Waking up in the mornings to a bowl of cereal is a wonderful part of everyone’s morning routine, but finding bugs in your cereal is definitely nothing close to wonderful. So many bugs find their way into our pantries; it hurts to toss your favorite box of almost full cereal just because of these annoying bugs. While they may all look like just bugs, the following are the most common pests that invade our pantries.
1. Indianmeal Moth
The indianmeal moth’s favorite meal is cereal. It will also feed on grains, seeds, dried fruits, nuts, and dry pet food. Adults are about 9 mm long and vary in brownish and reddish color tones. The larvae look completely different resembling worms with an off-white color and brown head. The indianmeal moth can be easily killed with freezing or boiling temperatures and other pesticide exterminating methods.
2. Flour Beetles
There are many types of beetles that infest the common pantry. Of all the beetles, the red flour beetle and the confused beetle are the most common found in pantries. These beetles like flours and cereals. They cannot eat whole grains, but will wait for other insects to break down the whole grains for them. Both the red and the confused beetles look very similar. They’re about 3 to 4 mm long and a reddish-brownish color. The main difference is in the insect’s antennae. The red flour beetle can also fly, while the confused beetle cannot. A thorough cleaning of the pantry along with professional pesticide application should get rid of these beetles.
3. Sawtoothed Grain Beetles
Another common beetle found in storage and pantry space is the sawtoothed grain beetle. This beetle also feeds on cereals, flour, pet food, nuts, and spices but cannot feed on whole grains. It cannot fly and is not attracted to light. It has a flat, brown body and is about 2.5 to 3 mm long. The beetle has six saw-like projections on both of its sides, which is where its name comes from. A thorough cleaning of the pantry along with professional pesticide application should also get rid of these beetles.
4. Cigarette Beetles
The Cigarette Beetle likes to feed on cured tobacco, cigars, and cigarettes, but will also feed on dried herbs, spices, cereals, nuts, and seeds. The adult beetle is about 2 to 3 mm long. It has a light brown color and smooth wing covers allowing the beetle to fly. When threatened, the Cigarette Beetle will pretend to be dead.
5. Rice Weevils
Unlike the beetles, rice weevils will damage whole grains. They eat rice, grains, popcorn, and nuts. The bugs will show no sign of external infestation. The larva grows inside the nut and then later emerges as an adult. Rice Weevils are about 2 to 3 mm long and a reddish brown color. They’re slender and have hard shells seeming to have tiny holes on them.
The best way to contain all of theses bugs out of the pantry is to store food more safely. Sealed plastic and glass containers are better than the store bags that most products come in. After discovering an infestation, throwing away all infested food in the pantry would be best. Thorough vacuuming and cleaning of the pantry should help eliminate most of the bugs. The final step would be to hire a professional to apply pesticides to kill any unseen bugs and prevent future infestations.