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Pantry Pests

What are pantry pests?

Indian-meal moths are some of the most common and destructive stored food pests in the United States. These pests thrive in a wide range of climates, and their name comes from their diet of grains and cornmeal. They’re found primarily in stored food products such as grains, flours, cereals, dried foods, nuts, rice, seeds, spices, certain candies, pet food, and bird food.

Their destructive diet of grains and cornmeal provides them with a long list of nicknames. Not only are they referred to as pantry pests, moths, and Indian meal moths, but also “pantry moths,” “flour moths,” “grain moths,” or “weevil moths.”

Are pantry pests dangerous?

The larva of pantry pests contaminates food sources with saliva and excrement as they feed and develop into adults. Though these insects do contaminate food and therefore cause food waste, pantry pests are not considered dangerous pests. They don’t bite or sting people and don’t damage structures. However, since pantry pests do contaminate food, they should not live in our homes or businesses for any period of time.

Why do I have a pantry pest problem?

The most common way pantry pests move into our homes is inside stored products purchased from the store that are already infested with pantry pest larvae or eggs.

Once inside of your home the larvae eventually develop into adults and then the new females lay their eggs on dry goods stored within your home, continuing the infestation.

Sometimes adults will enter inside your home on their own, moving inside through spaces around windows and doors or other openings they discover.

Where will I find pantry pests?

Pantry pests are problematic inside of homes, grocery stores, restaurants, food storage facilities, pet stores, and anywhere food handling and storage occurs. In our homes, pests most commonly invade our kitchen and pantry areas.

Examples of stored foods pantry pests commonly invade:

  • Flour and cornmeal
  • Cereal
  • Crackers
  • Dry pet food
  • Dry spices and dry herbs
  • Birdseed

How do I get rid of pantry pests?

At Pacific Pest Management, we provide the long-term solutions needed to get rid of pantry pests from homes and businesses. We understand how frustrating pest problems are to deal with and will work closely with you to ensure your unique pest problems are taken care of. We don’t just “control” pests we eliminate them! If you are dealing with a pantry pest problem in your San Mateo home or business reach out to Pacific Pest Management today, and speak with one of our friendly professionals. Reliable home pest control or commercial pest management is just a phone call away!

How can I prevent pantry pests in the future?

Preventing pantry pest infestations can be a difficult job, but there are some ways you can discourage pests like Indian meal moths from choosing your pantry. Here are some prevention tips to assist you in your pantry pest control efforts:

  • Caulk gaps found around all exterior doors and seal cracks, crevices, and holes around pipes to block off access points.
  • Clean up crumbs and promptly clean up any spills, especially fruit juices and sugary beverages. 
  • Do not purchase food items with signs of damage like torn packaging.
  • Eliminate excess moisture, fix leaky pipes, and take care of any clogged drains in the house.
  • Inspect your groceries, as pantry pests are often brought inside in infested bags and packaging.
  • Maintain proper food storage techniques and good sanitation practices.
  • Make sure that the screens in windows and doors are completely intact. 
  • Place door sweeps underneath exterior doors, especially basement doors. 
  • Properly store all kitchen and pantry food in sealed containers with secure, tightly-fitted lids.
  • Regularly vacuum problem areas in the kitchen and empty the vacuum right away to prevent a reinfestation. 
  • Rotate dried food items regularly and be diligent about disposing of expired goods. 
  • Switch white light bulbs found in outdoor light fixtures with yellow outdoor lights or LED lights.
  • Try not to purchase more food than you can realistically use in a two to four-month time frame.

While these tips can be helpful, the most effective way to deal with the presence of Indian meal moths is to call the pest professionals. Reach out to Pacific Pest Management today for complete pantry pest control and prevention services. We’re eager to protect your pantry from Indian meal moths, and we guarantee lasting pest protection for your property at large. Schedule your inspection today. 

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