Call Us for a Free Quote Today! 704-563-1941


Pantry Pests

Several dozen insect species, collectively known as stored product pests, commonly infest food items and non-food items of plant and animal origin found in homes. The first sign of a stored product pest infestation is a sudden, unexplained and then persistent presence of numerous insects in a particular area of the home. If food is not limited, populations of stored product pests can multiply rapidly and become widespread and sustained.

Stored product pests vary widely in their food preferences. A partial list of edible food items susceptible to infestation include breakfast foods (especially hot and cold cereals), flour, cake mix, cookies, cornmeal, grits, dry soups, dried herbs and spices, candy, chocolate, rice, dried fruits and vegetables, popped and un-popped popcorn, peas, beans, corn kernels, nuts and seeds (of all kinds of plants), crackers, shelled and unshelled peanuts, powdered milk and protein (e.g., meat and chicken flavorings), biscuit mix, and pasta.

Non-consumable items that are potential food sources for stored product pests include dried flower arrangements (such as potpourri), rodent baits, bird seed, dry pet food, animal products made into treats (e.g., rawhides), dog bones and related treats, dried fish and fishmeal, cigars and other tobacco products, decorative wall and table arrangements containing plant or animal material, dried fruit peels, jewelry or holiday decorations containing nuts or seeds (especially corn kernels), bean bags, door stops filled with beans, corn, or rice, and stashes of food (mainly seeds) stockpiled by birds and rodents in wall voids, attics, crawlspaces, and chimneys.


While dealing with these pests can truly be a “pest,” following the steps below can help to greatly reduce and eventually eradicate stored product pests.

  • Food storage should be air-tight: Store all foods in a tightly-sealed container or in the refrigerator or freezer. Denying food supply for stored product pests is a critical portion of eradicating these pests.
  • Use older products first: Date stamp commonly used food items on packages prior to placing in the cupboard. Older packages should be consumed before newly purchased foods.
  • Store dried non-food items in air-tight containers: Store all dry non-food items such as dry pet food, especially dried birdseed in tightly-sealed containers. The origin of several stored product pests (including Indian Meal Moth and Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle), is infested bird seed which is purchased and brought into the home. Therefore, it is advisable to keep bird seed in tightly-sealed containers, and stored away from the kitchen, to prevent the movement of stored product pests into the cupboard.
  • Cleanup food spills promptly: Spilled food that might serve as sustenance for stored product pests should be vacuumed or otherwise removed from cupboards and other food storage areas. Because the adults of some stored product pests are long-lived (6-8 months), highly mobile, excellent at locating susceptible food sources (by odor), and capable of chewing through sealed packaging or entering small openings and opened packages to reach the food inside, it is important to commit to these preventive practices early and for the long term.