Nothing beats homemade cookies, it’s one of the best smells in the world to come home to. But nothing seems worse than opening your bag of flour to discover bugs have taken over. Although there are several types of moth that could find their way into your flour and other pantry items, they are most likely pantry pests or stored product pests. These bugs are more of a nuisance then a health threat, but they spread rapidly and can quickly infest your cabinets if not addressed quickly.
What are Pantry Moths
There are several different types of pantry moths but the most common are Indian Meal Moth and Merchant Grain Beetles. Regardless of the type of pantry pest you’re dealing with they all seem to gravitate toward the same food items.
Although any stored food item in our pantry can be victim to these pests below are some of the most common attractors of pests.
- Dried fruit
- Cake mixes
- Dog food
Where do Pantry Moths Come From?
There are several different ways that pantry pests may have made their way into your home. The most common is through store bought food. It’s a good idea to inspect new food before adding them into your pantry, especially if you are purchasing bulk items. This way you can catch any potential infestations before they spread to the rest of your food.
The pantry moth can also enter your home on their own while foraging for food. Any small openings around doors or windows can give them a way in. Being aware of outdoor lighting is also important when considering pantry pests. Many of them are attracted to light and if you leave exterior lights on at night, can enter your home while you open and close doors.
How to get rid of Pantry Pests
If you find insects in any of your stored food items, it’s a good idea to go ahead and clean out your pantry to make sure that no other food has become contaminated. Spend some time looking through all of your boxes and bags of food to make sure that there are no entry points and that you can’t see any insects inside any of the bags. Throw away any contaminated food and clean off all of the shelves in your pantry. This would also be a great time to call in a pest control professional to spray the house to eliminate any stragglers.
After you have eliminated any infestation it’s important to start working to prevent a future one.
- Purchase airtight containers to prevent access to your food
- Regularly check expiration dates on stored food items
- Discard food items that have been stored for a long time
- Add weatherstripping around doors
- Make window screens don’t have any holes
- Turn off outdoor lighting when not in use
- Have a pest control professional regularly treat your home
It’s never a good feeling to see insects in your food. But it is a good reminder to take some time and go through all of your stored products and eliminate what you don’t need. Eliminating a current infestation and preventing a future one is easy with the right steps and tools.