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Hartford Exterminators Identify Common Pantry Pests

December 18, 2014

image of an indian meal moth

Ho, ho, ho my word; is that a bug??? Tis the season to do a lot of baking, and the last thing anyone wants to see is a nasty bug crawling up out of the flour or cornmeal. Thankfully, your Hartford Exterminators can help you identify and protect against disgusting holiday baking pests.

Indian Meal Moths

These moths, also known as pantry moths, range from 1/4th to 3/8ths of an inch, and are a mix of solid grey and brown. They come into your house in food packages, most of the time as eggs. Meal moths have nearly-invisible eggs that do not need a mother to hatch. You can find these eggs in powdered milk, pet food, flours, cereals, bird seed, nuts, and grains.

As Cliff Clavin would say, "here's a little known fact about the Indian meal moth." You'll see clumps of webbing, and little pale worm-like larvae, before you'll see moths in your food products.

Sawtoothed Grain Beetles

Brown and narrow, with a flattened body, these beetles are around 1/8th of an inch in length. They get their name from the saw-like teeth they have on each side of their prothorax. Most commonly found in spices, drugs, nuts, chocolate and tobacco, these beetles can be in a variety of pantry packages.

Here's a little known fact about the sawtoothed grain beetle. These beetles have wings, but they are not known to fly.

Cigarette Beetles

Oval in shape, and light brown in color, these beetles range from 1/16th to ⅛th of an inch in length, with a round polished appearance. These beetles infest a wide variety of products, like flour, cereal, spices and pasta, but get their name from their inclination to attack stored tobacco.

Here's a little known fact about the cigarette beetle: Though they can fly away, cigarette beetles will play dead when they are disturbed.

How do I protect myself from pantry pests?

You should always inspect items at the store before you buy them. Be sure to throw away any items in your pantry that are out of date. Keep your pantry dry and well ventilated. And, always use older items first.

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