indian meal moth infests food in the pacific northwest

The Indian meal moth is the most common stored product pest in America.

Have you ever gone for the box of cereal in the morning and instead of just flakes you found bugs crawling around? Not a pleasant sight to wake up to. Spotting insects in your food can be very traumatizing and leave you with a less than excited feeling when it comes opening your cupboards. Thankfully there are many ways to prevent this incident from happening to you. Here is some information from the pest control experts at Sprague Pest Solutions on what is crawling around in your cupboards and how to prevent stored product pests from taking over cupboards and pantry.

What are stored product pests?

Stored product pests are the name given to a group of insects that often find their way into your shelved foods. The most common stored product pests in our region are the Confused Flour Beetle, Indian Meal Moth, and the Sawtooth Beetle. These pests vary in shape and size, and are most likely to get into those products that sit on the shelf for a long period of time.

Where do they come from?

Unlike many other pests who get into your home via cracks or holes in the exterior, stored product pests usually get into the packaging of your stored food at the production plant or the grocery store.

Where are they most likely found?

The foods that have a long shelf life are the biggest target for stored product pests. Items such as flour, grains, cereal, dried fruit, and even pet food are all at risk for stored product pests.

How to prevent stored product pests from getting into your cupboards:

Prevention of these pests begins when you take a trip to the grocery store. You want to avoid purchasing any items that have a damaged package. There is likely a hole in a damaged package which means that a beetle or moth could have easily sneaked in. Try to purchase items that usually sit on the shelves for a long period in smaller quantities. Things like flour should be bought in a smaller bag if you are not a regular baker. Bulk foods are susceptible to stored product pests, so if they can be avoided it will be a benefit to you.

Once you are home from the grocery store, make sure to store any opened packages, bags, or boxes of shelf food in containers with tight fitting lids. Not only will this preserve freshness, but it will keep out any critters that may be looking to settle in your favorite cereal.  Pet food may also be a target, so don’t forget to store Fido’s food properly as well.  

If you would like more information on stored product pests, or if you have spotted any critters in your cupboards, contact Sprague Pest Solutions today. Offering effective pest control services in Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City, and throughout our entire service area, Sprague will make sure that your cupboards are free of pests.