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How to Handle Pantry Pests In My New York City Home


October 15, 2021

There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of a fully stocked pantry. Unfortunately, you aren’t the only one craving the snacks stocked on your shelves. Pantry pests can spoil your food, and once an infestation starts, it can be difficult to stop. If your New York City home has pantry pests, there are a few things you ought to know before you try to handle the problem. 

Close up image of an Indian meal moth.

Pantry Pests In New York City

Pantry pests are insects that thrive on packaged foods. They are often attracted to grain-based products like cereal and crackers, but may also gravitate toward other shelf-stable foods like nuts and dried beans. A few typical pantry pests found in New York City are:

  • Saw-tooth grain beetles – These flat-bodied beetles are usually about 1/10 of an inch long and brown in color. They infest packed foods during production or shipping.
  • Pantry moths – Also known as Indian meal moths, these pests can grow up 5/8 of an inch in length with reddish-brown and white wings. They can be found in a variety of stored foods, including pet food and birdseed.
  • Weevils – Though size can vary from species to species, pantry-infesting weevils can be as small as 1/16 of an inch. These beetles can enter from outdoors and are fond of grains and flour.
  • Cigarette beetles – Known for their trademark “hunch,” cigarette beetles are usually 1/8 inch long and reddish-brown in color. They are known for infesting packages of dried tobacco but can infest a wide variety of pantry foods.

While these pests aren’t known to bite or sting or to spread any serious diseases, they can contaminate your food. As they infest your pantry foods, these pests leave behind their droppings, shed skin, eggs, and even body parts. And once one package is infested, it’s just a matter of time until the entire pantry is full of bugs.

How Did I Get Pantry Pests?

Most pantry pest infestations begin when an adult pest lays its eggs in a packaged product. When the eggs hatch, they are surrounded by food and will gorge themselves until they reach maturity. Processing plants and warehouses are commonly where infestations begin, though signs of pests may not be apparent until products are purchased and brought home.

In some instances, pests may find their way into your pantry on their own. They may either slide in through open packaging or chew their way inside. In fact, if you notice food debris falling from small holes or tears in your pantry foods, it’s probably a sign of pantry pests.

How To Prevent Pantry Pests

Getting rid of pantry pests usually means disposing of all the stored food you have. And even then, infestations may still persist. Preventing pantry pests is much easier than trying to get rid of them. Some easy tricks you can try include:

  • Using secure containers – Keep your perishable pantry foods stored in sturdy containers with tight locking lids. Heavy plastic is okay, but metal and glass offer the best protection.
  • Buying less food – Be realistic about what you eat. The more food sitting on your pantry shelves, the more prone to infestation.
  • Cleaning up – Discourage pantry pests by doing a deep clean of your pantry shelves. Remove all food items and wipe down surfaces thoroughly.
  • Sealing entrances – Check for any openings or cracks around doors and windows and seal with silicone caulk. Repair tears in screens and replace any damaged weather stripping or door sweeps.

If you’re suffering from pantry pests in your New Your City home, call the home pest control experts at Broadway Pest Services for the relief you deserve! 

Tags: home pest control | pest prevention | pantry pests |

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