What Are Pantry Pests?

Have you ever seen small insects in your pantry items, like flour or grains? This can be a major sign that you could have pantry pests in your home and ruin your store-bought food! While these pests are not harmful to humans, they can be a nuisance. Here are two common pantry pests to look out for and prevention tips. 

Indian Meal Moths 

The Indian meal moth is known to feed on pantry items such as dried fruits and vegetables, grains, seeds, nuts, candies, chocolate, pet food, and powdered milk. These pests have six legs, a wingspan of ½” to 5/8”, and a two-toned tan and copper wing pattern. You can often find these creatures inside your pantry, looking for a food source.  

Merchant Grain Beetles  

These pests have six legs, six saw-like teeth, and dark-brown oval bodies. Merchant grain beetles will often crawl inside stored food packaging, eating, living, and even reproducing in them! While their name suggests they feed on grains, they prefer to feed on cereals, cake mixes, cookies, and chocolate. Once these insects invade packaging, they immediately contaminate them, making them uneatable or usable for cooking. 

Preventing Pantry Pests 

There are several ways you can avoid pantry pests from invading, consider the following tips and tricks: 

  • Before you buy new grocery items, check existing open items in your pantry for signs of pantry pests to avoid spreading them to your new food items. 
  • Before you buy pantry items, inspect the packages to ensure they are all sealed properly. 
  • When storing pantry food, consider utilizing a plastic or glass container with secure lids, cutting off any access for these pests to invade. 
  • Keep your storage areas clean, wiping up crumbs and spills, and thoroughly clean cracks and corners of cupboards and doors with a vacuum cleaner. 
  • Reach out to your local pest control company for extra protection from pantry invaders. These professionals can recommend a treatment and prevention plan customized to your home.  
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