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Unwanted Visitors in Your Tequesta Pantry

August 22, 2018

No one wants to open up a box of food they recently, or even not so recently, bought at the grocery store only to discover that it’s full of bugs! Unfortunately, that’s a reality that many people will face at one point or another, and while it’s possible that it will be a one-time event, there’s also the possibility that one little infestation can lead to a much larger problem.

So what are these pests that invade your food stores and why do you need to look out for them? We’ll explain it all below!

indian meal moth

Pantry Pests

Pantry pests are the general name given to several different bugs that frequently show up in kitchens nationwide. While the pests themselves vary from place to place, here are the ones most commonly found in the Tequesta area:

Indian Meal Moths

While not the only moth to infest your home, Indian meal moths are the most common and also the most destructive. The adults are brown and about ½ an inch in length with a wingspan of ¾ of an inch. These pantry pests are most active at night, which is when they search for a place to lay their eggs. Indian meal moths typically lay their eggs in grain or food products such as dried pasta, seeds, spices, and pet food. After they lay their eggs, these pests spin webbing around the food they’ve infested.

Other moths that invade pantries include the Mediterranean meal moth and the Angoumois grain moth.

Sawtooth Grain Beetles

Sawtooth grain beetles are small, reddish-brown beetles with flat bodies and small distinctive toothlike projections just behind their head, hence their name. They use these projections to gain entry into food stored in paper, cellophane, and other easily accessible materials. These beetles are most active in the warm summer months and prefer to live in and lay their eggs in all types of dried food.

Other beetle pantry pests include the cigarette beetle and the drugstore beetle.

Granary Weevils

Granary weevils are very small, reddish-brown beetles and have wings, but don’t fly. Their most distinctive feature is their long snout. Granary weevils are most active in the summer months, though they can be a problem year-round. These pests are attracted to open packages of dried foods.

How Pantry Pests Get Into Your Food

Pantry pests often gain entry to your food before you even bring it home! These pests can be found not only in homes, but also in grocery stores and food processing plants. If they infest a food before it is shipped to a grocery store, you can end up bringing these pantry pests home with you.

Once they are in your home, they can spread from that one infected food to any other food products nearby which is why it’s so important to keep your dried foods stored in airtight containers. It is also a good idea to clean up any spills immediately to discourage cross-contamination.

Are Pantry Pests Dangerous?

While none of these pantry pests are known to spread disease, they are still very destructive and cause a lot of problems for homeowners. When food items become infested, they become contaminated and are therefore inedible. While one contaminated box might not break the bank, if the problem spreads, you could be looking at hundreds of dollars of food waste in your home!

Similarly, in a commercial setting, an infestation could be devastating and cause thousands upon thousands of dollars in damage and waste.

How to Treat for Pantry Pests

While inspecting your food stores regularly and keeping these foods carefully separated can keep pantry pest problems to a minimum, you may still find yourself with a pantry pest infestation. If you are experiencing problems with these pests, it’s best to call in the experts!

Nozzle Nolen has the experience and knowledge needed to find and treat your pantry pest problems. We also offer the protection needed to prevent future outbreaks! Contact us at Nozzle Nolen Pest Solutions for more information about how we can protect your Tequesta home from pantry pests problems!


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