Our kitchens are the heart of our homes. They are the place where our family and friends gather to celebrate, share a meal and nurture relationships. Kitchens however, also serve as welcome habitats for many insect pests. A variety of different insects attack cereals, flour, herbs, spices, chocolate, dried fruits and similar items in our kitchens. These pests can be so invasive that they can cause chaos in the haven of our kitchens. Let’s explore the different pests that can invade the kitchen.
Nearly all dried food products stored in your kitchen or pantry are susceptible to insect infestation, including cereal products (flour, cake mix, cornmeal, rice, spaghetti, crackers, and cookies); seeds such as dried beans and popcorn; nuts; chocolate; raisins and other dried fruits; spices; powdered milk; tea; and cured meats.
- Indianmeal Moths – These are the most common moths that infest food in homes. Only the larvae feed in stored products, which can be any dry stored food or whole grain. Foods infested with these insects will have silk webbing present on the surface of the product.
- Sawtoothed Grain Beetles – Sawtoothed grain beetles are found in many different food items, including dried fruit, cereals, nuts, dried meat, macaroni, and seeds. These pests are slender, flattened, and brownish-red to almost black in color.
- Weevils – Weevils attack only whole grains or seeds, leaving small round exit holes in infested kernels. They rarely are found in nuts, dried fruits, macaroni, and caked or crusted milled products such as flour.
Pantry pests, including pantry moths most often are brought into homes in packaged foods, although they may enter from outside sources, or from adjacent apartments. Talk to Pest-End Exterminators to evaluate and exterminate any of the pests that may be creating chaos in your kitchen.
Finding that your home may have unwanted pests is never good news. Even worse, finding pests in your pantry, near food can be enough to turn your stomach. If you often see moths flying or zigzagging around your home, particularly your kitchen, or if you see white larvae in your food, there is a good chance that you have Indian Meal Moths. Yuck!
Indian Meal Moths usually enter your home through packaged goods such as cereals, grains, flours, and pet food. They lay their eggs in food stuffs like: grain products, dried food, dried fruit, powder milk, seeds, candy, chocolates, and especially dry pet foods. Indian Meal Moths are noted for their ability to be present in tightly sealed containers. (Source: Pantry Pest) Indian Meal Moths are among the most common pest found in the kitchen or pantry. Let’s examine the Indian Meal Moth including how to identify the problem and what to do to treat an infestation.
Identify -The adult is a small moth, about 3/8 inch long with a wing span of about 5/8 inch. The overall body color is generally dirty grayish brown but the tip half of the wing is rusty brown or nearly bronze. This wing marking pattern allows Indian meal moth to be easily distinguished from other household moths.
What should I do if I find Indian Meal Moths? –
- Inspect – It may sound like a lot of work but inspect every food container (even if you think it is sealed completely) in your kitchen and pantry. Nearly everything in your cabinets and pantry is suspect.
- Throw out – Obviously discard anything that could be infested with the Meal Moths. You may want to use the motto: “When in doubt, throw it out.”
- Clean thoroughly – After you have removed all containers and discarded infested food, clean shelves including cracks, and crevices. It really doesn’t take much food for Indian Meal Moths to survive.
- Treatment – Once you have eradicated the problem consult with a pest management company like Pest-End to confirm that they are indeed gone. They can assist you at eliminating and preventing the problem. Pest-End can treat the areas to stop Indian Meal Moths from returning.