Pantry Pest Identification

What are pantry pests?

As their name suggests, pantry pests are those insects that lay their eggs in, feed on, and contaminate dry goods. The most common pantry pests in and around Spokane, WA include Indian meal moths, carpet beetles, grain beetles, and rice weevils.

Pantry pest females lay their eggs on or in dry goods. After hatching, the tiny, worm-like larvae begin feeding on and contaminating the dry goods with their saliva and excrement. The larval stage is responsible for most of the food contamination that pantry pests cause. 

a weevil crawling on rice in a pantry in tukwila washington

Are pantry pests dangerous?

Pantry pests cause food contamination with their saliva and excrement, so you should never ignore them. While they are certainly a nuisance and you should get rid of them as quickly as possible, they’re not a dangerous pest because they don’t cause harm to people or structures.

Why do I have a pantry pest problem?

The most common way pantry pests find their way into homes is inside of infested food boxes purchased from the store with their eggs or larvae. Food contaminated by pantry pests usually begins at food processing facilities. The infestation then carries over into food storage facilities, retail stores, and into homes, and other places where food is prepared and stored. Adult pantry pests also sometimes find their way indoors on their own, usually after attracted to a home or other building by its exterior lights.

Where will I find pantry pests?

Pantry pests live wherever there is stored food like kitchen cupboards, pantry areas, and other food storage areas. They feed on and contaminate a variety of dry goods including whole grains, pasta, flour, cereals, cake mixes, dried fruit, dry pet food, and similar items. Homes, restaurants, grocery stores, hospitals, schools, and pet stores are examples of places where pantry pest populations can flourish.

How do I get rid of pantry pests?

For homeowners looking for a responsible approach to get rid of pantry pests on their property, we suggest partnering with Alta Pest Control. We focus on low-impact pest control that is effective at eliminating pantry pests and other household pests while minimizing the impact on the environment. Let our family owned company protect your home and family from our area’s most persistent household invading pests! If you are looking for more information about our pantry pest control services, reach out today and speak with one of our friendly and helpful professionals!

How can I prevent pantry pests in the future?

If your home or business is not experiencing a pantry pest infestation and you want to keep it that way, the local pest control pros at Alta recommend the following pantry pest prevention tips:

  • Never buy food from a store with rips or tears in its packaging.

  • Avoid buying dry goods like spices, nuts, flour, and birdseed in bulk.

  • Regularly inspect your pantry and get rid of older or expired items.

  • Replace white outdoor lights with yellow or LED lights; they are less attractive to insects.

  • After purchasing dry goods, remove them from their original packing and store in containers with airtight lids.

 

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