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Pantry Pests

Having "bugs" in your breakfast cereal may be disgusting, but it isn't unusual, many insects like to eat the same food we do. Stored foods that are commonly infested include but not limited to flour, cereals, cracked grains, baking mixes and processed foods, crackers, dried fruits, nuts, popcorn, macaroni, cured meats, powdered milk and spices. Insects that feed on these products may also infest other grain-based items such as pet foods and birdseed. Also, dried flower arrangements may also be attacked.

Insect pests most often encountered in stored food products are:

  • Indian meal moths
  • dermestid beetles
  • sawtoothed grain beetles
  • cigarette and drugstore beetles
  • flour beetles
  • granary, rice and maize weevils
  • bean weevils
  • spider beetles

Several stages (egg, larva, pupa and adult) of these insects may be present at the same time in infested products. Because we keep our houses warm, these insects may continually reproduce and many stored product infestations can be found nearly any time of the year.

The first indication of an infestation is often presence of small brown beetles, moths or worms incupboards or on counters. A closer inspection, insects may also be found in opened packages or containers of food and in the cracks and crevices about the kitchen area. Unopened packages may also become infested because some of these insects can readily chew into cardboard and other type of packaging. Insects can be brought into the home along with infested food products, and can multiply and spread to other stored foods.

If an infestation is suspected, identify the pest and try to locate the source or sources. Occasionally, the source can be very hard to find. It may be in an unopened package from the store. Consider the possibility food may have been spilled next to or behind hard-to-move appliances or under counters. Mice will sometimes collect food and hoard them in walls, under cupboards or dishwashers where the infestations are nearly impossible to find.

For more information, suggested products, or application information, please contact any of the store locations listed below.