Pantry Pests Southwest Florida
What Are Pantry Pests In Southwest Florida?
Pantry pests in Southwest Florida (also known as “Store Product Pests”) are a group of pests that feed off of dried and processed food products that you store in your pantry and cabinets. More specifically, they like to feed off of fruits, birdseed, breads, crackers, dry pet food, cereals, flours, dried pasta, nuts, and more.
While there are a variety of different pantry pests in Southwest Florida, the three most common are:
Indian Meal Moth- Small moths with reddish-brown wings. Their larvae are responsible for food damage.
Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle- They are slender, flat and brown while being 1/10 inch long. They scavange on loose or open products.
Cigarette Beetle- They are light brown, 1/8 inch long, smooth wing cover with body hair that makes them look almost “fuzzy”
Their presence is not necessarily and indication of poor housekeeping.
How Did I Get Pantry Pests In My Home Or Business In Southwest Florida?
Pantry pests can be an unpleasant surprise to anyone, especially when you go into your pantry or cabinets for a snack or to make a meal. Pantry pests in Southwest Florida are often brought into your home or business by complete accident. They are commonly brought in via packaged food products that are already infested with them. This infestation could have happened at the facility in which the food was packaged or from the store it was purchased at. They have also been known to find their way in by way of very, very small cracks or openings.
Pantry pest infestations in Southwest Florida can start with simply just a few pests, but their numbers can quickly explode as they will have ample access to both a plentiful food source as well as a place to reproduce. They breed continuously as they live in or right near their food source and can spawn quickly if left unchecked.
What Can I Do To Eliminate Pantry Pests In Southwest Florida?
While eliminating pantry pests with “do-it-yourself” methods can be challenging, they can still be effective. Pantry pests are not particularly fast-moving, wary or agile; they naturally blend in with their environment. This is why it is important you identify the source of the infestation.
There are a few steps that you can take to help eliminate your pantry pest infestation in Southwest Florida. First, locate the sources of infestation. This means you will have to discard any items that appear to be infested with them. It’s also a safe idea to discard any items that are open in your pantry, even if they don’t seem to be infested. Place the items in a sealed plastic bag before you discard them as they aren’t able to get out.
After you discard infested and potentially infested products, remove all the remaining items in your pantry and set them aside. From here, use a vacuum to remove any remaining pests and eggs that could be hiding in the corners. Again, when discarding the vacuum bag, place it in a sealed plastic bag.
Once vacuumed, wash the walls and shelves with any common disinfectant cleaner. Once dried you can return any remaining products that haven’t been discarded.
How Can I Prevent Pantry Pests In Southwest Florida?
Preventing Pantry Pests is relatively straight forward that results in picking up good habits. One of the first tips we can give you is to always store your dry pantry foods (crackers, cereal, birdseed, dried pet food, chips, flour, etc.) in tight-fitting containers that have a secure (preferably air-tight) seal. Pantry pests can easily gnaw their way through paper/cardboard containers or simply crawl right into loosely sealed containers.
Another tip we highly recommend is to regularly clean out your pantry and cabinets. Cleaning your shelving by removing small bits of loose food, expired food that is open, and vacuuming out your pantry are a great idea. Cleaning out old containers before refilling them is also ideal in the event that there is an existing pantry pest presence that wasn’t detected before.
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