Common Pantry Pests Found in Florida

common pantry pests

“Pantry Pests” or stored product pests are looking to your pantries for their next meal! These pests are known to infiltrate dry goods you’ve stocked up on and eat them. Check out these two common pantry pests that could invade and ruin your food supply, along with some prevention tips to avoid their infestation.

Indian Meal Moth

Indian meal moths have a two-toned wing pattern with tan or copper colors throughout their oval-shaped bodies. These pantry pests have six legs and a ½” to 5/8” wingspan. These insects are highly attracted to light and any areas they can find food stored, like your pantry and cabinets. Indian meal moths will typically feed on dried fruits and vegetables, grains, seeds, nuts, candies, chocolate, pet food, and powdered milk.

Merchant Grain Beetles

Merchant grain beetles have six legs, six saw-like teeth, and dark brown bodies. Since their bodies are narrow and oval, they can easily crawl inside packaging to eat, live, and even reproduce. Their name might suggest they only feed on grains; they prefer cereals, cake mixes, macaroni, cookies, and chocolate! Once these insects have infested your food packages, they immediately contaminate them, making it best to throw them out as soon as possible.

Prevent Pantry Pests

One of the best ways to avoid a pantry pest infestation is taking certain preventative measures, including these tips:

  • Check expiration dates: Ensure that your dry foods stored in your pantry are not expired. The older the food package the more likely it is to be discovered and consumed by pantry pests. We recommend using your older products first before opening your new ones. If you do have expired items in your home, throw them out as soon as you can.
  • Inspect items at the grocery store: Sometimes food packages will accidentally be cut open or damaged, allowing pantry pests an opportunity to feed. Before you purchase grain or flour items, make sure to check for any openings.
  • Keep dry items sealed: Airtight plastic containers provide a protective barrier against pantry pests and your food items. Consider utilizing these containers as cardboard, plastic bags, and rice bags can be easily chewed through by pests.
  • Clean up spills: Crumbs and spills are likely to happen while you’re cooking and having a meal but it’s important to clean it up to help deter any type of pests. Wipe down countertops and sweep up any fallen food crumbs to deter pantry pests.

If you spot pantry pests in your home or would like to get ahead of preventing them, reach out to your local pest control company. A professional will inspect your home and provide you with a customized plan to treat and prevent these pests.



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