How To Protect Your Pantry From Pests Around The Holidays

December 21, 2018


beetles on burlap bag

Are you noticing beetles in your cupboards? How about worm-like larvae? There are several pests that could potentially be getting into your stored products and taking over your pantry. Here are our common ones:
 
Carpet beetles look similar to a ladybug in shape and are mottled-colored. Their larvae are carrot-shaped and can range from brown to tan with white and tan stripes. They have bristles on them that can cause an itchy, reaction to people’s skin. Carpet beetles feed on dry goods. Once inside, they can be found in closets, under furniture, and on the floor.
 
Cigarette beetles are good for their name as they like to feed on dried tobacco. They’ll also feed on dry goods and book bindings. These beetles are reddish-brown to brown in color and have segmented antennae.  
 
Drugstore beetles look similar to the cigarette beetle. They are reddish-brown to brown in color. Their wings have a striated appearance to them. Their larvae are white and c-shaped covered with short hairs. These beetles feed on animal products and dried plants.
 
Indian meal moths are usually brown, copper, or gray with a tan-colored band across the middle of their bodies. Their larvae are worm-like and cream-colored with brown heads. Sometimes they can appear to have a tint of pink or green. Indian meal moth larvae will feed on dry goods, pet food, and more.
 
Stored product pests can get into your home one of two ways. They may enter from the outside while foraging for food or shelter, or they may be introduced into the home inside store-bought packages. The holidays may provide more chances to bring infestations into the home as more stored products are brought in. How they enter can vary on the pest. For example, Indian meal moths are more likely to be brought in through already infested materials, whereas carpet beetles have a high chance of entering through cracks in the foundation of your home. Our pest guide can give you more information about each individual pest.
 
All of these pests can be harmful to your food and other material in your home. While they do not bite humans, they will contaminate food and some have the potential to cause itchy reactions. For example, carpet beetles are sometimes confused with bed bugs due to the reaction they cause. It’s important to protect your pantry. Furniture, blankets, and clothing can be affecting by some of these pests too. Some of these beetles will leave holes as they feed on blankets and books.
 
There are a few methods for protecting your pantry during this holiday season. You should inspect items before purchasing and bringing them into the home. If there are any signs of openings, chew marks, or bugs inside do not bring them in. Indian meal moth larvae are known for leaving a silk webbing behind. Watch out for this in the products you buy and the products that are already in your pantry. Make sure to throw out expired items. Inspecting the exterior of your home is advised as well. Seal any opening and cracks found that might allow these pests into the house. Once inside, stored product pests breed and increase in number quickly. The best way to handle an infestation is to call professional pest control.
 
Spencer Pest Services will partner with you to address your pest needs. Whatever pest you're dealing with, we’re here to eliminate them. Don’t let stored product pests infest your home and contaminate your food. Get in touch with us or schedule your free inspection today.




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