Pantry Pests Tips in Southwest Florida
PANTRY PESTS? WHAT ARE PANTRY PESTS IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA?
Pantry pests (also commonly called “store Product Pests”) in Southwest Florida are a grouping of pests that live and feed off both dried and processed foods that are often stored in your pantry as well as your cabinets. Specifically speaking they love to feed off nuts, pastas (dried), flour, dried pet foods, breads, crackers, birdseed, fruit, and more. They are opportunists and are truly not that picky.
While there are a variety of pantry pests here in Southwest Florida that can take refuge in your dried goods you keep in the pantry, here are the three most commonly found here:
The Indian Meal Moths. These are very small moths that are less than a half inch in length with reddish/brown wings. Their larvae offspring are what is responsible for food damage and contamination.
The Saw-Toothed Grain Beetles. These beetles are slender, flat and brown. They are very small and only grow up to be around 1/10th of an inch long. They prefer to scavenge on open and loos foods.
The Cigarette Beetles. They are also small, being only 1/8th inch in length with a slight brown color. They have smooth wing covers with body hair that makes them almost appear to be “fuzzy” in nature.
**Note, the presence of pantry pest is not an indication of poor housekeeping**
WHERE DID THESE PANTRY PESTS COME FROM?
The discovery or even the notion of having pantry pests in your home or business in Southwest Florida can be an unpleasant surprise to anyone. This is especially true when you reach into your cabinets or pantry to grab a meal or snack just to find that something else is feasting on it. These pantry pests can be brought into your home or business by complete accident. They are very commonly introduced by packaged foods that were already infested with them. This could very easily have happened at the facility the products/goods were made or from the store it was purchased from. They have also been known to simply find their way in through the smallest crack. This is why they are not an indication of unsanitary living.
can rapidly grow when they have ample access to a food source and safe place to reproduce. They will breed very fast as they live in or near their food source. This is why a population of pantry pests can grow rapidly if unchecked.
DIY PANTRY PEST TREATMENTS
While using “do-it-yourself” treatments to eliminate pantry pests may sound and feel challenging, they can still be successful. Pantry pests are not fast, agile, or wary of any dangers; they simply naturally blend in with their environment. Therefore identifying the source is crucial.
There are several steps you can undertake to help eliminate a pantry pest infestation in your home or business. First you need to locate the source of the infestation. This means you will have to toss out any times that appear to have pantry pests in them. It’s also a very good idea to toss out any other items that are in your pantry even if they seem to be untouched by them. As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to place these items in a sealed bag so that they aren’t able to get out when you toss it out.
Once all the products/goods are discarded that are or could be infested, clear out all remaining items and set them aside. Use a vacuum to remove any remaining pests and their eggs that could be hiding in corners that you missed. Once again, place the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag to be safe.
Finally, use any common disinfectant and wash the shelving. Once this has dried you can then return any remaining items that you didn’t have to discard.
PANTRY PEST PREVENTION IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA
While eliminating pantry pests may seem like a hassle, preventing further infestations is relatively straight forward that results in actually picking up good habits. The first tip we have for you is to always store your dry pantry foods (these can be crackers, dried pet food, chips, rice, flower, cereal, bird seed, etc.) in tight-fitting plastic containers that have an air-tight (preferably) seal. Pantry pests have the ability to crawl into loosely sealed containers as well as chew their way through paper and cardboard. So, air-tight plastic containers are perfect in denying them access to a food source.
Another easy tip you can employ is to regularly clean out your cabinets and pantry. Ongoing cleaning of your shelves by removing small scraps of food that fell, expired food that has been open, and vacuuming out your pantry are all recommended. This removes their food source and any trace of them if they were to take hold in the beginning stages.
Cleaning out old containers before refilling them is also recommended by All “U” Need in the event there is an existing pantry pest presence that was simply undetected. These easy little tips will help you get rid of the infestation and help you stay pest free!
With some of these pointers and tips, you can find yourself to be pantry pest free in Southwest Florida!