Pantry Pest Identification & Prevention

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What are pantry pests?

Pantry pests are those known for invasions of pantries and food storage areas where they breed and feed inside dry goods or other stored food items. They have a knack for ruining stored food items and contaminating potential food preparation areas, making them major nuisance pests.

In our area, two main species of pantry pests are common – Indian meal moths and granary weevils. Indian meal moths grow to about 5/8 of an inch as adults. The front portion of their wings is a yellowish-gray color, while the back half is bronze, copper, or dark gray.

Granary weevils are smaller; adults grow to around 1/8 of an inch in length and have hard-shelled bodies complete with a pitted pattern on their heads. These insects have wings, but they are non-functional.

a pantry pest in some food

Are pantry pests dangerous?

Pantry pests are not dangerous to humans, as they don't bite or pass on venom or serious diseases. However, they do contaminate food sources and food preparation areas, leading to spoiled food and an increase in stomach ailments. Professional pantry pest traps and pantry pest repellents are necessary to avoid serious problems with these pests.

It's important to note that the larval stage of a pantry pest is the most destructive out of the four pantry pest development stages (egg, larva, pupa, and adult). Females lay eggs in stored food, and larvae hatch, feeding on the food and contaminating it.

Why do I have a pantry pest problem?

Pantry pests tend to find their way into our properties via stored products purchased at stores that, unfortunately, are already infested with eggs or larvae. Adult pantry pests may also be attracted to outdoor lighting and will invade interior spaces in search of food via cracks or gaps they find in your home.

Where will I find pantry pests?

Pantry pests are almost always in areas where stored foods and dry goods are present. You will find pantry pests inside home pantry areas, grocery stores, food processing plants, food storage facilities, and restaurants. You'll likely find Indian meal moths in dried fruits, grains, seeds, nuts, and chocolates, while granary weevils are common in stored whole grains and seeds.

How do I get rid of pantry pests?

Professional pantry pest control provided by ProForce Pest Control is the best way to get rid of pantry pests and reclaim your property from these insect invaders. We will use pantry pest control products and tailored solutions to eliminate pantry pests from your property and prevent food storage or preparation area contamination.

How can I prevent pantry pests in the future?

Prevent pantry pest invaders in the future by following our expert tips for keeping these insects at bay:

  • Check all dry goods and packaged items in grocery stores for holes, tears, or signs of sticky webbing in the packaging of products where pantry pests may be breeding and feeding.

  • Make sure to clean pantries and food storage areas regularly, discarding any items that are old or expired to stop pantry pests from living in them.

  • Utilize motion-sensor outdoor lighting to stop the lighting from attracting pests.

  • Seal cracks or gaps around windows and doors and utilize weatherstripping and window and door screens to keep pantry pests out.

Reach out to ProForce Pest Control today for more pantry pest prevention advice or to learn more about our home pest control offerings.

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