There are countless possibilities of pests that can infiltrate your home and enjoy the banquet of varieties of food found in there. Mice, rats, cockroaches, and ants are just a few examples. But what about the pests that are often brought into your pantry by the very food you purchased? Today, we at A-Tex Pest Management would like to shine some light on the pantry pests that are currently devouring your food supply. The little pests that are eager to invade cereals, flours, herbs, chocolates, dried fruits and so on are the foods found in our pantries and cupboards. More often than not, these pests that are consuming the food in your pantry go unnoticed, unless their numbers are so abundant that they become obvious. Weevils, moths, and beetles are the pests that we are referring to.
Tiny Brown Bugs in Flour, Pasta & Cereal?
Generally the weevils and sometimes moths are the insects that are contaminating your cereals and flour, and other similar products. Moths typically are attracted to the chocolates, dried fruits, and dry pet foods. There are a few different species of beetles that can be found infiltrating your flour, pasta, and cereal; saw-toothed grain beetles are the usually suspects. Every now and then some people can be victimized Cigarette beetles and/or drugstore beetles, but as their name implies, these beetles are more prone to plant matter; herbs and spices are the most likely place your find these particular beetles.
How Did Pantry Pests Get in My Kitchen Cabinets?
Pantry pests are initially introduced to your home in the packaging of your food. Whether they originate from the processing plants, warehouse, delivery vehicles, and on some occasions, the retail stores, these pests are already lingering in the food you purchased and brought home. The longer the packaged food sits in any of these locations, the likelihood of their presence.
What is the Life Cycle of a Moth or Beetle?
Beetles and moths have 4 stages in the maturing cycle during their lifespan and they are the egg, which larvae hatches from, then they evolve into pupa, and finally blossom into adulthood. The pests in all 4 of these stages of life could be mixed in your food. The eggs however, are generally too tiny for most people to even see. Most people don’t notice any infestations until the insects have become adults, but the larva stage is when these insects wreak the most havoc.
Common Stored Product Insects
The pantry insects commonly found include the following:
• Saw-toothed grain beetle (Oryzaephilus surinamensis) Food: Cereals, pasta, flour, meal, nuts, cracked seeds, and seed dust.
• Rice weevil (Sitophilus oryzae) Food: Whole grains, rice, corn, millet, rye, beans, bird seed, and caked meal.
• Red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum) Food: Flour, cereals, and meal.
• Merchant grain beetle (Oryzaephilus Mercator) Food: Cereals, pasta, flour, meal, nuts, cracked seeds, and seed dust.
• Maize weevil (Sitophilus zeamais) Food: Whole grains, rice, corn, millet, rye, beans, bird seed, and caked meal.
• Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella) Food: Grain and grain products, dried fruits, seeds, crackers, nuts, powdered milk, candies, dried red peppers, dry pet food, meal, and cracked corn.
• Granary weevil (Sitophilus granaries) Food: Whole grains, rice, corn, millet, rye, beans, bird seed, and caked meal.
• Drugstore beetle (Stegobium paniceum) Food: Dry pet foods, flour, meal, cereals, spices, and pepper.
• Confused flour beetle (Tribolium confusum) Food: Flour, cereals, and meal.
• Cigarette beetle (Lasioderma serricorne) Food: Rice, ginger, raisins, pepper, dates, seeds, spices, dried flowers and other dried botanicals.