Those who enjoy cooking – especially baking – may encounter creepy-crawlies known as “pantry pests.” They may also be known as “stored product pests,” as they enjoy sinking their teeth into processed and dried food products that are often stored in pantries. These pests, such as grain beetles and meal moths, can be a nuisance and a financial threat to families and business owners. There are some tips to help prevent a pantry pest infestation. If these are ineffective, a qualified pest control professional like the team at Bain Pest Control can help.
There are several types of pests that are commonly found in dried pantry products. They include merchant grain beetles, cigarette beetles, saw-toothed grain beetles, and Indian meal moths. They tend to live in the food products on which they thrive, and breed often. If they find easy access to food and a safe environment to reproduce, rest assured that they will. This is why finding one will often indicate a larger problem.
Pantry pests like grain beetles and moths typically thrive on foods like:
- Corn starch
- Dry pet food
- Dry pasta
- Powdered milk
- Bird seed
- Dried fruit
- Dried nuts
Disadvantages and Issues
Some pests, such as rodents and cockroaches, may transmit bacteria and even life-threatening diseases. Fortunately, grain beetles and moths are not known to carry any significant health risks. However, they do pose the financial threats to those with infestations. They are notorious for spoiling food, which leads to waste and increased costs of living for those affected.
Preventing Pantry Pests
The best way to deal with a pantry pest issue is to prevent it all together. In some cases, they may be brought into the home from store-bought goods. When this occurs, it may be virtually impossible to identify the issue in time to prevent an infestation. However, there are some tips that can help reduce a natural infestation.
Follow these tips to help prevent a grain beetle and moth infestation:
- Store foods in sealed, tight-fitting containers
- Clean old containers prior to filling them with new, fresher food
- Regularly clean pantry shelves, especially small food bits
- Refrain from combining new and old foods until 100 percent certain the old food is pest-free
- To test whether a food is contaminated, leave it in a clear plastic bag for a month and check for pest accumulation