Pantry pests are squatters in your cabinets who break into stored food items and lay their eggs in them. It may seem like they came from nowhere, but there are a few things you can do to prevent pantry pests and things to check for to keep from accidentally bringing them into your homes. Here are a few common pantry pests worth learning to recognize and control.
Three Common Pantry Pests
Many pantry pests get their names from the types of stored items they like to eat. Unfortunately, if access to their favorites is restricted, they’ll find another option equally appealing.
- Tiny, oval-shaped pests only about 1/10 of an inch in length
- Serrated antennae and smooth, brown carapace
- Major destructive force for stored tobacco, but will also happily target flours, dried fruits, coffees, and other dry mixes
The next pest was named for its discovery in cornmeal, though they are also not picky in what they eat.
Indian Meal Moth:
- Mottled reddish-brown on the edges of the wings
- About ⅝ of an inch in length
- Like to eat dried fruits, grains, seeds, chocolates, dog food, and more
The final pest is another beetle, named for its taste in grains
Sawtoothed Grain Beetle:
- 3 distinct segments that add up to about 1/10 of an inch long
- Distinct “sawtoothed” outer edges on its thorax
- Prefer grain, fruit, chocolate, and tobacco
These three are just a few of the many different kinds of pantry pests that can wreak havoc on stored food. It’s usually an accident that brings them into the home, but there are a few things to look for to prevent even that.
How To Prevent Pantry Pest Infestations
Combined with some general pest prevention tips, there are a few targeted strategies that could stop an accidental pantry pest trojan horse situation from ruining your food. Practice the following tips, particularly after shopping.
- Store food in sealed plastic or glass containers.
- Don’t leave food in the pantry past its expiration, or longer than 2 months.
- Keep shelves cleaned of crumbs and spills, and seal the edges around the shelves to prevent food from accumulating.
- Add a bay leaf for packages of rice and grains to deter pests with its scent.
- Before bringing groceries home, check the box or package for holes. Feel around for hard lumps where the larvae may be stored. If the package is damaged at all, don’t buy it.
- Around the home, keep screens maintained and free of holes, make sure doors and windows seal properly. Seal cracks and crevices around the exterior with silicon-based caulk.
- Keep your yard and around your home free of standing water.
Prevention will go a long way to keep your home pest-free, but accidents do happen, and you don’t want to risk buying new food that will only get thrown out if there’s an ongoing infestation.
A Step Above Pest Control & Termite Can Help You Control An Infestation
Perhaps you’re not sure where to start to protect your home from pests. A Step Above Pest Control & Termite can help you prepare your home to keep away pest invaders. If you’re dealing with a current infestation, then it’s definitely time to call for help. Our priority is the safety and well-being of our community, and with 30 years of experience, we’re qualified promise your safety. For pest control that can restore your peace of mind and can save you losses in the pantry, call A Step Above Pest Control & Termite, or visit us online for a free estimate.