Indian meal moths are one of the most commonly reported pantry pests in the United States. This may be due to the fact that your pantry is full of the foods these insects eat. They live on a diet of grains, nuts, cereals, dried fruits, and a variety of processed food products. But before they hang out in your pantry, they may be fluttering around outside your home. Whether or not you have these moths near your home depends on many factors that have to do with the storage of these products or the accessibility of food sources in nature. The same is true of cigarette beetles, saw-toothed beetles and other pantry-infesting beetles. Here are a few entry points they'll use to get into your home:
- They can fly right through the front door.
- They can fly in through a window, especially a window that has no screen or a screen that is damaged.
- They can crawl in under a door with a damaged door sweep.
- They can squeeze past a gap in the rubber weatherstripping around a door.
- They can get in through holes created by other pests such as mice, rats, carpenter ants, woodpeckers, etc.
You can prevent these insects from getting into your home by addressing the entry points listed above. You can also resist attracting these insects to your food-storage areas by keeping pantry shelves clean of food debris and storing your foods in sealed glass or plastic containers. For the best protection against unwanted pest entry, enlist the assistance of a licensed pest professional. A residential pest control program can help with nuisance pests like pantry-invading insects, while also protecting you from dangerous pests like ticks, mosquitoes, rodents, and more.
A more common way pantry pests get into pantries is by hitchhiking. When beetles or Indian meal moths lay their eggs in stored products, they can be transported to your pantry by way of the grocery store. Once they're in your pantry or kitchen, they can hatch and spread from product to product. You can help to prevent this by:
- Examining products for holes, rips, or tears before you purchase.
- Look for the presence of Indian meal moths in the store or around products you'll be purchasing.
- These tiny moths don't eat food. They only live to lay their eggs. It is their larvae that feed. But their presence can give you a warning sign of possible larvae.
- Examine expiration dates before you purchase products. These pests are more attracted to foods that have passed their due date.
- Store new products toward the backs of your pantry or kitchen shelves and older items toward the front.
- Consider putting items that come in paper, cardboard, or plastic inside sealed plastic containers.
This can prevent pantry pests from spreading if you should accidentally bring them into your food-storage areas.
If you find stored product pests in your pantry or kitchen, it is definitely time to call a pest professional. An educated and experienced pest professional uses modern pest management methods and products to locate and eliminate these pests. If pantry pest control is done improperly, it can have many adverse effects.
For assistance with pantry pests and other invasive pests in Pennsylvania, find out if you're in our service area. Moyer Pest Control is a QualityPro Certified pest control provider. We offer one-time pantry pest service as well as ongoing residential pest control that can prevent infestations from taking root. While stored products pests are not considered to be a health threat, there are many pests that can get into your foods that are dangerous. We can help you manage those threats. Ask us about Exterior Home Guard, Platinum Home Guard, and Complete Home Guard. We'll help you choose the product that is right for you.