I would often be called to a clients home around this time of the year for ants in the pantry. Most of the time we were dealing with either Pavement or Argentine colonies; but they were both attracted to one thing, “SUGAR.” I felt bad requesting that I be allowed to throw away the Cap’n Crunch, Frosted Flakes, and pop tarts that the ants have by then- thoroughly besieged; and an even harder time requesting that we also get rid of anything not sealed properly.
Thoughts come to mind of this woman in tears who had just gone shopping the day before and could not afford to throw away the new pantry goods. I advised her that I was merely suggesting that we throw the food away; however she can keep the goods if she would like if she would store them in the freezer for a couple of hours in ziplock bags or sealed containers. Ultimately there was a compromise that she would keep the food that was “barely infested” and throw the cereal box (Frosted Flakes) that was heavily infested. I recommend that all known food sources that have been tainted to be trashed; but I hear its fashionably fitting to eat insects in communities around the globe. Maybe some of that extra protein will provide a more balanced breakfast. (Trying to be funny)
Something not so funny are the pantry pests that I would like to quickly introduce. My least favorite pantry pests are:
- Indian Meal Moth
- Mediterranean Meal Moth
- Sawtooth Grain Beetle
These are the pantry pests that show up in your flour, rice, nuts, herbs, dog food, fish food, pasta, grains, dry-goods, etc. The Indian and Mediterranean Meal Moths look like maggots/caterpillars when they are in their larval stage. This is often when they will be found infested in flour, grains, herbs, etc. If you find small beetle looking creatures in your flour, grains, etc, it is most likely the Sawtooth Grain Beetle. These buggers are persistent once in the home and because of their “saw teeth” can get into most packaging.
The worst part about infestations with these types of pantry pests is that it is usually necessary to empty out the whole pantry; and the subsequent use of plastic storage containers is required/suggested to be used from ‘there on out.’ Providing a crack and crevice treatment with your choice of insecticide will help solidify that these pantry pests problems do not persist.
If you have pantry pests and need an exterminator click here.