As families across the country begin to break out their baking ingredients in preparation for this year’s holiday season, many might be unfortunate enough to encounter some unwelcome pests. Fittingly nicknamed “pantry pests,” creatures like beetles and moths are attracted to ingredients that are commonly stored in pantries or cabinets, such as flour, spices, and chocolate. Pantry pests can contaminate your food and can spread diseases. In addition to ants, two of the more common pantry pests are merchant grain beetles and Indian meal moths.
Merchant grain beetles are dark brown and have six saw-like teeth on each side of their flat bodies. They like to eat cereals, cake mixes, and grains.
Indian meal moths are attracted to bright light, which is why they are commonly found in grocery stores. These copper reddish moths enjoy feeding on dried fruit, grains, nuts, chocolate, powdered milk, chocolate, and candy.
To avoid pantry pest infestations, we recommend the following these best practices:
- Store food items in insect-proof containers such as glass or plastic, with tightly sealed lids.
- Do not mix old and new food items, as this can spread an infestation.
- Never purchase groceries if the packaging is broken.
- Keep cabinets, pantries, and countertops clean and free of crumbs.
- Dispose of any food that is expired or shows signs of a pest infestation.
For assistance with a pantry pest problem, give Bug Busters a call at 770-517-0200.