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Pantry Pests

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What Seattle Residents Need To Know About Our Pantry Pest Control?

Pantry pests are a group of insect species that feed on food products stored in a pantry. Flour, dried cereal, nuts, cookies, candy, dog food, spices, crackers, and bread make up the pantry pest’s diet. Pantry pests are often referred to as a “stored product pest” in many countries. Both terms have the same meaning, which is a pest that feeds on stored food products. The pantry pest classification is mostly comprised of beetle species, including red flour, drugstore, cigarette (tooth), and saw-toothed grain. In addition to the beetle species, various weevil species are pantry pests.

Some pantry pest species tend to breed after a home infiltration. These are the species victims need to be concerned about the most. The continuous breeding will lead to a full-blown infestation within several months if left undetected.

What Physical Characteristics Should I Be On The Lookout For If I Spot A Pantry Pest?

Each pantry pest species has unique characteristics that come in handy for identification purposes. The three main pantry pest sightings in Seattle involve the Indian meal moth and cigarette and saw-tooth grain beetles. These insects have physical characteristics that make them highly identifiable.

Pantry Pest Indian Meal Moth

The Indian meal moth “Plodia interpunctella” is a colorful insect species. The colors are divided into three layers – reddish/brown, tan, and reddish/brown with black speckles. The insect does not sting but has the ability to fly. Some witnesses claim the insect has a strange flying pattern that appears to look like a “zigzag.” For this matter, the Indian meal moth can only fly short distances indoors and outdoors.

The Indian meal moth larvae feed on stored food, the adults do not ingest food.

Pantry Pest Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle

The saw-toothed grain beetle “Oryzaephilus surinamensis” is easy to identify, thanks to their saw-toothed projections that protrude from the thorax. The insect measures about 3 millimeters in length. The female and male adult and larvae feed on processed food stored in vulnerable packages. The diet consists of dried cereal, candy, cookies, spices, birdseed, and sometimes rodent pellets.

Pantry Pest Cigarette (Tobacco) Beetle

The cigarette beetle, also known as the tobacco beetle, feeds on tobacco products, such as cigars and cigarettes. The insect survives on the traditional pantry pest diet. The cigarette beetle “Lasioderma serricorne” grows up to 1/8” in length. Its most noticeable physical characteristics is a humpback, which is obvious from a short distance away. The body is covered with fine hairs, giving the appearance of “fuzz.”

Why Is My Seattle Home Under A Pantry Pest Threat?

Pantry pests are opportunists insects. Some species invade homes to avoid spending the winter outdoors while others are in search of an endless food source. Whatever the case may be, the pantry pest is notorious for invading homes and destroying processed and dry food products stored in vulnerable packages, such as paperboard a thin plastic bags.

Pantry pests described as “prolific breeders” are more likely to cause an infestation than other species. As long as the food is available, the prolific breeder will continue reproducing until detected or death.

What Are The Common Signs Of A Pantry Pest Infestation?

The most common signs include live insects foraging for food, damaged food packaging, and swarming insects flying over contaminated food surfaces. Pantry pests are drawn to bright lighting and vulnerable food stored in pantries, cubbyholes, and kitchen cabinets, where they are most often detected.

Do Pantry Pests Carry Diseases And/Or Parasites?

The cigarette and saw-toothed grain beetles and Indian meal moths do not transmit diseases to humans or animals. However, these insects are notorious for contaminating food through fecal matter and other contaminants. Unknowingly, a family member ingests the contaminated food, resulting in the onset of foodborne illness symptoms.

Another cause of foodborne illnesses related to pantry pests is the ingestion of larvae or eggs. This could or could not lead to a foodborne illness, but do not hesitate to reach out to your primary care physician with any concerns you may have about the contaminated food.

What Is The Best Pest Control Approach To Pantry Pest Infestations?

We believe in our professional pest management, which includes routine visual inspections, a customized treatment plan – pesticides and traps – and prevention. We will not stop until your home is once again pest-free. Unfortunately, many victims of pantry pests are not unaware until it is too late. One or more of the family members will exhibit foodborne illness symptoms may be the first obvious sign.

Some individuals will tend to ignore a few pantry pests until it becomes obvious they are facing a full-blown infestation. It is also not unusual for a few damaged food packages to be ignored.

Our goal is to eradicate the infestations to ensure the family is no longer traumatized and victimized by these tiny insects.

How Can I Prevent A Pantry Pest Infestation Right From The Get-Go?

It is possible to prevent a pantry pest infestation with a few simple steps. The first step is to address your existing food storage system. If your stored food has been infiltrated by pantry pests, something needs to be done immediately to prevent history from repeating itself. We suggest an updated pantry food storage system utilizing glass and thick plastic containers and lids.

We also recommend a doable, realistic household waste disposal routine. The goal here is to eliminate household waste inside your home to prevent it from becoming a food source for pantry pests.

Last, but not least, we recommend sealing all potential access points that can be utilized by pantry pests to infiltrate your home. Utilizing a waterproof sealant like silicone or caulk will work great for small crevices, gaps, and cracks around doors and windows. Larger openings near plumbing pipes will need a stronger approach like plywood or metal sheeting custom-to-fit.

When Will The Exterminator Be Available For The Pantry Pest Inspection?

Usually, within 24 to 48 hours of the initial service request. We strive to deliver quick responses to all pest control service requests. While you are waiting on the exterminator to arrive, we recommend keeping yourself busy by addressing your vulnerable food storage system. You can easily transition from manufacturing packaging to hard containers with lids.

Do Pantry Pest Control Products Contain Toxins?

Some pesticide formulas are comprised of chemicals that may not be environmentally-friendly. However, with the help of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and manufacturers, it is possible to minimize or completely eliminate these risks. Washington licensed exterminators are required to heed the EPA pesticide guidelines that address storage, handling, and transportation exposures.

Is It Possible To Prevent A Repeat Pantry Pest Infestation?

Yes, with a solid pantry pest prevention strategy, you and your home will never be violated by these insect species. We do recommend heeding the aforementioned tips provided above to keep pantry pests outside where they belong. If you need assistance throughout the process, do not hesitate to reach out to our Seattle-based exterminators. We will be glad to assist you with any issues you may be facing.

And, do not hesitate to take advantage of our free in-home pest inspections, consultations, and quotes. All of these services are available for free of charge and by appointment only. Make your appointment today to avoid future repeat pantry pest infestations.

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