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Preventing Stored Product Pests

In: Pest Prevention Tips

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While adult stored product pests are the signs of an infestation, merely killing them is not the solution. Infested articles must be found and destroyed. Identification of the pest can provide clues on where to look but some of these insects can live on a wide range of materials.

In general, the greater the number of insects seen, the older the infestation. Often the initial source is partially used boxes or bags of products that have been forgotten in the backs of pantries and shelves. The infestation spreads as the active adults search for new food sources. A thorough search is needed to locate all infested items. If they are not found in pantries or cupboards, then begin to look at such things as decorative items or bird seed.

Disposal of infested materials is the best way to eliminate the problem. Also check all items in pantries or on shelves. Often beetles can be found beneath cans and other items. Thoroughly vacuum the shelves, both upper and lower surfaces, and use a crevice attachment to clean cracks and crevices. It is better to do a very thorough job one time than to have to repeat a hasty inspection and cleanup.

After treatment,good sanitation and proper storage are keys to preventing future problems. Place products from cardboard, paper, or plastic containers into jars or other containers that can be sealed tightly. Decorative items such as Indian corn, dried flower arrangements, or bird feed may be treated with heat (155°F for about 20 minutes with the oven door propped open) or in a non-self- defrosting freezer at 0°F for 4 days.

Tags: pest prevention tips  |  stored product pests