How to Prevent Pantry Pests

Pantry pests in Seattle WA - United Pest Solutions

Pantry pests in Seattle WA - United Pest SolutionsIf you’re cooking up a storm, the last thing you want is to realize that your flour is filled with bugs! Unfortunately, pantry pests are common throughout the United States, and they can cause significant destruction in your kitchen by chewing through all of your food.

The term “pantry pest” doesn’t just refer to one type of insect; rather, it refers to a group of pests that are known for sneaking into homes in search of food. Most pantry pests consume a wide variety of dried products, such as flour, cornmeal, cereal, pet food, and rice. To help you keep your kitchen safe, we’ll describe the most common pantry pests and provide tips on how to keep them out of your home.

Common Pantry Pests

Knowing how to identify the most common pantry pests can help you recognize an infestation early. Here are the most common pantry pests in the Pacific Northwest:

  • Indian meal moth: These small moths have a wingspan of 16 to 20 mm. Their wings are cream-colored with distinctive bronze or copper coloration on the lower half, and their larvae are yellowish with pink heads. They are known for eating dried foods like cornmeal, flour, and cereal.
  • Cigarette beetle: Measuring just 2 to 3 mm, these brown beetles are tiny and known for infesting tobacco and dried food products. Their heads are usually bent downwards, which gives their body a “humped” appearance. While they primarily feed on dried food, they have also been known to eat paper products and other items.
  • Drugstore beetle: Though they look similar to the cigarette beetle and are roughly the same size, they have a slightly thinner body with distinct grooves down their body. Drugstore beetles are also known as “bread beetles” for their habit of infesting bread.
  • Weevil: These are small insects, measuring less than 6 mm. They have distinctive long snouts and are light brown. Weevils commonly infest pantry products such as flour, pasta, rice, and nuts.

Tips for Preventing Pantry Pests

The best pest control begins with prevention. If you can stop an infestation before it even starts, you’ll save a lot of time, effort, and money. Here are some tips for keeping pantry pests out of your home:

  • Don’t purchase boxes of food that have been damaged.
  • Avoid leaving food out in the open.
  • Store your food in airtight containers.
  • Keep your pantry closed as much as possible.
  • Fix any broken window or door screens.
  • Seal off any gaps or cracks that could lead into your home.

If you’ve tried everything and are still struggling with pests in your pantry, it may be time to call in a professional. That’s where the experts at United Pest Solutions can help! Our experienced technicians can help you identify the root cause of the infestation while providing you with effective solutions to remove the pests – and keep them out for good. Call us today to schedule an appointment!

Don’t Let Pantry Pests Ruin Your Holiday Baking

Chocolate cookies on a cookie sheet. United Pest Solutions serving Seattle WA talks about how to not let pantry pests ruin your holiday baking.The holiday season is here, which means you may be doing a lot more baking. The aroma of freshly-baked cookies and pies can bring out everyone’s holiday spirit, but not properly storing your goods and ingredients can quickly turn your holiday sour.

There are tiny pests that love sugar, flour, baking soda, and all other staples used to bake. These pests are called pantry pests, and they include Indian meal moths, saw-toothed grain beetles, confused beetles, and rice weevils to name a few.

At United Pest Solutions, we want you to have a safe and pest-free holiday, so we’re offering tips to help keep pantry pests out of your home.

Inspect Food

When grocery shopping, inspect the packaging before placing it in your cart. Only purchase products that have sealed packaging, with no damage. This includes pet food. While pantry pests can gain access to your home through cracks, they commonly find their way into homes after infesting products at the grocery store or manufacturing plant.

Store Food Properly

Store food products in plastic, airtight containers. When refilling the container, wash it in between uses. These storage containers will keep your pantry organized, keep pests out (including rodents), and keep your food fresh.

Practice Good Cleanliness

Immediately clean up spills and wipe up crumbs from pantry shelves, floors, and countertops. Toss out garbage in a timely manner. Also, repair any leaky pipes and clogged drains to reduce moisture.

Check Product Dates

Some ingredients like baking soda, brown sugar, and flour may not get used as often as other ingredients. While they may last for quite a while, you’ll want to toss out any expired products and products that have been open and uncovered.

Do You Have Pantry Pests?

Your holiday baking should be fun and stress-free, don’t let pests put a damper on things. If you’re dealing with pantry pests, contact us. We’ve been providing safe and effective pest control since 1960. With our experience and ongoing training, you can feel confident we’ll take care of your pest problem for good!

7 Tips to Help Prevent Pantry Pests

Pies. United Pest Solutions in Seattle WA talks about pantry pests and how you can prevent them in your home.
Indian Meal Moth. United Pest Solutions in Seattle WA talks about pantry pests and how to help prevent them.
Indianmeal Moth

Pantry pests or “stored product pests” are a group of pests that include ants, Indianmeal Moths, confused flour beetles, and earwigs. These pests are attracted to dry, processed foods that include anything from cake mix and spices to flour and crackers. Use these 7 tips to prevent pantry pests from raiding your pantry and cupboards.

Preventing Pantry Pests

1. Inspect Groceries

Most pantry pests are brought into homes through already infested dry goods. While grocery shopping, inspect the packaging on items before placing them in your cart. If they are ripped or damaged in any way, don’t buy them. This also includes pet food.

2. Avoid Buying in Bulk

Dry foods that sit for a long period of time like flour and sugar are an open invitation to pests. If you don’t use these products regularly, you may want to consider purchasing smaller packages and replenishing as needed.

3. Use Proper Storage

Pantry pests can easily chew through the cardboard boxes and paper used for packaging dry goods. Store your goods in air-tight containers and wash them in between uses.

4. Never Mix Old with New

As you replenish your dry foods, remember not to mix the old product with the new one unless you are absolutely sure both are pest-free.

Confused Flour Beetle. United Pest Solutions in Seattle WA talks about pantry pests and how to help prevent them.
Confused Flour Beetle

5. Practice Cleanliness

Don’t let spills and messes sit for long periods of time as  this will only attract pantry pests. In addition to cleaning up immediate spills, periodically clean out your pantry and wipe down the surfaces inside. This will eliminate any crumbs, syrups or spices that have spilled and can help get rid of any pantry pests that may be hiding.

6. Check Expiration Dates

As you periodically clean out your cupboards and/or pantry, check your food products’ expiration dates. If you find an expired product that has sat for a long period of time, you’ll want to toss it out.

7. Act Quickly

If you see pantry pests in your home, toss out your contaminated foods immediately. Next, clean shelves with a vacuum and soap and water. If your pantry pest infestation is severe, you’ll want to contact a professional, like United Pest Solutions. We will inspect your home, identify the pest, and safely treat it.