Table of Contents
What Is Considered A Pantry Pest?
- A pantry “stored product” pest is characterized by its unique behaviors. One specific behavior that comes to mind is a home invasion. These insects invade home in search of processed food stored in vulnerable containers.
- A pantry pest diet consists of dried pasta, nuts, cereal, dog food, and fruit. Birdseed, powdered milk flour, cornstarch, bread, and crackers are also included in the diet.
- Pantry pest species – Indian meal moth and cigarette and saw-toothed grain beetles – invade rooms with a dried food source.
- A pantry pest can continuously reproduce when food is plentiful. In fact, one pantry pest can produce enough eggs to support several generations in just 360 days.
- A pantry pest does not target homes because it is dirty. The insect does not have a cleanliness preference, just a need for a processed food source.
Pantry Pest Characteristics For Identifying Purposes
Everyone should be familiar with the pantry pest because their living space is a threat. Whether you own or rent, pantry pests are targeting your home, making the identifying characteristics more important than ever.
Indian Meal Moth Species
- “Plodia interpunctella” is a species that invades kitchens and areas with a processed food source. Its body is copper-like with tan wings and a grayish-colored chest.
- The larvae prey on vulnerable food storage containers made of thin cardboard and plastic bag. The damage left behind is a 100 percent loss for the home’s occupants.
- Uniquely-spun cocoons utilized to store eggs and larvae can be found in high-traffic areas, such as the kitchen.
Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle Species
- “Oryzaephilus surinamensis” is a pantry pest species with unique thorax projections that resemble a handsaw blade. The body with head and feet measures about one-tenth of an inch in length.
- Adults and their young feed on processed food products.
- The diet is comprised of dried cereal, candy, fruit, and nuts. Birdseed, dried dog food, and mice bait are also included in the diet whenever possible.
Cigarette Beetle Species
- “Lasioderma serricorne” is a pantry pest species that measures about 1/8” in length. The humpback is the insect’s most noticeable feature, followed by its fuzzy body and smooth wings.
- The diet is comprised of dried and processed food products, as well a smoking and non-smoking tobacco products. Dried pepper, chili powder, paprika, and other spices.
Why Is My Home Infested With Pantry Pests?
- It is fairly simple, infested-homes had what the pantry pests were looking for – processed food, shelter, and an access point.
- One insect can turn into a full-blown infestation when left untreated.
- Immediately following the home invasion, the insects get to work procreating, This behavior will continue as long as there is an endless food source.
Pantry Pest Infestation Characteristics
- Due to their small size, infestations are extremely difficult to detect. This is especially true for unaware homeowners and tenants.
- Swarming insects near food sources are generally the first sign of an infestation.
Do Pantry Pests Pose A Health Risk To Humans?
- Cigarette and saw-toothed grain beetles and Indian meal moths are not disease-carrying pantry pest species.
- Food spoilage and foodborne illnesses are always a possibility, except when the cigarette beetle, saw-toothed beetle, and Indian meal moth are involved.
How Difficult Is It To Prevent A Pantry Pest Infestation?
- A systematic food storage system that utilizes glass and plastic containers with lids. Do not store packaged processed food in original packaging – cardboard box, plastic bag, and Styrofoam box.
- Pantry cleaning schedule with a proper waste disposal system
- Never mix new and opened processed food for later use
- Routine visual inspections of stored food
- Toss suspicious food in a plastic bag and remove to an outdoor waste bin
- Thoroughly clean food containers between each refill
How To Eradicate A Pantry Pest Infestation?
Eradicating a pantry pest infestation starts with a visual inspection of the impacted home. Once the home is determined to be infested, the proper steps to create a customized pest control strategy are in order. This is one pest infestation that will not be phased by DIY pest control products and methods.
Quick eradication depends on the following:
- Contaminated foods should be disposed of in a sealed plastic bag and transported to an outdoor trash bin.
- Empty and clean all kitchen cabinets, cubbyholes, and pantries at least once a month. Utilize a vacuum to remove any potential pantry pest eggs and larvae. Replace the vacuum cleaner bag after each use to prevent contamination in pest-free areas.
- Wipe cabinet and kitchen walls down with dish soap, followed by a damp cloth or sponge.
It is crucial to note, DIY pest control products are not the best course of action for pantry pest infestations. These are the bottom-of-the-barrel pesticides, which means they may not be potent enough to eradicate a full pantry pest infestation. Our commercial-grade pest control pesticides are ideal for moderate to severe pantry pest infestations. To ensure 100 percent effectiveness, our exterminators combine our professional-grade pesticides with traps that are installed in impacted areas only.
When Should I Expect The Exterminator To Arrive At My Front Door?
Once your request for pest control service has been submitted, we will begin processing it. A customer service representative will contact you about an appointment, which will be scheduled within 24 to 48 hours of the initial request.
Is Pantry Pest Pesticides Harmful To Children?
We have several types of pantry pest pesticides, ranging from chemical-based, organic, natural, professional-grade, and eco-friendly. We leave the pesticide decision up to our pantry pest experts and clients. This is a joint decision that should always be based on preference, the severity of the infestation, and pest type, which in this is the pantry pest. To minimize the health risk of children, we have narrowed our pesticides down to EPA-approved brands. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees the manufacturing and sale of all pesticides in the United States. So far, the agency has approved hundreds of brands believed to be environmentally safe when administered, handled, and stored properly.
Is It Possible To Prevent A Secondary Pantry Pest Infestation?
Yes, with the right extermination tools, knowledge, and pesticide. Our pantry pest management includes a visual inspection, an initial treatment, follow-up treatment, and a follow-up inspection with or without treatment. Our goal has always been to deliver quality pest control services to all Honolulu residents and business owners. We encourage our clients to get involved in the extermination process by asking questions, creating a new storage system utilizing glass and plastic containers with lids, and routine cleaning of targeted areas.