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Pantry Pests

You do not have to deal with pantry pests on your own. Call Thrasher Termite & Pest Control for assistance. Meanwhile, institute these preventive measures: 1. Seal all food items in bug-proof containers, 2. Wipe down kitchen counters and sweep floor daily, 3. Empty garbage into an outside bin, 4. Remove compostable refuse daily, and 5. Clean under ranges and under and behind refrigerators

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About Pantry Pests

Pantry pests, also known as stored product pests, get their name because they often infest food stored in pantries and kitchen cabinets. These insects are often brought into the home unknowingly in items from the grocery store.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends the following tips to prevent pantry pests:

  • Seal items: Proper food storage can go a long way in preventing an infestation. Once packages are opened, move ingredients into sealed glass or Tupperware-type containers with secure lids before storing them in the pantry or cabinet.
  • Check dates: Remember to check expiration dates on ingredients before use. Periodically sort through old items in the pantry and toss out anything that has been stored for a long time.
  • Clean often: Immediately wipe up any crumbs or spills from countertops, tables, floors and shelves. Occasionally empty the cupboards and clean them with soap and water to get rid of residue and anything that may be hiding inside.

Additionally, refrigerate or freeze bulk flour, spices, and grains both to maintain freshness and to kill insect eggs.

Pantry Pest Gallery

Lesser Grain Borer

Both adults and larvae bore into grain kernels. Adults are reddish-brown and about 3mm long. The head is bent underneath the body. Larvae are white with a small brown head and short legs.

Saw-toothed grain beetles

Adults are about 3mm long and have tooth-like projections along the side of the segment just behind the head. Flours and meals from cereal products are favorite foods. Larvae are yellowish-white with a brown head.

Confused flour beetle

This insect has been a pest of cereals since the time of the pharaohs. It is about 3mm long and infests flour and meal type of products but many others are also attacked. They can get into packages through very small openings. Larvae are whitish tan with a brown head capsule.

Flat grain beetle

About the smallest beetle to infest flour. It is flattened and the long antennae make it easy to distinguish from the other beetles. It is very common and found most often in grain and meal that are in poor condition.

White-marked spider beetle

This insect moves rapidly and is characterized by the white, hairy patches on the back. It is reddish brown, about 4mm long with longs legs. It can be found in large numbers under certain conditions.

California spider beetle

The black color with conspicuous white spots distinguish this insect. It is about 4-5mm long and not as common as the white-marked spider beetle.

Carpet beetles

Most adult carpet beetles are about 2mm long and varied in color. They can have several generations per year.

Indian meal moth

Adults are easy to identify because of their wings that are silvery or gray next to the body with the ends of the wings coppery colored. They are about 12mm long with a wingspread of about 18mm.

Meal moth

This moth has a wingspread of about 25mm and has characteristic markings on the wings. Larvae look like the Indian meal moth larvae only larger. They feed on a variety of products and prefer grains etc that are moist or in poor condition.

Grain mites

Mites are most often found in grain that has gotten wet or out of condition. They are about  mm long, grayish white, and have long hairs growing from the body. Large numbers can cause grain to smell bad.

American roach

The American roach is much larger than the German roach and not as prevalent. Average length is about 25mm (1 inch). They like dry dog and cat food as well as food left on the counters or unsealed in kitchen drawers. Nymphs, look like adults but do not have wings. This stage lasts about a year before they become adults.

Silverfish

These primitive insects feed on foods as well as woolen items. They like dark, warm, moist situations. Scales on the body give them their silvery appearance. Adults are about 13mm long. Nymphs look just like them, only smaller. Silverfish do not have wings.

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