Unwanted house guests can cause a lot of stress, even more so if they’re pests making themselves at home in your pantry! In this blog, we’ll discuss how you can identify and recognize these unwelcome guests and how to prevent them from coming back.
One of the most common and aggravating pests in homes is a colony of ants. When your home has ants, it seems like they’re everywhere and that there are a lot of them. Ant colonies can have, on average, over 100,000 ants. Ants are tiny but tend to travel in groups for they are easier to spot. They tend to nest in warm spaces and are drawn to sweets, fats, and proteins. They can vary in colors from red to black, and some have yellow spots on their back.
Another common house pest is moths. They love to chew on anything from the food in your pantry, the boxes in your attic, and the clothes in your closet. The most common moth to haunt a pantry would be an Indian Meal Moth, and they have a reputation for being hard to get rid of. They are primarily brown with two-toned brown wings. They are attracted to the dry items in your pantry, like flour or pasta, and can lay up to 300 eggs at a time.
Another tiny pest is the weevil. They only grow to be .2 centimeters but can produce four eggs a day. If you find one dark brown weevil, chances are there are a lot more where that came from. As far as small insects go, they have a relatively long lifespan of four to five months. They are attracted to food like rice, oats, and corn.
Beetles come in many different shapes, sizes, and other variations. A common one that may be lurking in your pantry is the spider beetle. These are beetles that have long legs like a spider and a rounded reddish-brown exoskeleton. They are able to eat through packaging and cardboard to get to the food inside. Unlike other beetles, spider beetles can leave behind webs and cacoons, making them an even more annoying nuisance.
We’ve all been guilty of accidentally leaving food in our pantry that is past its expiration date, which mealworms probably thank us for. Mealworms are drawn to damp or moldy foods, like old peanut butter. Mealworms tend to be yellow in color, grow to be an inch in length, and have a hard shell that makes it easy to mistake them for beetles.
During the winter, rodents love to crawl their way into your home for shelter, warmth, and food. Common rodents to find in your pantry are typically mice or rats. Rodents are tricky because they are most active at night and are attracted to almost all types of food and standing water. Some signs of rodents in your pantry are finding droppings, gnaw marks (from their claws or teeth), chewed holes, and a urine odor (similar to ammonia).
How To Prevent Pests
Now that you know what you’re looking for let’s talk about ways to prevent pests from entering your home and eating the food in your pantry.
- Keep your home properly sealed
- Use non-toxic deterrents (talcum powder, pepper, salt, bay leaves)
- Store dry food in airtight containers
- Properly washing your produce
- Empty cabinets of food to cause the insects stress and confusion
- Attract them with non-toxic DIY traps (vinegar, wine, etc.)
- Properly clean up after cooking, making sure no crumbs or spills are left behind
- Don’t leave sitting water out
If you follow all of these tips and tricks and still have time ridding your home of pantry pests, it’s time to call in the experts. An expert pest control specialist will be able to exterminate the pests in your house while giving helpful solutions to prevent the ongoing problem.
For all of your pest control needs and questions contact Enviro-Tech Pest Services at (800) 836-3089! We’ll make sure it’s just you and your family enjoying food in your kitchen.