Pantry Pests

Table of Contents

New York City Professional Pantry Pest Control

Pantry pest is a term utilized in reference to insects that invade pantries. The main reason why these insect species are invading the pantry is non-perishable food access. Non-perishable, dried, and non-refrigerated food makes up the pantry pest diet.

The most commonly reported pantry pest sighting in New York City is the saw-toothed grain and cigarette (tobacco) beetles, and Indian meal moth. These insect species are considered harmful since they have never been connected to human or animal diseases or parasites.

In the natural habitat, pantry pest species are considered prolific breeders, which means they are continuously reproducing. It is crucial to know as much about the pantry pest as possible, just in case your home becomes a target. Early awareness will play in your favor if you happen upon a pantry pest in your home.

Flour, birdseed, powdered milk, potato chips, crackers, cookies, homemade candies, spices, and nuts make up the pantry pest diet. With this in mind, it is crucial to protect your family, in the event your home is infiltrated by this insect species.

Do Pantry Pest Colonize?

Some pantry pest species do colonize. One such species is the beetle, which has been numbered into the thousands. Beetles do colonize in certain circumstances. For example, beetles colonize when attempting infiltration into buildings. Another example, beetles colonize when ingesting a dead animal carcass. In this case, it all depends on the circumstance.

Important Identifying Physical Characteristics

Why are the physical characteristics of pantry pests so important? First and foremost, they are utilized by scientists and exterminators for identification purposes. Since pantry pest is a term utilized in reference to insects that ingested stored food products, each species is unique in its own way. For this reason, it is important to know the physical characteristics of the Indian meal moth and saw-toothed grain and cigarette beetles. With this information in hand, you will face no issues differentiating between the three pantry pest species if your home is infiltrated.

Pantry Pest – Indian Meal Moth

The Indian meal moth “Plodia interpunctella” is a unique insect. The copper-toned layers of colors make the insect highly distinguishable from its many counterparts. The layer of colors begins just below the head and ends at the tip of the wings. The first layer is a blackish/orange, followed by a light tan. The bottom layer is blackish/orange. It appears as if springs of copper have been sprinkled into the mix.

Adult Indian meal moths do not ingest food. But, the larvae make up for it. All the typical pantry pest food makes up the insect’s diet.

While pantry pests have unique physical characteristics, they also exhibit unique behavior. Just one example, the Indian meal moth creates homespun cocoons for its young, Unlike some insect species, the Indian meal moth does reproduce indoors as long as a food supply is accessible.

Pantry Pest – Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle

The saw-toothed grain beetle “Oryzaephilus surinamensis” grows up to one-tenth of an inch in length. The insect is easily identifiable, thanks to its unique projections that replicate the blade of a hand saw. The shape of the projections is how the insect got its name. The projects are located near the thorax on the right and left sides.

After home infiltration, the insect will continue to ingest non-refrigerated food as long as it is available. The larvae are known to have a hearty appetite as well.

The saw-toothed grain beetle diet consists of the typical pantry pest food products.

Pantry Pest – Cigarette “Tobacco” Beetle

The cigarette beetle, tobacco beetle as some people like to say, is slightly smaller than the saw-toothed grain beetle. The adult grows up to one-eighth of an inch in length. Like the Indian meal moth and saw-toothed grain beetle, the cigarette beetle has a unique physical characteristic that makes it stand out above its many counterparts. The humpback is the insect’s most distinguishable feature.

Another unique feature is a hairy body. Tiny hairs cover the insect’s body. The hair so dense, it looks like fuzz.

The diet consists of the typical pantry pest food, as well as smoking and non-smoking tobacco. Cigarette beetle, hence the name, feeds on traditional cigars, cigarettes, and other tobacco-based products.

Why Is My New York City Home Infested With Pantry Pests?

Since you have come this far, it is likely you have done your homework. You successfully identified the insect(s) invading your home as a pantry pest. Congratulations, you are one step ahead in the pest control process.

Pantry pests have one goal in mind during home infiltration attempts. This goal is nothing other than a non-perishable food supply. Small cracks, gaps, and holes are utilized as access points into a building, in this case, your home.

As the pantry pests have been detected inside your home, it is obvious your home pest barrier is vulnerable. Residential and commercial pest barriers are made up of doors, windows, walls, ceilings, a roofing system, and flooring. All of these components are responsible for creating a pest-free zone inside your home. Unfortunately, your pest barrier has let you down.

What Are The Most Common Pantry Pest Infestation Signs?

Live insects foraging for food, damaged food packagings, fecal droppings, and swarming insects are just to name a few. Some pantry pest species are extremely difficult to detect because they easily blend in with some pieces of furniture. For example, the saw-toothed grain beetle can easily blend in cherry-finished wood furniture.

The Indian meal moth has a great flying capability, which the insect utilizes when foraging for food. The moth will fly low above a food-contaminated surface, dipping down occasionally to pick up a piece to ingest. This behavior will continue until the insects are detected or the food supply is diminished.

Do Pantry Pest Species Transmit Disease?

Most pantry pest species do not spread disease or parasites. However, some of the insect species have been known to contaminate the human food supply. In these cases, the home’s occupants are at risk of developing a foodborne illness. If one or all members of the household ingest the feces infested-food, within hours, the onset of foodborne illness symptoms will appear.

Foodborne illness is generally accompanied by minor symptoms, such as an upset stomach, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. However, immunocompromised individuals may experience severer symptoms like dehydration, resulting in a visit to the local emergency room.

What Can I Do To Protect My Home From Pantry Pest Infiltration?

  • Seal all exterior-to-interior openings utilized by pantry pest as access points into your home
  • Replace traditional manufacturing packaging with glass, stainless steel, or BPA-free food containers with lids
  • Thoroughly wipe down kitchen cabinets or pantry at least bi-weekly
  • Dispose of unused non-perishable food before refilling
  • Wash storage containers with mild soap and rinse thoroughly with warm tap water before refilling
  • Dispose of all unused and unwanted food products in a plastic bag before transporting it to an outdoor trash bin

What Do You Suggest As A Pantry Pest Extermination Strategy?

A pantry pest infestation can be complicated, especially when multiple insect species are involved. For this reason, our exterminators can only recommend professional pest management. Our professional pantry pest control consists of routine visual inspections, adhesive traps, and an industrial-strength pesticide.

The process begins with a thorough visual inspection of your entire home. The data collected during the inspection is utilized to diagnose, identify, and devise a doable, realistic, and effective pest control strategy.

While you are waiting on the inspector to arrive at your home, you can initiate the process by heeding the recommendation provided above.

When Will The Exterminator Arrive At My New York City Home For The Inspection?

On the scheduled appointment date, the exterminator will arrive within minutes of the scheduled time. While you are waiting on the exterminator’s arrival, we suggest preparing your home. Remove clutter, household waste, and other items to clear the way for the inspection.

Remember, we need between 24 and 48 hours to process a pest control service request.

Do Pantry Pest Control Products harm The Environment?

Yes, when they are improperly handled, stored, and transported. To minimize these risks, we request that the occupied vacate the infested home prior to each treatment. If you are still concerned about chemical pesticide exposure, we highly recommend our eco-friendly treatments.

We have joined forces with New York’s top pesticide manufacturers. These companies have completed the process needed to obtain approval from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

If you have any other pest control issues please check out other services.

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