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Pantry Pests

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What Are Pantry Pests?

  • Pantry pests are also known as stored product pests because they feed on stored products. They have an insatiable appetite for dried and processed food products that are commonly found in the home
  • Stored products might include but are not limited to flour, cereal, dry pasta, dry pet food, powdered milk, cornstarch, cracker, spices, bread, birdseed, dried nuts, fruit, and tons more…
  • The pantry pests can consist of a variety of different species, but it is the Indian meal moth, saw-toothed grain beetle, and the cigarette beetle that are the best known in Rochester, New York
  • Pantry pests breed non-stop because they live in the products they feed on. With food so close, they do not need to travel anywhere, giving them the ability to mate and reproduce non-stop
  • These pests do not just invade dirty homes. Just because your home has pantry pests, it does not mean your home is dirty

Identifying Pantry Pests

It doesn’t matter what type of pest you are dealing with, if you do not learn how to spot and identify them, you aren’t going to be able to eliminate them. This is because although they come from the same classification of species, they have different habits. Knowing these habits will provide you with the information and tools that you need to eliminate these critters. What’s need to be known about the Indian meal moth, saw-toothed grain beetle, and the cigarette beetle?

Indian Meal Moth: 

  • Their scientific name is Plodia interpunctella, and these small reddish-brown moths have two sets of wings. The backset of wings are the same reddish-brown to copper color, while the front set are grayish
  • The larvae of this species are the ones that are responsible for food damage. They’ll attack a whole wide variety of dried food products
  • Due to their abilities to crawl on ceilings, walls, and spin cocoons, they can be incredibly hard to get rid of

Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle:

  • It is slender-bodied and flat with a scientific name of Oryzaephilus surinamensis. This brown beetle grows to about 1/10 inches and has six saw-like projections located on each side of the thorax. The thorax, for those interested, is the section between the head and the stomach
  • In this species, both the adults and larvae can feed on dried food products
  • Cereals, flours, candies, dried fruit, pet food, birdseed, and rodent bait are the preferred meals of the saw-toothed grain beetle

Cigarette Beetle:

  • This light brown beetle has the scientific name Lasioderma serricorne and measures about 1/8 inches long. It has a heavy hump-backed appearance with smooth wings and body hair that almost give the critter a fuzzy appearance
  • This insect gets its name from the fact that it feeds on cured tobacco products like cigars and cigarettes. That being said, it will also commonly feed on pet food, cereal, nuts, and candy

Why Do People Have Pantry Pests In Rochester?

If your Rochester property is infected with pantry pests, it is likely for one of three reasons. It could be that the bugs are seeking shelter, they could be looking for food, or they could require water. Given that they feed on dried food products more often than not, it is much more likely they are in the home seeking food.

  • People often bring these critters into the home via food packages. Food packages that have been exposed or previously infested with these bugs
  • Infestation can start with just a few bugs, but it will not be long at all before their numbers grow. And, this is because of their ability to mate and reproduce non-stop
  • They breed continuously and live in the food products they feed on
  • These insects are capable of producing several generations a year, whereas most insects only produce one generation a year. You can see a huge difference here

Spotting The Early Warning Signs Of An Infestation

It always pays to detect an infestation as soon as possible. It not only makes elimination much easier and quicker, but you’ll end up spending much less money overall. The best way to catch the infestation in the early stages is by learning how to spot the early warning signs of infestation. Here’s what you are going to want to look for:

  • Infestations can easily be overlooked because the bugs are so small and oftentimes resemble the food they feed on
  • Keep an eye out for moths
  • If you see moths flying around your kitchen, there is a good chance you are dealing with an infestation
  • Place food products in a clear, plastic bag, give it a week or two, and you should see the presence of bugs if the products are infested

Are Pantry Pests Dangerous?

All in all, pantry pests do not pose a threat to you physically. They can be a mental drain and some people become so obsessed with them that they can’t sleep in the home with them. The biggest threat they pose is to that of your food products. They’ll destroy your food products. Many homeowners have ingested these bugs by accident or the larvae and eggs but experienced no ill effects. They don’t transmit diseases or carry pathogens, so this is a huge plus.

How Can I Prevent Pantry Pests From Getting In My Home?

Living in Rochester, it only makes sense to learn how to prevent pantry pests. Given their presence in the area, you can see the need to take preventive measures. This is something our trained and skilled techs are always more than willing to help with, but there are things you can do yourself as well. Here’s how you’ll want to start:

  • Keep your pantries as clean as possible (The walls, the shelves, and the counters)
  • Always store the potential food in resealable, plastic containers
  • Remember that the larvae of this species can easily chew through cardboard and similar product
  • Remove small bits of food regularly
  • Always properly and thoroughly inspect new and old food products before mixing them. Take the time to make sure that neither are infected

How Do I Get Pantry Pests Out Of My Rochester Home?

Once pantry pests have invaded your home you are looking at serious problems. This is because it becomes a means of survival from this point. Combine this with this agility and quick-witted nature, and it just makes dealing with them all that more difficult. While pesticides can be effective, there are some problems with them. First, over-the-counter pesticides aren’t enough. While there are tons of these products available, they just don’t contain all the necessary ingredients.

This is because the real ingredients needed to successfully kill the pests are illegal. They can only be purchased by licensed and trained individuals. These chemicals might be effective, but they are illegal for a reason. They are extremely dangerous. Always seek eco-friendly and greener options whenever possible. Our Rochester offices do offer some eco-friendly solutions, which are more costly, but more effective. These are all things to consider when choosing pest solutions. As you can see, it’s best to just bite the bullet and opt for professional help.

When Can You Get Here?

Rochester is a unique area that provides lots of unique opportunities. It is also, unfortunately, filled with a whole host of critters. As you can imagine, this keeps our little pest offices pretty busy. However, we are more than willing to accommodate our customers. All you have to do is set up an appointment and we’ll have a tech out at the property within the next 24 to 48 hours. We do also have emergency services available if and when they are needed. Just reach out and call!

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