Preventing Pantry Pests
Pantry pests, also called, “stored product pests” are a group of pests including weevils, moths, and beetles. They’re typically attracted to flour, grains, cereals, spices, and processed foods as well as nuts, beans, and dried fruits. However, any dry food product that is stored at room temperature is fair game. While opened packages are an open invitation to panty pests, many insects can also get into unopened packages too. But don’t be alarmed, these pests won’t hurt you — even if you accidentally ingest one.
Types of Pantry Pests
- Indian Meal Moth: this pest eats nuts, grains, flour, chocolate, pasta, and other dry goods. Its larvae will eat through plastic and cardboard.
- Wheat Weevil: this pest, also commonly called grain weevils or flour weevils lay eggs within grain kernels.
- Rice Weevil: This insect eats corn, rice, and wheat and like the wheat weevil, this pest also lays eggs within grain kernels.
- Merchant Grain Beetle: also called the saw-toothed beetle, this pest commonly infests flour, chocolate, and dried fruit.
- Cigarette Beetle: these insects are known to infest stored tobacco leaves, but they’ll also infest flour, cereals, and dried fruits.
How Can I Prevent Pantry Pests?
Below are some tips you can try now to help keep your pantry pest-free.
- Use airtight plastic or glass containers to store food products
- Don’t purchase products with damaged packaging and ensure bags are properly sealed, including pet food
- Avoid buying in bulk, unless you’re going to use the product often
- Practice good housekeeping by cleaning up spills and crumbs
- Regularly clean out your pantry and/or cabinets and throw out any products that have been stored for a long period of time
- Check expiration dates
How Do I Get Rid of Pantry Pests?
If you’ve determined you have pantry pests, don’t panic. These pests aren’t poisonous. So accidentally eating a couple isn’t going to harm you. But you’re still going to want to eliminate them. We don’t recommend using pesticides when working to eliminate pantry pests. Instead, toss out the contaminated products and then vacuum and wash your shelving. Keep in mind, pantry pests are sometimes difficult to get rid of. If you’re having trouble eliminating your pantry pest problem, we recommend you contact your local pest control company. They have humane ways of eliminating pests and will get rid of your pest problem for good.