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What’s Gotten into My Pantry?

October 23, 2018

As the seasons change and we head into fall, you perhaps have gotten the urge to bake some delicious autumn goodies. You reach into your pantry to get down the necessities, and a few tiny moths fly out at you. You don’t think much of it until you open your flour and find little string-like webs inside. You open your walnuts and baking soda and oats and find more of the same, plus some squiggly moving specks that don’t belong. Sadly, you realize you’ve been invaded by pantry pests. Pantry pests can be any number of bugs such as Indian meal moths, beetles, weevils and mealworms. They thrive on dry goods and can come from several places. One thing is certain about pantry pests: once they’ve invaded your pantry, none of your food is safe. This can cost money in the replacing of foods and may leave you short of fall desserts.

moth on a piece of bread in a florida home

While pantry pests aren’t frightening pests that will bite, sting or cause mass destruction to your home, they can do plenty of harm in other ways. They will consume your dry goods, lay their eggs, and hatch their larvae in your food. We’re pretty sure no one needs extra protein in their diet enough to want to eat mealworms and Indian meal moth larvae. 
While pantry pests are typically most active in summer, the warm Florida fall allows them to stay active. They will find homes in any place that stores grain and dry goods, from warehouses to grocery stores. As you do your shopping for fall baking you are more likely to bring these pests into your home from the goods in the store. While that’s not the only way they can get in your home, it’s the most likely.
Pantry moths are most active in the evening as they search for a food source and a place to lay their eggs. They spin webbing around their egg sacks which is what you see in the seam of your bag of flour or box of cereal. Beetles, like the sawtooth grain beetle, are particularly destructive because their saw-like bodies allow them to work their way through cardboard, plastic, and wax packaging to get to the dry goods inside. Mealworms prefer moist dark places and are most likely to get into grain-storage areas and thus ruin all the grain. While each of the pantry pests is somewhat unique in their method of infesting grains, the result of spoiled and contaminated food is the same.
Pantry pests can be extremely hard to detect and destroy because they are so small and so invasive. The best way to prevent an infestation and food waste is to have a professional pest control plan in place. At Nozzle Nolen, our pest-management professionals will help with a home inspection and a pest control plan that will help protect your home from pantry pests and other unwanted intruders. Call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our friendly technicians.


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