Why Keeping Food Sealed Against Pantry Pests Is Essential

March 26, 2019


a red hard shelled pantry pest infesting the food storage unit if a home in south carolina

Food is a necessity, and stored foods like flour, sugar, dry beans, and grains can be found in most homes throughout the United States. Maybe you are an avid chef that uses lots of ingredients, spending hours preparing a meal, or perhaps you like to take as little time possible for meal preparation. You may even be a little of both, depending on the circumstances. In any case, there is usually at least some food stored in your home at some time or another. 
 
This is where problems typically arise with pantry pest infestations, specifically with Indian meal moths, cigarette beetles, and drugstore beetles. You will find these pantry pests in the form of adults or larvae in your stored food, cupboards, pantry shelves, and even sometimes in pet foods.
 
Pantry pests can get into your home either in store-bought food or by coming in from the outside while they are out foraging for food.

Identifying Pantry Pests 

Indian meal moth adults are gray, copper, or brown in color with a lighter-colored band around their middles. Their larvae are cream-colored and look similar to worms. It is the larvae that will eat your stored dry goods. 
 
Cigarette beetle adults are reddish brown beetles. Their larvae generally feed on dried tobacco, dry goods, and book bindings.
 
Drugstore beetle adults look like cigarette beetles but have a ridge-like appearance. Their larvae are white, hairy, and c-shaped. They feed mostly on dry plants and animal products.
 
As horrific as it may be to discover one or more of these pantry pests invading your stored foods, you will need to discard all of the food entirely. Inspect all of your other stored food, and discard any outdated or contaminated products. At this point, you should also thoroughly clean out your cupboards and pantry to start fresh.

Preventing and Eliminating Pantry Pests 

To prevent pantry pests in the future, inspect the seals of food packaging in the store before purchasing. Once you are home, you should inspect your new store-bought foods to be sure they are not contaminated. For even better pantry pest prevention, seal off any cracks and crevices that may allow pantry pests to come into your home from outdoors. Additionally, stored food should be kept inside your refrigerator or in sturdy, airtight containers to avoid any new contamination.
 
In the event that these pantry pests rear their ugly heads in your home, you can call on the professionals at Spencer Pest Services to take care of them for you. Our professional technicians can find and eliminate pantry pests so you can rest easy with no need to worry about contamination. Find out more by calling us at Spencer Pest Services in Upstate South Carolina and northern Georgia.




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