Finding pests in or around your food can be one of the most disgusting things you’ll ever deal with as a homeowner. Unfortunately, many pests are drawn to food sources around your kitchen, and some even live in certain food products and lay their eggs there. This group of insects is known as pantry pests, and they are often found in things like flour, sugar, and cake mixes.
There are four main types of pantry pests in Nassau County that homeowners often deal with: Indian meal moths, cigarette beetles, drugstore beetles, and sawtooth grain beetles. While they are all able to contaminate your food, it can be useful to know how to tell them apart. So, we’ve created a short guide to help you identify common pantry pests:
- Indian meal moths: This species lays their eggs in many pantry items, and their larvae then eat through the nutrients to grow. The larva of the Indian meal moth is a cream color with a brown head. When full-grown, these moths are reddish-brown with striped wings.
- Cigarette beetles: These beetles grow to be less than 1/8 of an inch long and light brown. They are a round shape, and they get their name because they are often found in stored tobacco.
- Drugstore beetles: Drugstore beetles look similar to cigarette beetles as they are also light brown with a round body. You can tell them apart because drugstore beetle antennae have three segments while a cigarette beetle's antennae have serrated edges.
- Sawtooth grain beetles: These pests are a brownish color and have long, flat bodies with three noticeable segments. Once they reach adulthood, they only get to be about 1/8 of an inch in length.
5 Food Related Pantry Pest Prevention Tips
Pantry pests can come inside in a few different ways, but one of the main ways an infestation starts is when you purchase items from the store that are already infested. While this is rather gross to think about, it’s important to know the signs of pantry pests so you can avoid buying these items.
Overall, you can greatly reduce the risk of a pantry pest infestation by knowing how to look for signs of infested food and also how to store pantry items properly. Here are five ways to do so:
- Check food packaging for a powdery appearance.
- You should also look for small webs.
- Make sure to regularly rotate products in your pantry and cupboards by bringing older items to the front and using them first.
- Store grains, cereals, flours, and sugars in airtight containers.
- Keep pantries and other areas where you store food clean by washing them regularly with soap and water.
5 More Pantry Pest Prevention Methods
While pantry pests often get inside your home through pre-packaged products, they can also come inside through entry points around your house. Many species, especially Indian meal moths, can be found outside as the adults of the species don’t eat food products. They can get inside your home and lay their eggs inside your food.
- To keep pantry pests out, you can follow these steps to seal up access points:
- Repair or replace broken screens in doors and windows.
- Make sure that doors and windows fit tightly in their frames.
- Install door sweeps and weather stripping.
- Fill any cracks or holes with caulk and foam insulation.
- Place wire mesh over vents.
How To Protect Your Home From Pantry Pests
While you can and should take steps on your own to prevent pantry pests, the overall best way to deter them or remove any current infestations is by contacting the experts at Parkway Pest Services. Because these insects can infest so many different products, it can be difficult to eradicate them without assistance from residential pest control experts.
We have over 80 years of experience in Nassau County and the surrounding areas, and you can trust that our services are safe and reliable. Find out more or request an inspection by calling us at (888) 858-0144.