They’re easy to miss at first. However, the first time you bite down on a bug in your food the problem is clear. A number of different insects love to burrow into our cereals, flour, herbs, spices and other foods. Early on, they go unnoticed, but as they multiply they become easy to spot. So how do they get into our food and why? We’ll tell you everything you need to know about pantry pest and how to protect your food before you have a major pest control issue on your hands.
What Are Pantry Pests?
The term “pantry pest” refers to pests that tend to feed primarily on stored food products. These pests are commonly brought into the home in infected food packages. There are hundreds of different pantry pest but the most common species include rice weevils, drugstore beetles, Indian meal moths, flour beetles and grain moths.
What Kind of Food Do They Eat?
These pests enjoy both people and pet food. Any food that is stored in paper containers and left undisturbed for an extended period of time is vulnerable. They are most commonly found in flour, pastas, dry cereal, powdered milk, spices, cornstarch and other dry foods.
What Do I Look For?
Pantry pests are usually brought into the home in food that is already infected. They can also travel from connected units if you live in an apartment home. At the beginning of an infestation they are hard to spot because they are small and commonly the same color as the stored food. When checking food, look for adult pantry pest that are usually small fly moth or beetles.
How Do I Get Rid of Them?
Unfortunately these pests are hard to manage. As long as you continue to store food in your pantry they can easily move among the packages. There is hope! With the proper precautions and cleaning measures you can prevent these pests from moving into your pantry. Here are a few tips for protecting your food from pantry pest:
- Remove dry foods from their original packaging and store them in air sealed containers
- Clean your shelves regular, and throw out old foods
- Never purchase opened or damaged food
- Clean storage containers before filling them with new food
- Don’t mix old foods with recently purchased food