Pantry pests are more common than most homeowners think. There are small to large pests that invade our food stores and often we bring them right into our homes unknowingly. A-Tex Pest Management will share how pantry pests come into our homes, what are the most common types of pest found in pantries, and how you can prevent these nasty pests from infecting your foods.
Where Do Pantry Weevils & Pests Come From?
Reports tell us that most pantry pests are actually brought into our homes. As homeowners do their regular grocery shopping, many unknowingly bring pantry pests right into their homes and into their pantry. In many ways homeowner’s purchase them alongside their food. There are many types of pantry pests and most start off as an egg and more often than not, found in our groceries. Pantry pests favor foods in which to lay their eggs. They like grains, rice, flour, sugar cereals and other similar foods. No worries. This may sound way worse than it actually is. In most cases the foods are consumed before the eggs are able to hatch. For those foods such as sugar and flour that may take longer to use, you can simply put these types of foods in the freezer for 24 hours. The exposure to the freezing temperatures can kill the eggs preventing them from ever hatching and becoming a major pest problem.
What are Indian Meal Moths Attracted To?
Meal moths or Indian meal moths are some of the most common species of pantry pests. These types of moths lay their eggs in grains such as cereals, cornmeal, pasta noodles and dried fruits. When the temperature is warm enough the eggs will hatch. When the Indian meal moth starts it life as a larva, it will consume your food until it reaches full maturity. When they first hatch they are white in color. As they grow bigger, they will develop a cocoon where they then will emerge as a reddish brown moth, normally with white or grey wings. Once they reach full adulthood, they may be found flying around your home.
Grain & Other Pantry Beetles
There are many species of beetles that are considered a pantry pest. Some of the most common species of beetles found in Texas homes are the drug store or cigarette beetle, which as the name implies, are found in many drug store items and yes, some have the same love of tobacco that you may have. Other types of beetles that are found in the grain types of foods are the saw-toothed grain beetle and the merchant beetle. These various species of beetle again normally starts off as an egg and hatches under the right conditions. These beetles are very small and can be hard to see, but with a magnifying glass you should be able to see them crawling around.
The most common species of weevils found in Texas are the rice weevil, maize weevil, and the granary weevil. They all look very similar. Weevils prefer plant based food such as rice, flour, and sugar. However they will find most plant food suitable. As they mature, weevils will shed their skin and leave visible skin flakes in your food. Most commonly, they are found in flour and sugar.
How Can I Protect My Pantry from Bugs?
Some of the best methods to control pantry pests are by storing your food orderly and keeping your pantry cleaned. Additionally, discard any food that may be infected by any pantry pest right away. Also don’t forget the freezing trick for stored food or food that seems to last longer than others. Freeze your food for 24 hours. This will kill any eggs that may be present.