It is not uncommon to find insects in your pantry since the stored foods provide them multiple choices for sustenance. Which pests are invading your pantry right now, and how do you get rid of them?
Insects like visiting the pantry because of its abundant stocks of food. Stored goods such as flour, cereal, dried fruit, grains, and nuts are very attractive food options for pantry pests. If you happen to chance upon a pantry pest having its way in your kitchen, what would you most likely do? Here are a few facts about the most common pantry pests so you can better know what you are dealing with:
The Indianmeal moth, also spelled Indian meal or Indian-meal moth, is one of the most common pests found in the pantry. They usually gain entry to your home by coming along with grocery items such as flour and pasta. Indianmeal moths hitchhike their way into the kitchen, then hide away until they can lay eggs.
Indianmeal moths are hard to get rid of because their number one priority isn’t to eat your food but to reproduce in them. Gross, right? They’re known to leave larvae on cereals, rice, cornmeal, dog food, and other dry goods that can be found in the pantry. The female species can lay over 300 eggs on your stocked food, so make sure everything is sealed tightly to prevent that from happening.
Rice weevils are a small type of beetle that primarily feasts on grains. Although their name implies an appetite biased to rice, they also feed on corn, cereal, nuts, wheat, and even dry fruits like apples and pears.
Rice weevils like to hide in their food, so you’ll likely get them into your house by buying a sack of rice or other grains with a handful of weevils stealthily positioned inside. If you’ve just arrived home from the market, you might want to check your packaged foods for these unwanted visitors. You can simply dump the entire product out to ensure their feces and eggs are also disposed of.
A pest list just wouldn’t be complete without cockroaches. Cockroaches are probably the most distasteful pests you can find in your pantry, scurrying around crumbs before leaping into flight as soon as you enter the room. They are carriers of a lot of undesirable things such as germs and bacteria, and even their droppings can cause illness and allergies.
Keeping your entire house clean is the best way to ensure no cockroaches will feel the need to settle in. They are attracted to rotten food and garbage, so make sure to dispose of any leftovers as soon as you’re done eating to avoid calling their attention.
Warehouse beetles are small, oval-shaped insects that are normally black or brown in color. These pests are typically found inside packaged dry foods such as cereals and grains. Similar to the Indianmeal moth, warehouse beetles like reproducing in or near food. Their larva eats cereal, grains, flour, candies, and even potato chips, so it’s vital to keep your pantry clean to avoid feeding them further.
Female warehouse beetles can lay up to 100 eggs, and the larva shed hairs on the food after hatching, so it’s crucial to spot them before eating contaminated goods. If you swallow the shed hairs, it can set off an allergic reaction depending on how much hair there was in the food.
Unlike the other pests mentioned above, spider beetles prefer foods stored in pantries and cupboards over those left in the open. They like to chew through food packaging, which takes a while so it makes sense they’d rather do it in secret inside the cupboard.
Once they’ve eaten through the packaging, spider beetles proceed to eat the food inside and then leave a string of cocoons and webbings afterward. They prefer to lay eggs in grains and flour, so check those items diligently before using them to ensure you’re not cooking with spider beetle eggs as a secret ingredient.
A Final Word on Pantry Pests
Keeping the house clean and orderly is the best way to rid yourself of pantry pests. Regularly vacuum rooms to pick up contaminated material and avoid infestations. Store foods in sealed containers made of glass or metal so that pests won’t be able to bite and chew their way inside. You can also store dry goods inside the refrigerator instead.
If all else fails and your pantry has fallen into a particular pest infestation, you can always count on Rocklin Pest Control to handle it for you. Armed with skilled professionals and high-quality equipment and materials, Rocklin Pest Control can guarantee to rid your house of pests at an affordable rate.
(Source: University of Minnesota.)