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Pantry Pests

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What Is A Pantry Pest?

  • Pantry pests ‘stored product pests’ small critters that invade residential and commercial premises to access processed food stored in vulnerable containers. These pests are unique, as they do not invade homes to overwinter. Instead, they invade buildings to continuously feed and reproduce. Once these insects invade a building, they never plan to leave. In fact, they will not leave until you finally find it in yourself to have them eradicated.
  • The diet is comprised of dry cereal, bread, crackers, nuts, and fruit. Contrary to belief, pantry pests are also fond of spices like cumin, as well as cornstarch, flour, and powdered milk.
  • Pantry pest species include the saw-toothed grain and cigarette beetles, and Indian meal moth. Their favorite places to hang out indoors are the kitchen and dining room, where non-perishables are plentiful in most cases.
  • Pantry pests will continuously procreate while living in a human living space with ample food and water, as well as shelter. Over 360 days, a pantry pest species can produce hundreds of eggs in a safe, warm environment with plenty of food. One example is the cockroach, followed by the Indian meal moth.
  • Pantry pest infestations having nothing to do with the quality or cleanliness of a home. In fact, members of the elite class have reportedly been plagued with pantry pest infestations at some point in time.

Pantry Pest Characteristics – What You Should Know

If you are a homeowner or tenant, your living space can be invaded by pantry pests without a moment’s notice. This is why it is even more important to know how to identify them through a visual inspection.

Indian Meal Moth Species:

  • As a member of the Plodia interpunctella family, the Indian meal “Indianmeal” moth is three-toned – red, brown, and copper. The body itself is small covered with slightly larger front and back wings.
  • Infested homes are prone to non-perishable food damage, which is contributed to Indian meal moth larvae, rarely the adult male or female.
  • Their amazing climbing skills provide an escape from humans upon detection. The insect will crawl on high ceilings and walls to escape danger and eradication for as long as possible.

Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle Species:

  • As a member of the Oryzaephilus surinamensis family, the body is slender and flat, measuring about one-tenth (1/10) of an inch or 2.54 millimeters in length. The saw-toothed grain beetle’s most unique characteristic is its tooth projections located on both of the thorax (chest).
  • Food contamination in infested homes is contributed to both the adults and larvae.
  • The diet consists of a mixture of processed and non-perishable food, dried cat and dog food, mice and rat bait, and birdseed.

Cigarette Beetle Species:

  • As a member of the Lasioderma serricorne family, the body is light brown in color, measuring approximately one-eighth (1/8) of an inch in length. The cigarette beetle’s most unique features are its arched-back, segmented body, and nearly hidden head.
  • The diet is comprised of processed food and non-perishables. Unlike other pantry shelf species, the cigarette beetle is fond of dried tobacco.

Why Are Pantry Pests Infesting My Home?

  • Like fleas, ticks, and bed bugs, the pantry pest is what many scientists refer to as an “insect hitchhiker.” The insect will travel in food packages from grocery stores and supermarkets to the consumer’s home.
  • As little as two pantry pests is enough to cause a full-blown infestation. Pantry pests continuously procreate, making it even more difficult for victims to control their population indoors.

What Are The Most Common Signs Of A Pantry Pest Infestation?

  • The miniature size allows the pantry pest to go undetected for much longer than larger invasion insects.
  • The initial infestation sign is one or more flying insects in close proximity to a food and/or light source. The flying insects will hover over damaged food containers until they are ready to feed.

Do Pantry Pest Infestations Pose Health Risks To Humans And Dogs?

  • Like all pest infestations that involve food, there are some health risks associated with contamination. Pantry pest like the cockroach has been linked to various diseases, including leprosy and cholera. However, the aforementioned pantry pest species – saw-toothed grain beetle, cigarette beetle, and Indian meal moth – have not been shown to carry diseases or parasites that spread to humans or animals.
  • Foodborne illnesses linked to contamination may lead to mild symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Indian meal moths and cigarette and saw-tooth grain beetle eggs are not harmful when accidentally ingested. Infiltrated foods should be disposed of properly, never repackaged for later use.

What Are The Proper Steps To Take To Stave Off Pantry Pest Infestations?

  • Proper storage of non-perishable and processed foods (store in glass or plastic containers with lids)
  • A doable, realistic cleaning schedule (targeting rooms with food)
  • Proper food disposal techniques (never repackage infiltrated food to save money)
  • Never eat food that appears to have been infiltrated or contaminated
  • Test food for contamination by repackaging in a sealed bag for several weeks
  • Wash food storage containers regularly and between each refill

What Are The Proper Steps To Take To Prevent Pantry Pest Infestations?

Eradicating a pantry pest infestation is a household effort. Every member of the home must be on board with the pantry pest control strategy. If everyone does not participate, pantry pests will be drawn to the home.

  • Proper disposal of contaminated food
  • Thoroughly clean contaminated pantries, cubbyholes, utensil drawers, and kitchen cabinets
  • Wipe walls down with mild soap and water

Standard-grade or over-the-counter pest control pesticides are not always the solution for pantry pest infestations. This is especially true for moderate to severe cases. Our professional- and commercial-grade chemical pesticides are of the highest potency without being illegal. With a doable cleaning schedule, the full cooperation of all family members, and our pantry pest management, we can build up a barrier around your home that cannot be infiltrated.

When Should I Expect To See The Exterminator At My Front Door?

An initial pest control request is the approval we need to push this pest control effort forward. We can dispatch a licensed exterminator out to your home or business within 24 to 48 hours in most cases.

Is Pantry Pest Control Pesticides Dangerous?

Our pantry pest control consists of techniques and pesticides that have been deemed “safe” by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Our exterminators keep their service vans and trucks stocked at all times to eliminate potential delays in you having access to our state-of-the-art pest control service. EPA-approved pest control products and methods are safe as long as they heed the agency’s regulations and recommendations.

How Difficult Is It To Prevent A Second, Third, And Fourth Pantry Pest Infestation?

With our pantry pest management, there will not be an initial pantry pest infestation. However, if it is past this phase, we will begin working to prevent a secondary infestation by rebuilding and improving your home’s pantry pest barrier. We will work with you to create an efficient cleaning schedule, making your home undesirable to these insects. We recommend a pantry pest-proof food storage system utilizing glass and plastic containers with sealed lids.

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Pantry Pests