Pantry Pests

Table of Contents

Pantry pest”, a term utilized to describe a group of species that invade pantries in search of nonperishables. The pantry pest, also known as stored product pest, comes in various forms, including rodent and insect. A variety of pests fit the pantry pest criteria. The mouse, rat, ant, fly, beetle, and cockroach are just a few examples. These pest species infiltrate residential and commercial establishments to invade the pantry.

What Does The Pantry Pest Eat?

The pantry pest feeds on a variety of nonperishable and perishable food products. All food stored in vulnerable packaging and containers is at risk of becoming a pantry pest meal. The pantry pest diet consists of the following types of food:

  • Raw or uncooked pasta
  • Powdered milk
  • Spices – paprika, chili powder, and pepper
  • Tobacco products – smoking and non-smoking tobacco
  • Dry cereal, fruit, and pet food
  • Homemade candy
  • Bread, crackers, and cookies
  • Nuts
  • Cornstarch, cornmeal, and flour

When food is fully accessible, pantry pests can continuously procreate, following home infiltration.

Identify The Most Commonly Reported Pantry Pest Species

It is important for all property owners to learn how to identify the pantry pest species found in their communities. The most notorious species of pantry pests in the local community include the Indian meal moth, cigarette beetle, and saw-toothed grain beetle.

Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle – Adults grow up to one-tenth of an inch in length, with a long slender body. The projections in the shape of a traditional handsaw blade are utilized to feed, fight off predatory insects, and nest. The unique handsaw blade tooth-like projections protrude from the insect’s right and left sides of the thorax.

Saw-tooted grain beetles “Oryzaephilus surinamensis) in the larvae and adult life cycles feed on nonperishables and other accessible pantry food products.

Indian Meal Moth – Adults grow up to 0.75 (3/4) inches in length. The insect has several sets of wings, including forewings, which protect the rear wings utilized for flying. During the larvae stage, the insect erects a cocoon to live in while maturing to an adult.

Once the “Plodia interpunctella” reaches maturity, it will no longer feed on pantry foods. While the pantry pest no longer feeds, it continues to search for accessible nonperishables and perishables. Instead of feeding on the food, the insects reproduce on the food. When the eggs hatch, they will begin feeding on the food.

Indian meal moth cocoons can be found hanging on ceilings, eaves, trees, and other structures.

Cigarette “Tobacco” Beetle – Adults grow up to one-eighth of an inch in length, with a unique humpback. The body varies between reddish/brown and dark brown, covered with fine hair.

Why Is My Property Under A Pantry Pest Threat?

Pantry pests target all properties, including commercial, industrial, and residential. The insects infiltrate properties through exterior-to-interior openings.  Damaged window frames, basement vents, garage door seals, and public utility openings. The insects crawl through the small access points to infiltrate homes and businesses.

Following home infiltration, the insect will immediately initiate a search for pantry food. All accessible non-refrigerated food at risk of pantry pest infiltration.

What Are The Most Common Signs Of A Pantry Pest Infestation?

The signs of a pantry pest infestation vary, depending on several factors, such as pest species. Depending on the pantry pest species, the infestation may be obvious in the early stages. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, as some pantry pests are known for their deceptive behaviors to avoid detection when infesting homes.

The most commonly reported signs of a pantry pest infestation include the following:

  • Damaged food packaging and containers
  • Live pantry pests on countertops and in pantries
  • Moths hovering over food and food-contaminated surfaces
  • Tiny fecal droppings
  • Pantry pest eggs in exposed pantry food

Do Pantry Pests Spread Diseases To Children?

Most of or, all pantry pest species do not pose health risks to children or adults. However, some species may cause foodborne illnesses through contaminants in feces. The contaminated fecal matter is dropped into the pantry food supply. When ingested by children or adults, the results may be a foodborne illness.

There is also the risk of food spoilage, resulting in financial loss. Ingested pantry pest eggs do not pose health risks.

What Is The Best Way To Prevent A Repeat Pantry Pest Infiltration?

Keeping pantry pests out of your home will not be easy. However, it is possible with an effective pest control strategy. With the client’s help, our pest control experts can develop a pantry pest prevention strategy.

The prevention strategy should include the following components:

  • Seal off all access points into your home with metal screens, waterproof caulk, wood sheeting, steel wool pot scrubbers, and foam insulation
  • Routinely vacuum, followed by a thorough cleaning of all storage areas
  • Upgrade your nonperishable food storage system by transitioning from paperboard packaging to ceramic, stainless-steel, or glass containers
  • Never reuse outdated food products
  • Never ingest contaminated food
  • Learn how to identify the Indian meal moth, and cigarette and saw-tooted grain beetles

How To Safely And Fully Exterminate Pantry Pests In All Settings?

Consumers have two pantry pest extermination methods to choose from. Do-it-yourself and professional pest control are effective in eradicating pantry pests. However, do-it-yourself pest control products fail in comparison to our professional pest management services. We combine industrial-grade insecticides with traps to wipe out a pantry pest infestation.

To speed up the eradication process, we suggest clients getting involved right from the get-go. You can assist our pest control technicians by creating a pantry pest-safe-proof food storage system.

Do not hesitate to reach out to our local pest control experts to learn more about our professional pantry pest solutions. We offer a broad range of treatment strategies for all species of pantry pests.

We will need to thoroughly inspect the impacted property to determine if it is truly infested with pantry pests. A pantry pest inspection is a very important component of the pest management process. With evidence collected during the visual inspection, we can create a treatment specific for the pantry pest species responsible for the infestation.

We offer free pest control consultations via appointment only.

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