What Are Pantry Pests?


What are pantry pests?

Pantry pests are different types of beetles, moths, and weevils that breed and feed inside stored products and dry goods. Pantry pests can become problematic inside homes, grocery stores, drug stores, museums, and food processing facilities.

The most common pantry pests living throughout Southeast Texas include:

  • Rice weevils
  • Indian meal moths
  • Granary weevils
  • Red flour beetles
  • Cigarette beetles
  • Almond moths
  • Case-Making cloth moth
  • Angoumois grain moth
  • Drugstore beetle

Are pantry pests dangerous?

The biggest threat that pantry pests create is the contamination of food sources. They don’t bite, sting, or pose any significant health threats to people, nor do they feed on or damage buildings.

Pantry pests typically go through four stages of development - eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults. In most cases, adult pantry pests are the least destructive. It is while they are in the larval stage that they cause the most damage.

After the adult female lays her eggs on a stored food product, the larvae hatch and begin to feed on the product, contaminating it with saliva and excrement. Pantry pests tend to contaminate more food than they are able to consume.

Why do I have a pantry pest problem?

Adult pantry pests often enter buildings while foraging for appropriate breeding sites. Adult moths, beetles, and weevils can find their way into homes or other buildings on their own through spaces found around windows and doors, open screens, and other small openings they discover. In addition, many adult pantry pests are attracted to outdoor lighting, which can draw them toward homes.

The most common way pantry pests enter homes is through stored pantry products that have been purchased from a store and are already infested with pantry pest eggs or larvae.

What do pantry pests eat?

Pantry pests breed and feed on a variety of stored food products found in kitchens and pantries, including:

  • Whole grains
  • Beans
  • Corn
  • Pasta
  • Flour
  • Cereal
  • Cornmeal
  • Dried fruit
  • Chocolate
  • Cookies
  • Spices
  • Pet food

Other species feed on items such as feathers, carpets, animal hairs, cotton clothing, and upholstered furniture. 

Where do pantry pests live?

These pests can become problematic while living and breeding in a wide variety of places including:

  • Grocery stores
  • Food processing facilities
  • Food storage facilities
  • Pharmacies
  • Restaurants
  • Kitchens
  • Storage areas

How do I get rid of pantry pests?

To find, accurately identify, and eliminate the pantry pests that are living and nesting on your property or in your home, contact a professional pest control expert. At Bill Clark Pest Control, our highly trained 'Bugsperts' receive continuous education, and are up-to-date with the latest information and industry trends. To eliminate pantry pests, our professionals can provide thorough inspections and treatment through our residential pest control programs. For exceptional pantry pest control in Southeast Texas, reach out to Bill Clark Pest Control.

How can I prevent pantry pests in the future?

To stop pantry pests from choosing your home and property to nest and breed on, our 'Bugsperts' offer the following prevention tips:

  • Before purchasing dry goods from the grocery store, check for rips or tears in their packaging.
  • Avoid buying bulk items from the grocery store.
  • In your home, store food in air-tight containers or in the refrigerator.
  • Regularly rotate items in your pantry, discarding old or expired items.
  • Place weather stripping around windows and doors.
  • Make sure that door and window screens are intact.
  • Keep doors and windows shut.
  • Turn off outdoor lighting when it is not needed.
  • Store clothing, blankets, and other items in plastic containers with tight-fitting lids, not in cardboard boxes.
  • Keep pet food in tightly sealed containers, preferably metal cans.


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