What Every Wilmington Property Owner Ought To Know About Effective Pantry Pest Control

September 17, 2020

If you’re a Wilmington property owner, you will likely deal with common pantry pests at one time or another. Pantry pests are those that get into kitchens to lay their eggs in food products. They are often found in items like flour and sugar, and their presence can lead to food contamination.

a beetle on food

There are a few pantry pests that are most common in the area: cigarette beetles, Indian meal moths, and drugstore beetles, among other invasive pests like cockroaches. While these are all distinct species that look very different, they all create a problem if they get into your pantry.

We’ve provided a quick guide of what these pantry pests look like so you can tell them apart:

  • Cigarette beetles: This pest gets its name for its tendency to get into stored tobacco. They are only about 3 mm long and are a light brown color. They have a rounded appearance.
  • Indian meal moths: These have long, oval bodies and large antennae. Their bodies are usually reddish-brown and their wings have a striped appearance.
  • Drugstore beetles: This species looks similar to the cigarette beetle as they are also round with a “humped” appearance. They are a light brown color as well. The best way to tell them apart is that drugstore beetles have antennae with three-segments while cigarette beetles have antennae with serrated edges.

How Do Pantry Pest Infestations Start?

While some pests come inside looking for shelter from cold weather and others, like spiders, get inside as they hunt for prey, infestations of common pantry pests begin a little differently.

Pantry pest adults will lay their eggs in food products, whether that be flour, sugar, spices, cereal, etc, as these items serve as food for the growing larvae. Often, pantry pests come into a home in food products bought at the grocery store that already have eggs in them.

Occasionally, pantry pests can get into your home through items like weeds or flowers, but this isn’t as common. They may also slip inside a home through access points such as broken screens or cracks in walls. Then, once inside, the adults will search for a food source where they can lay their eggs.

What Are The Best Ways To Prevent Pantry Pests?

The thought of small larvae living in your pantries inside of the food you eat is really disturbing. While the biggest concern with these pests is food contamination, not necessarily serious illnesses, they still pose health risks. You will need to discard any food with pantry pests immediately. To keep your food safe and stop food waste, there are some things you can do to prevent these insects, such as:

  • Checking food packaging. You should look for a powdery appearance of small webs.
  • Storing any grains, cereals, or sugars in airtight containers. This way, even if you accidentally buy an infested product, the pantry pest can’t spread.
  • Keeping your pantries cleaned using soap and water regularly.
  • Making sure grain and sugar products are fresh and rotated often.
  • Fixing holes and tears in window and door screens.
  • Ensuring that doors and windows fit tightly in their frames.

The Most Effective Way To Prevent Pantry Pests

There is something particularly off-putting about pantry pests no matter the species. While you can take steps to deter them on your own, the most effective and efficient way to prevent them and also remove any current infestations is to work with the pest control experts at Bug-N-A-Rug Exterminators. You can trust our experience as we’ve been providing pest control in the area for over 20 years. Give us a call today to learn more.

Tags: pantry pests | pantry pest control | pantry pest prevention |

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