Stored Product Pests
Pantry pests are found thru-out Michigan and can be very common any time of the year. Dozens of different insects and mites
infest our stored grains, nuts and fruits. Following are some of the most common stored product pests.
Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle
A small, brown, flat beetle with distinct serrations along the thorax distinguishes the saw-toothed grain beetle. This beetle can easily penetrate boxed foods and infests cereals, fruits, sugar, macaroni and even dried meats. (Image courtesy Clemson University,USDA Cooperative Ext. Slides, Bugwood.org)
As the names denotes these beetles infest most milled grain products but will also feed on beans, peas, spices, nuts and fruits. Flour Beetles are reddish brown and approximately 1/8 inch long. These insects are very common in stores and kitchens alike. (Image courtesy Peggy Greb, USDA Agricultural Research Svc., Bugwood.org)
This family of beetles includes the carpet beetle and warehouse beetle. They are very common in about any structure. These beetles are a pest only when in larger numbers. All of these beetles feed on high protein foods such as dog food and dead insects. They can be often found around the edges of carpet where they feed on spilled foods and debris. (Image © Dario Lo Presti/Dreamstime.com)
The cigarette beetle is a small brown oval insect that infests tobacco products wherever it is stored but also feeds on almost anything eatable. They will feed on paper, upholstered furniture, pepper, dried fish and even the insecticide powder pyrethrum. (Image courtesy USDA – ARS)
Similar to the Cigarette Beetle, the Drugstore Beetle is a common pest of homes and warehouses worldwide. This beetle can be recognized by the lines lengthwise down the wing covers. It is about 1/10 inch and reddish brown and will infest about anything eatable. (Image courtesy USDA – ARS)
Indian Meal Moth
Indian Meal Moths are small, tan and white moths that will infest most grain products. It prefers dried fruits and products in seed form, such as bird food, popcorn, whole corn, etc. They are many times seen towards evening flying about the room. (Image courtesy NPMA.)
Good sanitation and storage practices are essential in preventing stored product pest problems. Cupboards should be kept clean and free of food debris. Packaged products should be transferred to tightly sealed containers. When packages are stored for a long time, they are an open invitation to pantry pests. Many times these pests can be a “do it yourself” project. Bring any captured insect into our office for identification and we can give you information to help in control. If you need further help, we will be there for you.