Household pests have the capability of spreading and triggering various types of diseases and illnesses. Examples include vector-borne diseases such as Lyme disease, asthma, allergies, and diseases and infections that are microbial in nature. Furthermore, pests are destructive. Some are capable of destroying wood, carpeting, and other components of the home. Then, there are those pests that invade and contaminate food sources. These are often referred to as “stored product pests”. In this guide, you will learn about these pests. You will also learn how they get in and how to get rid of them.

storing food

What are Stored Product Pests?

Stored product pests are those insects or animals that destroy food stored in the home. For this guide, we will place an emphasis on insect-based stored product pests.

There are actually many types of insect species that are known to infest both food and non-food products around the home that are of both plant and animal origin.

The most common and troublesome are small types of beetles and various moth species.

What Types of Food Products are Stored Product Pests Attracted To?

Stored product pests vary in a wide manner in their stored food preferences. The following outlines the most commonly infested items in residences:

  • Hot and Cold Cereals
  • Cake Mix
  • Flour
  • Corn Meal
  • Powdered Milk
  • Grits
  • Cookies
  • Dry Soups
  • Spices
  • Herbs
  • Rice
  • Dried Vegetables
  • Dried Fruits
  • Chocolate
  • Candy
  • Popcorn – Both Un-popped and Popped
  • Beans
  • Kernels of Corn
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Biscuit Mix
  • Crackers
  • Pasta

What Non-Consumables are Stored Product Pests Attracted To?

There are several products around the home that are not typically consumed by humans that are considered to be attractive food sources for stored product pests. Examples of these items include the following:

  • Bird Seed
  • Dried Flower Arrangements
  • Decorative Items That Include Plant or Animal Materials
  • Dry Pet Food
  • Pet Treats
  • Tobacco Products
  • Bean Bags
  • Door Stops That Are Filled with Food Products or Seeds

How Do Stored Product Pests Get Inside the Home?

Most stored product pests start by moving into the home through the means of crawling or flying. If a pest or multiple pests find their way into the home, they will start moving towards food sources.

Not all food sources within homes are sealed in airtight containers. As a result, the stored product pests will find their way into those containers. Depending on the number of pests that are present, a severe infestation may occur as the insects are capable of reproducing quickly.

As they reproduce, they will move around the home, infecting other containers, bags, and areas where food is stored. Any food source that experiences an infestation contaminates the food source.

sealed food jars

How to Prevent an Infestation of Stored Product Pests

To prevent an infestation of stored product pests, you must place a special emphasis on sanitation. In short, access to food sources must be denied.

The first step is making certain that all food products within the home are stored in airtight containers, the refrigerator in sealed containers, and/or sealed containers, bags, etc. in the freezer.

Older foods should always be consumed prior to the purchase of new foods. If non-consumable items – such as seeds for outdoor animals and dry pet foods – are purchased, you should ensure that the items are placed in containers that may be sealed tightly.

If food is spilled in the kitchen or other areas of the home, it should be swept or vacuumed up immediately. Food products – even the smallest morsels – will attract pests.

As more pests move into the home, there is a higher chance that stored product pests may invade the consumable and non-consumable items that are stored within the pantry and other areas around the home.

As time progresses, these creatures will multiply and the infestation will grow significantly larger.

How Can I Tell if Stored Product Pests Are in My Home?

There are a couple of ways that you may tell that stored product pests are in the home. In most instances, you will see pests. In other instances, you may see signs of an infestation – such as insect parts, holes in bags, etc.

If you suspect that stored product pests are in the home, you may purchase specially-designed traps. These are products that may be placed in a pantry and include an attractant and a thin layer of oil or glue.

If the trap is placed in the home where an infestation is occurring, the pests will find their way to the product. As they move on it, they will become stuck on the oil or the glue that is on the product. In evaluating the trap, you will be able to determine what types of pests are in the home and the overall density of the infestation occurring. It should be noted that while these traps will help you determine what type of infestation is present and how severe it is, they will not aid in eliminating the pests. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on traps to ensure safe usage.

How Do I Get Rid of Stored Product Pests?

If you have determined that you have an infestation of stored product pests, you should know that just killing the creatures will not be the solution to ending the infestation. You must also find all infested products and eliminate them. If you have a large number of insects in the home, the infestation is severe. Follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Disposal – Thoroughly go through your pantry, shelves, and cabinets. Look in and around all items. Find those that are infested and dispose of them immediately. Empty out all areas. Then, take a vacuum hose and go over all areas. You may use an attachment for the crevices. Clean upper and lower surfaces.
  2. Storage – If you must store items that are composed of paper, food, plastic, cardboard, and other attractants, make certain that they are placed in containers that may be tightly sealed. Food products and certain non-consumables should be placed in airtight containers.
  3. Sanitation – Always make certain that all surfaces of the home are cleaned and sanitized completely. Even the smallest crumb may attract pests that will infest stored consumables and non-consumables.
  4. Professional Pest Control – Once you have done all that you are able to in order to clean your home and eliminate the infestation and all items are properly stored, it is time to call for professional pest control services. The technician will inspect the home, treat it, and identify potential problem areas. Heed the advice offered during the treatment.
  5. Reclean – Once the pest control treatment has been completed, go through your home a little while after and vacuum out cabinets again, re-wipe surfaces, and clean the flooring throughout the home. This will help ensure all efforts are maximized to eliminate the infestation.

Contact Us Today

If you have an issue with stored product pests, we here at All Pest can assist you! We have been serving customers just like you since the year of 1995. If you have problem pests, we have the solution! Not only are we highly knowledgeable and skilled in all that we do, but we also offer the most competitive prices in the industry. In addition to pest control services, we also offer home inspections, pre-inspections, and more! If you would like to learn more or set up an appointment, we encourage you to contact us today.