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Many people live with stored product pests and do not realize it until it is too late. These pests are also referred to as pantry pests. They thrive by consuming processed and dried foods found in your home. Although it depends on the pantry pest species, many of them will consume flour, dry pasta, powdered milk, crackers, spices, bread, dried nuts, and dry pet food. You may encounter a handful of pantry pests in Milwaukee. However, the most common include cigarette beetles, Indian meal moths, and saw-toothed grain beetles.
These pantry pests live in the food products they consume. As a result, they can breed around the clock. Even if you have cleaned your home several times a day, you might experience a pantry pest infestation.
What Do Pantry Pests Look Like?
Saw-Toothed Grain Beetles
Saw-toothed grain beetles are usually a tenth of an inch in length. They are slender and flat. Plus, they have tooth projections on both sides of their thoraxes. Although you have to worry about adult saw-toothed grain beetles, the larvae damage food products in your home too. Saw-toothed grain beetles are scavengers that will consume candy, cereal, dried fruit, and flour. Don’t be surprised if you find them consuming birdseed and pet food. Sometimes, they’ll eat rodent bait too.
Indian Meal Moths
These small indian meal moths have multiple colors. For instance, they’re reddish-brown on one side and white or gray on the other side. Unfortunately, these moths are difficult to eliminate. Once they’ve invaded, you’re likely going to find the moths spinning cocoons in your kitchen, pantry, and other rooms. Although the moths are problematic, the larvae are going to damage the food products in your home.
These cigarette beetles are an eighth of an inch and light brown. They’re roughly an eighth of an inch in length. They’re unique because they have humpback and smooth wings. Plus, their body hairs make them look fuzzy. As the name implies, cigarette beetles like consuming tobacco products. They’ll consume spiders, pet foods, tobacco, cigars, and cigarettes.
Reasons You Have Pantry Pests
Pantry pests tend to invade homes because someone purchased contaminated food. If you bought food that had pantry pests, you’re going to bring the pantry pests home with you. Unfortunately, most infestations occur because you brought bedbugs into your home. It only requires a few pests to create a full-blown infestation. Since they live within their food source, they can eat and breed around the clock.
Unfortunately, pantry pests are often ignored until it is too late. Most people don’t check each of their food packages before bringing them inside. You don’t have time for that. With that being said, you likely won’t realize you have a problem until you notice small moths in your kitchen. When this happens, you should expect to deal with a pantry pest infestation sooner.
Are They Danger?
How dangerous are pantry pests? Thankfully, they’re not dangerous at all. They’re not going to transmit diseases or attack humans. There is a risk that you’re going to eat pantry pests or their eggs. Even if this happens, the risks are minimal. These pests do not carry serious illnesses. Therefore, you won’t need to worry about your health. The primary problem is that they’re going to destroy your food products.
Preventing Pantry Pests From Invading
Make sure that pantry pests do not invade your home. Use the tips below to minimize the risks.
- Keep your food in good containers with excellent lids. Make sure that the larvae cannot chew through the material.
- Try to clean your pantry at least once or twice a week.
- Add new food to new containers. If you’re going to use old containers, wash them thoroughly first.
- Never mix old food and new food.
Remember that you can test to see if something is infested. To do that, you need to place the food in a plastic bag and put it aside. Let it sit for a month. If you find pests inside, the food is infested.
Dealing With It
Unfortunately, it is hard to get rid of pantry pests. You’ll know where they’re hiding, so you can throw the bag into the garbage. However, there is still a risk that you’re not going to identify the problem until it worsens. Plus, the pests will likely spread from one package to another. DIY methods aren’t fool-proof.
- Start by throwing away any products that contain pantry pests.
- Get rid of items from the pantries and clean them thoroughly.
- Vacuum the pantry shelves to dispose of pantry pests and pantry pest eggs.
- Wash the shelves and walls.
Some over-the-counter products can eliminate pantry pests. However, some of them are effective and others aren’t. Plus, you don’t want to use dangerous products around your home. We recommend hiring a professional to deal with the problem to minimize the potential risks.
We’re ready to help. Contact our office to schedule an appointment. We should contact you back within 24 to 48 hours.
Protective & Safe
Our company offers safe treatments. We’re always worried about our client’s safety. Therefore, we want to make sure that we use safe, reliable methods. In general, we use EPA-registered tools and products because they’re safe.
Preventing Pantry Pest Problems
Always check your food packages before bringing them inside. Check your food products regularly to make sure they’re free of pests. If you experience issues, call our office.