Imagine a picnic. All of your favorite foods laid out on the blanket, the perfect temperature, and...here come the bugs. Those pesky little things won’t leave you alone, and you’re worried about the food. Now it’s a battle between you and them for the charcuterie board. Well, unfortunately for North Carolina residents, sometimes your cabinets are in the perfect condition for picnics for all kinds of pantry pests!
2 Common Types Of Pantry Pests In Raleigh
"Pantry pest" is a broad term for the types of insects that can infest cupboards and cabinets and ruin stored food. There are a few different types common to the area that you can identify by these traits.
Grow up to ⅛ of an inch
Round, oval-shaped head concealed by a plate that is part of the thorax
Have wing covers with fine yellow hairs
Named for their destructive history with stored tobacco
They also like flour, dried fruits, cereal, dry dog food, and a laundry list of other foods commonly found in storage
Drug store beetles are very similar, but they are smaller, have dips on their wing covers, and do not have serrated antennae
The next pantry pest is a little different looking from our previous one. Don’t let this one’s specific name deceive you either; they are game for nearly any kind of stored food.
About 1/10 of an inch in length
Reddish-brown to black
Light yellow or reddish spots on the corners of its forewings
Has a long snout that is about ⅓ its total length
The body region behind the head is pitted within individual grooves
They prefer whole grains like wheat, corn, and barley, but they will also eat nuts, seeds, cereal, and macaroni
These pests are just two of the home-invading insects that can picnic on your stored food. Pantry pests often gain entry to your homes straight from the store when they’ve already infiltrated your products at the warehouse.
Infestation Signs To Look For In Purchased Products
To prevent them from even coming into your home, practice looking over the things you buy before leaving the store. These three simple techniques could save you a lot of money and frustration:
1. Check packaged products for holes, even tiny ones through which the pests could have gotten in.
2. Feel over the packages for lumps that may indicate spoiled products and larvae.
3. When you declare a product safe, transfer the product to a sealed plastic container and use it within two months of purchase.
A little bit of caution at the grocery store can save you a lot of aggravation down the road!
How To Prevent Pantry Pests
Another way pantry pests get inside homes is through open windows or other access points from the outdoors. As with most pest prevention, the first line of defense is the exterior of your home. Check it for entry points and seal them with silicone-based caulk. In addition, repair screens and make sure doors close tightly. You can also practice these tips:
Regularly check your cabinet for old food and use or get rid of it.
Make sure all stored food is in sealed, gnaw-proof containers.
Regularly sanitize the insides of your cabinets to clean crumbs and spills.
Fill cracks and crevices in the cabinets to prevent hiding places and places where food could collect.
These steps will help minimize attraction and opportunities for pantry pests but they may not be enough to eliminate an existing population.
When Prevention Isn’t Enough, Call Pest & Termite Consultants
Since 1993, we’ve been providing safe and effective pest control in Raleigh. As a locally-owned business, we have a special interest in this community and keeping it safe. Prevention doesn’t always work to keep your home or your wallet safe from destructive pests, and when it doesn’t, Pest & Termite Consultants can help with our residential pest solutions.