Families across the nation gather during the holidays to prepare and enjoy lavish holiday dinners. Aside from a drunk uncle, nothing ruins the family gathering together over the holiday dinner more than opening a flour container and finding it infested with beetles.
Pantry pests are so named because they congregate in pantries and cabinets and feed on grains, dry cereals, seasonings, candies, and chocolate. They reproduce rapidly, allowing small infestations to grow out of control very quickly. Pantry pests can be dealt with fairly easily by a trained technician, but an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. This guide will assist you in preventing such an infestation, but we are only a phone call away if you find that the infestation has already occurred.
Merchant Grain Beetles
Merchant Grain Beetles can be found all across the US and they can live year-round in pantries, food processing areas, and warehouses, where any accessible food becomes a buffet. They favor cereals, cake mixes, macaroni, cookies, and chocolate over grains, despite their name. Merchant grain beetles can rapidly infest and contaminate food products. Their ability to crawl into packaging, where they consume, live, and reproduce, enables infestations to spread rapidly. Merchant grain beetles have six saw-like fangs on each side of a flat body, a feature that is unique to them and enables easy identification.
A helpful hint: add one bay leaf to containers and packages containing dry products, as the herb’s pungent odor repels numerous pests.
Indian Meal Moths
Like the Merchant Grain Beetle, the Indian Meal Moth can be found throughout the United States.
These moths are attracted to light and food storage areas, including pantries and cabinets. They favor dried fruits and vegetables, grains, seeds, nuts, chocolate, candies, pet food, and powdered milk as food sources. Always store food in containers made of sturdy plastic or glass with airtight, secure lids to prevent Indian meal moths from entering.
If you suspect an infestation, you should contact a licensed pest control expert. Pantry vermin can quickly take over your kitchen, and what may have seemed like a minor issue at first can quickly become a serious infestation.