Beetles that attack stored-grain products or household food are also referred to as pantry pests or Stored Product Pests. Once beetles have established themselves inside a food product, the population can explode and move throughout the rest of the home quickly and without notice. Beetles often enter the home from the outdoors, as they typically scavenge for food in the outside environment. Other beetles are transferred into the home in purchased materials.
No home is exempt from the danger of a Stored Product Pest infestation, although good sanitation and food storage methods can help to significantly lessen the chances of an infestation. Food that is spilled or exposed within the home attracts these pests and greatly increases the chances of an infestation. Food should be tightly sealed, with particular care given to foods that are stored for long periods of time. The most common beetles found in household infestations are:
- Drugstore beetles
- Sawtoothed grain beetles
- Merchant grain beetles
- Cigarette beetles
- Flour beetles
- Spider beetles
- Rice weevils
- Granary weevil
- Carpet beetle
Good sanitation is the best way to avoid dealing with a beetle infestation. The following tips will help you to lower the chances of an infestation in your home.
- Avoid leaving spilled food exposed. Cleaning up spills and closing up food products ensures that you will rarely have a problem with these pests.
- If you buy food for storage, buy quantities that you will use over a short period of time. Foods that are stored for six moths or more can become havens for serious infestation problems. Many infestations start in food storage and explode into unmanageable numbers before they are even noticed.
- Cardboard boxes and plastic sacks are particularly vulnerable to beetle infestation because the pests can chew through the material. Stored materials should be placed in tight-fitting containers made of glass or other tough materials. If an infestation does occur in this situation, it will be limited to a single glass jar or container.
- Use storage areas that are cool and dry. If possible, use refrigerated storage for goods that are little used but still important.
- The most frequent spots for infestation problems are dried pet foods, particularly in the case of the drugstore beetle. If your dried pet foods are susceptible to mice, you have a compounded problem. Mice will steal and harbor food in places that can’t be seen such as wall voids or sub-floor spaces. If Stored Product Pests manage to locate the food, it can be incredibly difficult to locate and remove the source of the problem. Pay close attention to how you store dry pet foods.
- When you first notice a problem with Stored Product Pests, you should immediately locate the source and get rid of it. If the source is discovered quickly enough, you may catch it before it spreads to the rest of your home. Thoroughly inspect unopened cardboard boxes for signs of an infestation. If you have the slightest suspicion of a problem, get rid of the suspected source. If it appears that materials is undisturbed and you don’t want to throw it out, use a containment/inspection technique. Place the object in a sealed container, preferably a jar, and inspect it regularly. Sealed plastic bags can also be used, but must be inspected more often because some pests can chew their way out quickly and move on to other sources.
- Clean cracks and corners of storage areas with a vacuum. Clean spills and crumbs from behind and alongside stoves and refrigerators as quickly as possible. Watch the dishwasher area and toaster area for food crumbs. Use hot water and a strong detergent solution to clean storage space, and allow the area to dry. It is not recommended to use strong chemicals to clean these areas.
Beetle Pest Control in Seattle