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Pantry Pests

Table of Contents

Pantry Pest Characteristics And Behaviors

  • Scientists refer to the pantry pest as “stored product pests.” Why? This insect species is notorious for invading pantries in residential and commercial settings
  • Pantry pest diet is comprised of foods stored outside the refrigerator. Flour, dried dog food, cornstarch, nuts, bread, crackers, powdered milk, uncooked pasta, cookies, and snack cakes are just a few examples
  • Cigarette and saw-toothed grain beetles and Indian meal moths are pantry pests. Unlike some other pantry pest species, these three aforementioned pests do not transmit diseases to humans or animals
  • After a home invasion, pantry pests start reproducing, continuing to reproduce until their colonies are doubled, tripled, or quadrupled
  • Pantry pests thrive when food sources are endless
  • Pantry pests do not discriminate, they target all vulnerable homes and businesses

What Pantry Pest Characteristics Can Be Utilized For Identification Purposes?

Pantry Pest Indian Meal Moth Species

  • The Plodia interpunctella, Indian meal moth, features multi-colored wings and body, ranging between dark red, copper, tan, black, and orange
  • The Indian meal moth larvae attack accessible vulnerable processed food. The majority of the damage caused by this pantry pest species is contributed to the larvae
  • The species is notorious for evading detection and capture by climbing on walls, ceilings, and other structures out of reach to humans

Pantry Pest Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle

  • The Oryzaephilus surinamensis, saw-toothed grain beetle, features a multi-colored slender body and wings. The adult grows up to one-tenth of an inch. The species’ classification is contributed to its six “saw-toothed” projections on the thorax
  • The entire Saw-toothed grain beetle species, including the adult and larvae, feed on processed and dry food products stored in pantries
  • The species is notorious for processed food contamination. Recent sightings reveal significant damages to processed food stored in non-refrigerated areas. Other damages includes anti-mice bait and bird seeds

Pantry Pest Cigarette Beetle

  • The Lasioderma serricorne, cigarette beetle, has a brownish/red body, with six legs, two antennas, and a shell-like cover utilized as a safety mechanism. The adult grows up to one-eighth of an inch. The species most unique feature is its humpback, which is most commonly utilized for identification purposes
  • The diet is comprised of dried and processed food, spices – chili powder, paprika, and pepper. Recent sightings show the species invading homes, damaging food packages, and contaminating food like flour, uncooked rice, dry cereal, and bread

Why Did Pantry Pests Invade My Home?

  • Pantry pests target homes with vulnerabilities, like open access points around windows, doors, water pipes, and electrical wiring systems
  • One adult pregnant female can invade and infest a home by continuously breeding. Endless food sources, warm environment, and security is all the species need to flourish indoors
  • An adult female can produce up to 50 eggs every 30 days in controlled environments. A few adults can drive up pantry pest population indoors and outdoors significantly over a few months

What Should I Look For In A Pantry Pest Infestation Inspection?

  • Pantry pest infestations often go undetected for months, even years in some cases because of the insect’s small size
  • Swarming insects over exposed food sources is the first sign of a pantry pest infestation. The second sign is damaged food packages and third, contaminated food
  • Bright lighting attracts pantry pests to specific areas, homes, and businesses

Should I Be Concerned About A Few Pantry Pests?

  • The three aforementioned pantry pest species – cigarette and saw-toothed grain beetles and Indian meal moth – do not carry diseases or parasites
  • The biggest health risk of pantry pests is food contamination, resulting in foodborne illnesses like salmonella
  • Accidental ingestion of most cigarette and saw-toothed grain beetle and Indian meal moth eggs should not warrant an emergency room visit. The three pantry pest species do not spread diseases to humans or animals. But, there may be some legitimate concerns for foodborne illnesses related to ingestion of contaminated food

What Can I Do To Protect My Family And Home From A Pantry Pest Infestation?

  • Update processed food storage system utilizing glass and plastic containers with lids. Never store non-refrigerated food in manufacturing packaging because it is vulnerable to pantry pests
  • Develop a bi-weekly cleaning schedule targeting your entire kitchen, pantries, cabinets, and shelves where non-refrigerated food is stored when not in use
  • Create a system to safely dispose of outdated and unwanted processed food. It is not recommended to mix old with new, instead, take a loss and toss the old in the waste bin
  • Conduct a test to determine if suspicious processed food products are contaminated. Place the food in a sealed plastic bag, store in a dark area for 30 days, and inspect for signs of pantry pest movement

Is It Possible To Fully Eradicate A Pantry Pest Infestation?

Eradicating a pantry pest infestation requires extermination skill, experience, knowledge, and tools, all of which we possess. Our Philadelphia extermination team has a combined decade or longer of pest control experience that we bring to the table at every pantry pest infestation discussion. Each member of the team has undergone extensive pest control training to ensure our company meets or better yet exceeds US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pest control regulations and guidelines.

DIY pest control is not always the best option for moderate to severe pantry pest infestations. Why you should take advantage of our professional pest control instead:

  • Carefully dispose of potentially contaminated processed food in sealed plastic bags and transport it to an outdoor waste bin
  • Empty pantries, kitchen cabinets, and other storage areas at least bi-monthly in preparation for a thorough cleaning. Vacuum thoroughly before wiping the interior shelves and walls down with a mild cleanser and rinse thoroughly with fresh water
  • Wash storage containers thoroughly and allow them to air dry before refilling

Every pest control management strategy will not work for every pantry pest infestation. In fact, there are no two pantry pest infestations the same. Basically, what works for a neighbor dealing with a pantry pest infestation may or may not work in your situation. Our exterminators are on standby waiting on your pest control service request or questions.

When Will The Exterminator Be Able To Conduct My Pantry Pest Inspection?

Once your pest control service request is processed, which normally takes between 24 and 48 hours, our customer support team will dispatch a licensed exterminator out to your home. We will stay in continuous touch before, during, and after the inspection.

Is Pantry Pest Pesticide Safe Or Harmful?

Pest control pesticides are available in various formulas – organic, non-toxic, chemical-based, and eco-friendly. We carry all of these formulas to ensure easy access to every Philadelphia resident, in the event of a pest infestation. Chemical-based pesticides do pose some environmental risks. However, with EPA guidelines, full participation of all US exterminators, and manufacturing recommendations, it is possible to minimize these risks until they are no longer questionable. Our lineup of pest control products has EPA approval.

Is It Possible To Protect A Home From Future Pantry Pest Infestations After Infiltration?

Pantry pest infiltration does a number on the home’s pest barrier. It leaves the entire home and all members in a vulnerable state. The key to preventing future infestations is our professional pest management prevention.

If you have any other pest control issues please check out other services.

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