Holiday baking is a big job. Finding pantry pests in your ingredients is an unpleasant surprise and not the type of visitors you want this time of year. Luckily, you can prevent these unwelcome arrivals.
Where Do Pantry Pests Come From?
Pests can get into your food from a variety of means, including:
- During processing/manufacturing
- While stored at the warehouse
- During transportation/delivery
- At the grocery store
- In your home
Basically, insects can get into in the food supply during any stage of the production and transportation. There are protections against that in place, but they are far from foolproof. Pantry pests can also get into your home through normal means, such as ants getting into your home and making their way to your sugar or flour supply.
What Kinds of Bugs Get into Flour?
While they are often nicknamed “flour bugs,” “flour beetles,” “flour mites,” or “flour weevils”… the actual insects that can be found in your pantry could be one of a few different types. Because food can be infested during production or transport, you can end up with insects from outside your area. Also, while commonly associated with flour infestations, pantry pests can get into a wide variety of stored food.
Indian Meal Moths are commonly found in the United States. They frequently infest grains, cereals, nuts, and processed foods.
Grain weevils are also called wheat weevils and granary weevils. These small beetles infest whole grains, beans, and seeds.
“Flour beetles” are either the Confused Flour Beetle or the Red Flour Beetle. Because both are less than 5mm long and reddish brown they are hard for homeowners to tell apart. Merchant Grain Beetles are a bit of a misnomer. Instead of infesting grain they actually prefer prepared foods made of grain like pasta, cookies, cereals, and cake mixes.
Ants are a common kitchen pest. Ant colonies regularly send out scouts to find food and that makes your home a prime target.
Cockroaches get into boxes of all kinds and hitch a ride. They can also infest your home by getting in through water pipes or electrical lines.
Pantry Pests Can Infest:
- Flour and cake mix
- Seeds, dried beans, and popcorn
- Powdered milk
- Raisins and dried fruit
- Cured meat
Are Flour Beetles Harmful?
Pantry pests are gross to find but not harmful. Flour beetles and other pantry pests don’t bite and aren’t poisonous or venomous. Odds are you’ve unknowingly eaten one every now and then, whether it was found in your own pantry or from restaurant food.
How To Stop Flour Weevils?
Because it’s highly likely that this pest got into your flour during production, storage, or delivery; stopping flour bugs from getting in can range from difficult to impossible. However, you can easily and safely kill them without affecting your food by using your freezer.
How Do You Get Rid of Flour Beetles?
While preventing flour beetles from getting into your home is difficult, you can stop them from breeding and becoming a large problem by putting your new flour and similar products in the freezer for a week when you bring them home. That will kill the insects and any eggs they might have laid. Then sifting can eliminate any that are found afterward. Then store the flour or other products in secure containers like glass jars, tins, or plastic containers that seal tightly.
Arrow Keeps Your Home Pest-free
Pests do not stop in the winter and neither should your protection. Shield your home from pests year-round with Arrow Exterminating. Talk to our experts at Arrow about preventative pest control any time of the year. To get started, contact us today.