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How Pantry Pests Find Their Way Into Your Souderton Home

Pantry Pests In Souderton

The most common pantry pest in our area is the Indian meal moth. These are tiny moths that can get into your Souderton home from the outside, but most commonly, they'll hitch a ride in a food package. It is the same for other common Pennsylvania pantry pests like cigarette beetles, saw-toothed grain beetles, rice weevils, and confused flour beetles. Let's take a moment to talk about how this hitchhiking process works and then discuss a strategy that works to help prevent an unappetizing meal.

beetle eating popcorn seed

How Pantry Pests Hitchhike

Pantry pests don't have thumbs, so we can throw out the idea that they sit on the side of the road and wait for a tractor-trailer truck to pass by. If they want to get into a truck filled with food, they have to do it when the truck has come to a stop and the door is open. They also need to have access to the food stored inside. This can be difficult for a moth, beetle, or weevil because great lengths are taken to protect food from these insects. Once a food has been packaged, it is usually safe from pantry pests unless it is damaged. Items that are at high risk for infestation may even be put into vacuum-sealed bags. These you don't need to be as concerned about. But it is possible for pantry pests to get into packages that are made of paper or cardboard.

What foods do pantry pests get into?

Here is a short list of foods that may be tainted with pantry pests:

  • Cereal

  • Breads and raw flour

  • Crackers

  • Cornmeal

  • Rice

  • Pasta

  • Cake mix

  • Cookies

  • Dried fruits

  • Chocolate

  • Spices

  • Powdered milk

  • Cured meats

  • Tea

  • Nuts

  • Tobacco

What You Will Find In Your Food

The insects that get into your food will be in one of four stages: egg, larvae, cocooned pupae, and adult insects. If you open a package of food and see adult insects crawling around, or you see the webbing of cocooned pupae, you may be able to easily detect an infestation. It is more difficult to detect larvae because they are small and they can be the same color as the food they are consuming. Eggs are even smaller and can be inside your food.

How To Keep Pantry Pests From Hitching A Ride Into Your Home

  • Be sure to check all of your grocery items carefully before purchasing them, especially if they are items that pantry pests target. If you see any damage to the packaging, don't buy the item.

  • Check the due date on the packages before you buy. An item that is past its due date will have a stronger aroma. This attracts pantry pests from a distance.

  • When you bring your items home, store new items to the back and old items to the front.

  • Consider marking your items with the due date. A thick, black magic marker works well for this.

  • Routinely check your pantry and throw foods out that are past due.

The Best Protection From Pantry Pests

There is no better way to protect yourself from pantry pests than to store your food in air-tight containers. Glass works best. It helps to be able to see through the side of your containers. This will allow you to detect the presence of insects before you eat them. Here are a few more benefits:

  • When you bring a product home and pour it into a container, you'll have an opportunity to inspect your food.

  • If eggs hatch in your food, the larvae, pupae, and adult insects will be in containers. This will prevent the infestation from spreading.

  • Sealed containers prevent pantry pests from getting into your foods when they find their way into your home from the outside.

  • If you find an infested food item, you can arrest your infestation by putting the food item outside of your home, and by cleaning the container. It is as easy as that.

What To Do If You Don't Use Containers

If you find pantry pests in your food, contact Witt Pest Management. Pantry pests can be difficult to get rid of because they don't just lay their eggs in food items. Some pantry pests lay eggs in cracks and crevices. We'll help you sort things out and get you back on track

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