are comprised of pantry pest deterrents, access point removal, and the elimination of the much-needed pantry pest essentials, such as dry pasta, cereal, crackers, bread, dog food, and fruit. Get rid of these sources and eliminate the risk of a future pantry pest infestation.
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