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Stored product pests are better known as pantry pests. The name is used to describe a group of pests that like eating processed food and dried food found in your home. Once they’ve invaded your home, they’re going to consume powdered milk, spices, bread, dry pet food, cereal, flour, and more. Your house will provide them with a sufficient diet so they can thrive. There are numerous pantry pests in the city of San Antonio but some are more prevalent than others. The most common pantry pests in our service area are saw-toothed grain beetles, cigarette beetles, and Indian meal moths.
These pests are often found in kitchens and pantries. Indian meal moths and other pantry pests live in their primary food source. Therefore, they’re going to be difficult to spot and they’ll breed nonstop. On average, a pantry pest will create a handful of generations each year. Don’t feel bad because a pantry pest invasion says nothing about your housekeeping activities.
What Do Pantry Pests Look Like?
It is pertinent to learn more about the appearances of pantry pests. Once you know what they look like, you’ll have no trouble finding out which species you’re dealing with.
Indian Meal Moths
These pantry pests are small moths with multiple colors. On the front, they’re white or gray. On the back, they’re reddish-brown. These pests tend to build cocoons around pantries and kitchens. Once they’ve hacked, they’ll begin building cocoons. They’re incredibly hard to eliminate. Although the moths are problematic, the larvae will damage your food products.
They can eat a variety of household foods.
Saw-Toothed Grain Beetles
You’re also going to run into saw-toothed grain beetles. These flat, brown beetles have slender bodies. They can grow up to a tenth of an inch and have tooth projections that look like saws on both sides of their thoraxes. Adult saw-toothed grain beetles and their larvae will feed on the food products in your home. These pests are going to consume open and loose products. For instance, you’ll find them in your flour, candy, dried fruit, cereal, and other foods.
They’ll also consume birdseed and pet food. In some cases, they’ll eat rodent bait and it won’t kill them.
Cigarette beetles are an eighth of an inch and light brown. They have a humped back, body hairs, and smooth covers on their wings. Since they have body hairs, they have a fuzzy appearance. As you’ve guessed from the name, cigarette beetles prefer consuming cigarette products. For instance, they’re going to eat cigarettes and cigars. However, they’ll also accept other food, including pet food, nuts, candy, and cereal.
Pantry Pest Reasons
Pantry pests are brought into the home frequently. Some of the products at your local store may contain pantry pests. If they do, there is a risk that you’re going to buy an infested bag of food and bring the pests home with you. Although it doesn’t happen often, pantry pests can enter homes from outside. Once a few pantry pests invade, it is only a matter of time before you’re dealing with a full-blown infestation. They can reproduce rapidly since they live in their food source.
Signs Of Pantry Pest Infestations
Ultimately, it is hard to identify a pantry pest infestation for several reasons. First and foremost, pantry pests are very small. Secondly, these pests can blend with the food they hide in. Therefore, you may not realize that you have a problem until you notice small moths flying around your home. When this happens, it is time to contact a professional exterminator.
Dangerous Or Not?
You may believe that pantry pests are dangerous because they live in your food products. In general, Indian meal moths, cigarette beetles, saw-toothed grain beetles, and other pantry pests are not physically dangerous. These household pests are not going to nip, bite, or transmit illnesses. There is always a risk that you’re going to swallow and ingest pantry pests or pantry pest eggs. Even if this happens, you can rest assured knowing you’re not going to get sick.
These pests do not carry parasites or dangerous pathogens. However, they are going to destroy your food products. Therefore, you should try to get rid of them promptly.
Preventing Pantry Pests From Destroy Your Food
Ultimately, you need to take steps to stop pantry pests from invading your home. Although there isn’t a surefire way to prevent them from entering your home, there are ways to protect yourself. Use the tips below to keep pantry pests out of your home.
- Store your food products in durable, tough containers. Make sure that the lid is properly sealed. Never use paper or cardboard since pantry pest larvae will be able to chew through these materials.
- Try cleaning your pantry shelves at least twice a week or more. Get rid of any leftover food bits you can find to cut off their food source.
- When buying new food, never combine it with old food. Be positive that the old food is free of pests first.
- Always clean old food containers before using them again.
- Finally, learn how to test for pantry pests. Put the food in a plastic bag and put it aside. Wait for a few weeks. If you find bugs in the bag, the item is infested.
Eliminating Pantry Pests
Take steps to eliminate pantry pests as soon as possible. However, this task won’t be easy to complete. The problem is pantry pests are tricky to identify. They can hide in your food source well so you may not identify the infestation until it severely worsens. In addition to this, DIY methods are not particularly effective. Either way, you can try using the tips below to deal with the infestation.
- Get rid of any food products that contain pantry pests. It is wise to play everything in a plastic bag before throwing them away.
- Begin cleaning your pantry. Remove everything from your pantry shelves. Then, grab your vacuum and use it to clean the shelves. The vacuum will remove pantry pests, larvae, and eggs. Again, place the contents in a plastic bag before throwing it away.
- Once you’ve completed the tasks above, wash the remaining portions of the pantry. Wipe down the walls, shelves, and corners.
You can use pesticides to kill pantry pests, but there are risks involved. For instance, you have to worry about using dangerous chemicals in your home. Are you comfortable using these products close to your food sources? It is wise to avoid doing so. Our company can help you deal with the problem while keeping the ones you love safe.
When Can It Begin?
Safe Pantry Pest Removals
Work with us so you can sleep soundly at night. Our company offers safe pantry pest removals. Our technicians are given EPA-registered products to ensure that they can safely deal with the problem. These products have been tested extensively. Therefore, we know that they won’t cause any issues for our clients, their loved ones, or their pets. We are confident you’ll be okay before, during, and after the treatment.
Avoiding Infestations Of Pantry Pests
Unfortunately, trying to keep pantry pests out of your home won’t be easy. You need to be cautious when purchasing food products since pantry pests might be living in them. Carefully examine the packages to make sure that they’re free of pests. Also, keep your food stored in airtight, durable containers.
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