an indian meal moth

What are pantry pests?

Pantry pests are a type of pest with a good appetite. These pests often find their way into our homes and businesses, where they contaminate large amounts of food. Pantry pests feed on things we all store in our homes like flour, oats, rice, corn, cereals, cornmeal, spices, powdered milk, chocolate, bird seed, and pet food. 

The most common types of pantry pests in our area are the Indian meal moth, weevil, and cigarette beetle.

an indian meal moth

Are pantry pests dangerous?

The larval stage of pantry pests is responsible for causing most of the issues these pests are known for. Pantry pests are not dangerous, but they are problematic. Even if you maintain a clean kitchen but bring in just one bag of infested flour, you could experience a large infestation of these pests. 

These insects tend to be prolific breeders and build populations quickly, making them difficult to control once they find a way into our structures. Most of the contamination comes from their breeding habits. 

The female pantry pest lays its eggs on or in a stored food product. Once the larvae hatch, they feed on the food provided, contaminating it with their saliva, shed skins, and excrement. These pests pose huge economic threats after finding their way into buildings that store grains and other dry goods.

Why do I have a pantry pest problem?

Pantry pests usually become a problem inside our homes in one of two ways; either they enter on their own or are brought in inside of contaminated dry goods.

The most common way they get inside is accidentally by homeowners when they purchase dry goods from the store already contaminated with pantry pest larvae or eggs. 

Adult pantry pests will sometimes move into your home on their own, usually after being attracted by outdoor lights. They will crawl around windows and doors moving inside through spaces they find. Once inside, the females will look for a suitable place to lay their eggs, their small flat bodies making it easy for them to infiltrate the seams of food packaging.

Where will I find pantry pests?

In addition to our homes, the following places are where we discover large populations of pantry pests.

  • Grocery stores

  • Pet stores

  • Pharmacies

  • Food processing facilities

  • Food storage facilities

When pantry pests are in our homes, adults will crawl on walls or near light fixtures. Food sources stored in pantries, kitchen cabinets, and bathroom cabinets are most prone to a pantry pest infestation.

How do I get rid of pantry pests?

Rid your home or business of nuisance, food contaminating pantry pests with the help of the local professionals at Destroy Pest Control! For over 15 years, we have been committed to developing pest control solutions that rely on Integrated Pest Management principles and that utilize eco-friendly products. Our long-term pest strategies help ensure that pantry pests won’t produce large populations on your property. If you are looking for reliable, trustworthy pest control services in the D.C., Maryland, or Virginia area, reach out to Destroy Pest Control today and learn more about our home pest control or commercial pest control services!

How can I prevent pantry pests in the future?

Being proactive and partnering with Destroy Pest Control is the best way to avoid problems with pantry pests and other pests. When combined with our pest control services, the following prevention tips will help make your property a place that pantry pests won’t want to be!

  • Do not purchase food products with rips or tears in the packaging.

  • Avoid purchasing dry goods, bird seed, and pet food out of bulk containers from the store. 

  • Check expiration dates and discard any expired items from your pantry. 

  • Keep kitchen and pantry areas clean and free of crumbs and food debris.

  • Place dry goods in plastic or glass containers with airtight lids, including things like crackers and cereal. 

  • Store dry pet food in metal containers.

  • Replace any damaged window or door screens.


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