It is important to regularly check your pantry for common signs of pantry pests, such as insects and rodents. These tiny pests can contaminate food, spread illness and cause costly damage to your food storage containers. The following article will explain the five common signs of pantry pests, and how to deal with them when discovered.
What are Pantry Pests?
Pantry pests are unwelcome pests such as beetles, moths, and other insects, as well as rodents – who invade the home and survive by eating your food and other materials. They can enter through cracks or by hitching a ride on food packages or other stored items. Pantry pests live in hiding, often unnoticed until it is too late.
Which Pantry Pests to Look Out For
It is important to know which pantry pests to look out for. Common ones include grain beetles, flour beetles, Indian Meal moths, weevils, and mice.
Signs of An Infestation
Here are five common signs that indicate a pantry pest infestation.
1. Unexplained Damage
Chewed packages, littered food particles in unexpected areas, and nests of material in cupboard cracks are all signs of an infestation. Noticing small pieces of food on shelves or on kitchen counters might indicate an infestation.
2. Strange odors
Insect droppings and the smell of rodent urine are common indicators of pantry pests. It is important to regularly inspect all food items in your pantry, as the smell will only increase with time.
The presence of droppings or ‘frass’ (insect feces) can be used as an identifier. The frass of grain beetles and weevils is small and dark, while Indian Meal moths produce frass that looks like flour or meal.
4. Insect Shedding
Another sign is finding shed skins or discarded exoskeletons, which is often seen on top of food items or near them. Eliminating these shed skins can be an effective way to prevent the spread of an infestation.
5. Insects or Rodents Sighted
If you have seen the pests elsewhere in the home, it is likely that they have invaded your pantry as well. Mice leave telling tracks, droppings and damage, while other pantry pests are nomadic and can be spotted in or on open food.
People Also Ask
What do grain beetles look like?
Grain beetles are small reddish-brown in color and can be found in maize and grains.
How do pantry pests get into food?
Pantry pests can enter through small cracks in walls or floors, or can be brought in on food packages and other stored items.
What happens if you eat food with pest in it?
Insects or rodents in food could potentially contaminate it, either directly or with bacteria or viruses that they may be carrying. Eating food containing pantry pests can be hazardous to your health.
Can pantry pests spread diseases?
Certain types of pests, such as mice, rats and cockroaches, can spread illness, parasites, or disease-causing germs to humans and other animals.
Why do pantry pests lay eggs in food?
Pantry pests lay eggs in food so their offspring can easily access food and survive. These eggs can be extremely difficult to find in food and can cause severe contamination.
Pantry pests are abundant and can cause serious contamination. Knowing the early signs of pantry pest infestation can help prevent major damage. Make sure to regularly inspect your pantry for chewed-up food items and strange odors, and take action if any of the five signs mentioned above appear.