If 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!