ABOUT PANTRY PESTS

Worms, beetles and moths tend to like the same foods we do. They like to infest sorted food products like those that end up in your pantry. Many food processing plants and supermarkets struggle with controlling these types of pests and they can become problems in your home if not discovered at commercial facilities.

CARPET BEETLE

Carpet beetle larvae sometimes will infest carpets, but they also feed on items composed of wool, felt, silk, feathers, skins and leather, as well as seeds, cereals, pet food and other plant-based materials.

 

These insects can move anywhere in a home, making an infestation difficult to control. Their damage is often mistaken for that of the clothing moth and go undetected until vulnerable items are ruined. Carpet Beetles riddle rugs, sheets, coats and carpets with little holes and will also feed on grains and seeds within your pantry. 

 

During spring months, you'll see adult carpet beetles appearing on windowsills, suggesting an infestation may be present inside the home. Unfortunately, the damage is already done, as these adult beetles no longer feed on woolens and fabrics, instead their diet has switched to flower pollen.  

The good news is that rugs, blankets and clothing that are used, cleaned or vacuumed often are not often targets of carpet beetles. Call your Axiom professional for help in dealing with this pest.

INDIAN MEAL MOTH

Indian meal moths typically enter a home through a purchased product whose manufacturer or retailer was unable to control the moth at its facility. Adult moths lay their eggs near a food source and when the eggs hatch, the larvae crawl into the food product via holes in the packaging.

Often mistaken for maggots, immature Indian meal moths are caterpillars with a dark head capsule and three pairs of thoracic legs and five pairs of pro legs on the abdomen. Maggots, which are the larval form of flies, have no head capsule, are completely legless and do not thrive in dried goods.

Indian meal moths can chew to get into unopened packages of food. Inside the product it eats, grows and molts, leaving behind silken threads before it travels out of the product. 

Signs of an Indian meal moth infestation include: adult moths flying inside the home, usually not attracted to lights; silken threads and webbing on food products, packaging or walls and ceilings; larvae crawling in food products containing flour, cereal, nuts, grains or dried fruits. 

MEAL WORM

Mealworms are the larval form of the mealworm beetle. You'll find their larvae feeding on stored grains like oatmeal, wheat bran and grains.

Originally from the Mediterranean region, mealworms are now worldwide, thanks to human trade and colonization. 

Asian countries consider the mealworm as food in a baked or fried form and they have significant nutritive value. They are also in demand for waste disposal because of their ability to degrade polystyrene and styrofoam into usable organic matter.

Even as exciting as these insects are, you don't want them in your pantry. If you find them unexpectedly living in your grains, give Axiom a call. We'd love to help.

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