Table of Contents
Pantry pests can be found across the United States. In recent years, they’ve become more common in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, pantry pests or stored product pests can invade any home in the country. Even if you clean your home every hour, there is a risk that you’re going to experience an infestation. Most people experience an infestation after they bring infested food products home with them. As the name suggests, pantry pests are eager to consume the dried, processed foods in your home. These pests will accept a wide assortment of food products, including powdered milk, dried fruit, dried nuts, birdseed, bread, spices, flour, cereal, dry pet food, and more.
Los Angeles is home to an assortment of pantry pests but some are more common than others. In our area, the most common pantry pests are saw-toothed grain beetles, Indian meal moths, and cigarette beetles. These pests can be found in your kitchen and pantry. They live in the foods they eat so they can breed around the clock. It is common for these pantry pests to create a handful of generations annually. Again, the cleanliness of your home has nothing to do with the pantry pest infestation.
Appearances Of Pantry Pests
Be sure to use the information below so you can find out which pantry pest you’re dealing with.
Indian Meal Moths
Indian meal moths are small moths that have multiple colors. For instance, their forewings are reddish-brown and they have a coppery luster on the back. Their front half features a white-gray color. These pests can damage a wide assortment of food products in your home. The moths will create many problems but the larvae are going to destroy the food products in your home. The moths are incredibly difficult to eliminate. They’ll build cocoons in your pantry and elsewhere.
Saw-Toothed Grain Beetles
Saw-toothed grain beetles are brown beetles that have flat, slender bodies. They are roughly a tenth of an inch in lengthy. One thing that sets them apart is the fact that they have tooth projections that closely resemble saws. They are located on both sides of their thoraxes. Adults and larvae are going to damage the dried food products in your dwelling. Saw-toothed grain beetles are scavengers that will feed on many products, including cereal, dried fruit, flour, and more.
Surprisingly, they’ll also consume birdseed, pet food, and rodent bait.
Another common pantry pest in our area is the cigarette beetle. These pests are light brown with a humped back. They grow up to an eighth of an inch. They have smooth wings and a fuzzy appearance thanks to their body hairs. As you’ve likely already guessed, cigarette beetles consume tobacco products. For instance, they’ll eat cigarettes, cigars, and loose tobacco. You’ll also find them consuming your pet food, nuts, candy, and cereal.
Reasons For Pantry Pests
Are you curious to learn why pantry pests have invaded your dwelling? Ultimately, they enter homes for one reason. Most people bring these pests home with them. They’ve bought infested food products from their grocery store before bringing them home with you. These pests can enter your home from outside but you’ll likely bring them home with you. An infestation can begin with a few insects before it quickly spirals out of control. They live in the food they eat so they can thrive easily.
Thanks to this, pantry pests breed around the clock. On average, a pantry pest can produce a handful of generations each year.
Common Signs Of Pantry Pest Infestations
Can you identify a pantry pest infestation quickly? Doing so won’t be easy since they blend in with their food sources. They’re difficult to spot until the infestation severely worsens. In all likelihood, you won’t identify the issue until small moths begin flying around your pantry. You can also find beetles around your food products. Another thing to remember is that pantry pests are attracted to light. Therefore, the small moths may circle around your kitchen lights.
Pantry Pest Health Risks
When pests invade your home, you cannot ignore the potential health risks involved. Although these pests cause numerous problems, they’re not going to put your health at risk. Thankfully, this isn’t something you’ll need to worry about. Saw-toothed grain beetles, Indian meal moths, cigarette beetles, and other pantry pests usually aren’t dangerous physically. From time to time, people eat these pests and their eggs. Although it sounds disgusting, it isn’t dangerous.
They do not carry any parasites or dangerous pathogens so they won’t make you sick. The biggest thing you have to worry about is these pests damaging your food products. They’ll cost a fortune since you’ll have to replace the contaminated food items.
Preventing Pantry Pests From Entering Your Home
It is wise to use the tips below to prevent pantry pests from sneaking into your home.
- Be sure to store your food products in durable containers. Try using containers with tight lids. Also, use durable materials such as metal or thick plastic. Don’t use cardboard or paper because pantry pests will chew through those materials.
- Try to clean your pantry shelves at least once or twice a week. When doing so, get rid of food crumbs and pantry pest eggs.
- It is never a good idea to mix new food products with old food products. There is a risk the old food is contaminated so keep them separate.
- Test to see if one of your food products is infested. Place it in a plastic bag and wait for a month or so. If you find bugs in the bag, you have pantry pests.
- Always clean old food containers before using them again. Clean them to get rid of any pantry pests and eggs.
Eliminating A Pantry Pest Invasion
Pantry pests are not going to be easy to eliminate. Therefore, you need to find a way to fix the problem while protecting the ones you love. The problem with pantry pests is that they’re difficult to identify. They can hide in food products exceptionally well. They often blend in with the food so you won’t spot them easily. Plus, DIY methods are not always effective. If you are adamant about fixing the problem on your own, use the advice below to get rid of pantry pests.
- Get rid of any food products that contain pantry pests. Throw them into a plastic bag before sealing and disposing of them.
- Grab your vacuum and try to get rid of pantry pests in your home. Use it to vacuum up pantry pests, eggs, and babies. Again, place the contents in a plastic bag before disposing of it.
- Carefully wash your pantry. Be sure to clean all pantry walls and shelves.
Although DIY methods can help, they might not rectify the problem. It is pertinent to work with a professional to do what you can to protect the ones you love. Remember that you should stick with safe methods. Avoid over-the-counter products because they could be dangerous. Contact us and take advantage of the services we offer.
When Can An Exterminator Begin?
Our Pantry Pest Services Are Safe
We strive to provide safe solutions to our clients’ pantry pest problems. We always use products registered with the EPA because they work and they’re safe. All of these products have been extensively tested to guarantee that you’re going to be protected every step of the way. We always do what we can to protect our clients, their pets, and their belongings.
Preventing Pantry Pests
You have to be careful when purchasing food products. If they’re infested, you’re going to bring these pests home with you. Check the packages carefully to make sure you’re not infesting your home with pantry pests.