You’ve managed to knock everything off your checklist for the day and now you can finally keep that promise of making brownies with the kids. You grab the eggs out of the refrigerator and ask your daughter to get the flour out of the pantry. A few seconds later, she shrieks in terror and drops the bag of flour. You run to her side and among the powdery mess, you notice some kind of beetle. Upon closer inspection, you notice lots of beetles.
These beetles, along with several other insects, are known as pantry pests or stored product pests. Pantry pests can get into your food supply and become a general nuisance, so let’s learn more about them and how you can keep pantry pests out of your Westchester County home.
Different Kinds Of Pantry Pests
The pantry pest beetle mentioned above is one of several beetles known to take up residence in your pantry or food cupboards. These beetles, as well as the Indian meal moth, are the most common pantry pests found in the Westchester County area. Here is a little info on them:
Cigarette beetles are light brown in color and grow to be about 1/10 of an inch long. They prefer to chew on tobacco leaves but will also gnaw on book bindings and almost anything else found in your pantry.
Drugstore beetles are also known as the bread or biscuit beetle and closely resemble the cigarette beetle. They will feed on spices, seeds, pet food, bread, and other flour products.
Sawtooth grain beetles are about 1/10 of an inch long and have a flat body that allows them to get into tiny cracks. They do not infest whole grains but will go after chocolates, dried fruits, flour, and pasta among many other foods.
The Indian meal moth prefers dried fruits and vegetables, grains, seeds, nuts, chocolates, candies, and pet food. Indian meal moth eggs go through the whole metamorphic cycle to larvae, pupae, and adult all while nestled unseen in products in your pantry.
These are the most common offenders found in the Westchester County area, but there are many more pantry pests creeping around out there.
How Does A Pantry Pest Infestation Start And How Do I Prevent It?
The most common way a pantry pest infestation starts is at the manufacturing warehouse or grocery store. These pests will get into products before they even get into your home so it is up to you to have a keen eye while selecting the groceries you are bringing into your home.
Nothing will ruin a baking session like discovering the product you intended to use has already been feeding an unwanted visitor. Here are some ways you can prevent pantry pests from getting to your goods:
Store snacks and baking ingredients (as well as pet food) in sealed plastic or glass containers with secure lids to help keep pests from getting into them.
Inspect your store purchases for pest damage to prevent bringing any pantry pests home with you.
Most pantry pests hate the pungent scent of bay leaves, so adding a leaf to packages of dry goods like flour and rice may help.
Keep your countertops, floors, shelves, and tables clean, and keep your garbage in sealed receptacles.
In addition to these in-house prevention tips, you will also want to check your door and window screens and other potential entry points to keep any wandering pantry pests out of your home.
Why You Should Contact Parkway Pest Services
Pantry pests can be very difficult to get rid of. The Indian meal moth alone can lay hundreds of eggs within the first couple of days after emerging from its pupa. This isn’t something you want to tackle on your own, so give the experts at Parkway Pest Services a call. Since 1932, we’ve been dealing with pantry pest control and other types of pest removal in Westchester County and the surrounding area. We'll gladly take care of that beetle or moth infestation so you and the kids can safely get those brownies made without any problems.