Grain beetles can be an unpleasant sight for any Houston homeowner, and the potential they bring for food contamination is highly troublesome. It is essential to understand grain beetles and their habits to prevent this pest from entering your cupboards.
Understanding Grain Beetles
There are a few different grain beetles that you should be looking out for in your home. It is important to note that while any food infested with these pests should be tossed out immediately, the beetles themselves are generally harmless and don’t present a high risk to humans.
Below is a description of some of the grain beetles you may encounter in your pantry:
- Flour Beetles: There are two types of flour beetles, the confused flour beetle, and the red flour beetle. Both beetles are dark reddish in color with flattened, oval-shaped bodies.
- Cigarette Beetles: The cigarette beetle is brownish in color and reasonably round. It gets its name from a love of eating stored tobacco products.
- Drug Store Beetles: Drug store beetles are oval-shaped and dark brown in color. They have parallel rows of lines on their wings and received their name from their preference of infesting drugstore products.
- Saw-Toothed Grain Beetles: A tiny beetle, this pest has a flat, elongated body and is tannish or light brown to dark yellow in color.
- Merchant Grain Beetles: Narrow oval-shaped and presenting in a range of brown colors, merchant grain beetles are very flat and love to eat cereals, cookies, cake, chocolate, and pasta.
Preventing Grain Beetles In Your Pantry
All of these grain beetle varieties tend to infest your pantry due to purchasing infested food from convenience or grocery stores. You may also end up with a grain beetle infestation resulting from adult beetles entering your home and laying eggs in stored food products, but this is a little bit less common. To prevent grain beetles from making their home in your pantry, you can follow these prevention tips:
- Keep adult beetles out of your home by sealing up gaps and cracks in your windows and doors. You may also want to ensure that any window and door screens are in good condition and replace any broken door sweeps or weather stripping to ensure the pests stay out.
- Inspect any pantry items you plan on purchasing, paying particular attention to things such as flour, cereals, nuts, chocolates, and dry pasta. Avoid purchasing the item if you see damaged edges on cardboard packages or evidence that the interior has a beetle presence. You can also inspect items already in your pantry for these signs, throwing away any contaminated food.
- Clean out your pantry and cupboard regularly, making sure to wipe down all walls and corners. This will help you check for any sign of dead beetles, beetle larvae, or damaged packaging that can indicate a beetle infestation.
- Consider storing staple pantry items in plastic or glass containers. It will be harder for beetles to infest them and allow you to inspect your food items for contamination before use.
Professional Beetle Removal
Beetle infestations can be hard to detect in your cupboards until they are growing out of control. The best way to deal with a suspected pantry beetle infestation is with professional assistance. Contact the experts at All-Safe Pest & Termite for more advice and assistance in eliminating beetles from your home. Our pest treatments are effective and eco-friendly, so call us today or use our online contact form.