How Do Pests Keep Getting Into The Pantry In My Cypress,TX Home?
Indian Meal Moths

How Do Pests Keep Getting Into The Pantry In My Cypress,TX Home?

You can find pests almost anywhere in a Cypress home. Each room has its own appeal, and it's essential to understand why pests want to get into those areas. Your pantry may be particularly appealing to pests, so find out how they're getting in and why they're so attracted to your pantry.

How Do Pests Keep Getting Into The Pantry In My Cypress Home?

You can find pests almost anywhere in a Cypress home. Each room has its own appeal, and it's essential to understand why pests want to get into those areas. Your pantry may be particularly appealing to pests, so find out how they're getting in and why they're so attracted to your pantry.

Which Pests Are In Cypress Pantries?

Before learning how pests get into pantries, you need to consider which pests are a problem. Certain pests prefer pantries, while others gravitate towards basements and bathrooms. To better understand the behavior of pantry pests, you should know exactly which creatures are in your pantry.

In the Cypress area, several types of pests invade pantries. All of the following pests could be hanging around:

Cigarette Beetles

Even if you're not a smoker, you could find these beetles in your pantry. They're named for their love of tobacco, but cigarette beetles also like to eat other pantry foods. Typically, these Cypress pests go after dry dog food, beans, biscuits, and dried fruits. Peanuts, rice, and furniture are also some of their preferred foods. If you have a full pantry, it has plenty of food for cigarette beetles.

These beetles are oval and range from yellowish-brown to reddish-brown. They don't grow to be very large, and they typically only are around 1/10th of an inch long. If you look closely at the antennae of a cigarette beetle, you can see its serrated antennae and wings. You might even see these beetles flying around.

Perhaps the most distinct feature of cigarette beetles is their humpbacked shape. With their heads tucked in, cigarette beetles have a bump on their back. The larvae look more like worms and tend to be off-white.

Are Cigarette Beetles Dangerous?

Although these beetles don't carry any known diseases or pathogens, they could get into your food. They may damage some of the items in your home while they feed, so you don't want them hanging around your pantry. If you have books, dried flowers, or wreaths, cigarette beetles may ruin them. Even worse, they could contaminate your food stores.

Indian Meal Moths

A female Indian meal moth could layover 400 eggs in her lifetime, so you can imagine how invasive these pests can be. The larvae start off-white and might be in the cracks or crevices of your food bags. While other pests are more dangerous as they get older, they do the most damage when larvae. They form webs as they eat, and the webs contaminate your food.

Before the larvae turn into adults, they become a pupa. In this stage, Indian meal moths appear as silken cocoons. They soon turn into winged moths with gray and tan upper halves and bronze lower halves. Although the adults only live for about a week, they reproduce, and their offspring soon take over.

Pretty much anything in your pantry is food for the Indian meal moths. Unless you have your food tightly sealed, the larvae can get inside and damage your food. During the warmer months, these moths are particularly prevalent. They have faster breeding cycles in the summer, and this makes them more of a threat.

You don't need to worry about Indian meal moths biting or stinging you. However, they're still highly annoying. Every time you open your pantry, these moths could fly around. They're very annoying and can be difficult to eliminate.

Saw-Toothed Beetles

If you get a good look at a saw-toothed beetle, you won't need any help identifying it. This pest was named for its saw-like appendages. Behind its head, you can see six small projections. While you can see it with the naked eye, you get a better look with a magnifying glass.

These beetles are small and flat. Although the adults are brown, the larvae are white grubs with brown heads. Neither the adults nor the larvae will hurt you, but this doesn't mean saw-toothed beetles are innocent. They can cause moisture to form in your food, and this leads to mold growth.

Like most other pantry pests in Cypress, the biggest issue with these beetles is their ability to contaminate your food. All of the money you spend grocery shopping could go to waste. If you see little brown beetles crawling around your shelves, take action and check your food.

How Pantry Infestations Begin

With pests like cockroaches and ants, infestations usually begin with insects entering your home on their own accord. For instance, a cockroach might be in search of food and wander into your home. The crumbs on your floor or an open trash can could draw the pest into your home.

Although some pantry pests may willingly enter your home, this isn't usually the case. Under most circumstances, homeowners unknowingly bring pantry pests into their homes.

It all starts with a trip to the grocery store. You go shopping and pick out your favorite cereal or dog food. Then, you bring the product into your home with the rest of your groceries. At first, you don't realize anything is wrong. But, after a few days or weeks, you notice pests in your pantry. Indian meal moths could be flying around, or saw-toothed beetles might be crawling on your shelves.

In any case, you're responsible for the infestation. You might also want to blame the manufacturer because the infestation really begins in the manufacturing plant or grocery store. Typically, an adult pest lays its eggs in a food product. Then, the manufacturer seals up the product, and the eggs remain inside.

What Happens Next

After the eggs hatch, they begin to eat the food in the bag or box. This could happen on the shelves of the grocery store or inside your home. Unless you look inside the packaging, you could never know about the pests lurking inside.

Usually, pantry pests can chew through packaging. They turn into adults and fly or crawl around your home. Then, the cycle begins all over again. Because your pantry is full of food, there are plenty of great places for adult pests to lay eggs. It's a vicious cycle and can leave you feeling overwhelmed.

You should also know that there are other ways for pantry pests to get inside your home. If your neighbor has pantry pests, the adults might invite themselves over. Once inside your home, cigarette beetles and other pests can lay eggs and start the cycle.

Tips For Preventing Pantry Pests

Whether you don't want to deal with food contamination or hate having pests flying around your home, you probably want to keep pantry pests out. Doing so can save you a great deal of money and frustration. But pest prevention isn't easy, and it takes the following steps:

  • Use Proper Food Storage: Take a close look at the shelves in your pantry. Like most people, you have some food sealed in containers and other food open and easily accessible. Sure, open cookies are easier to eat than ones sealed in a bag. But they're also appealing to pantry pests.  If you don't already have all of your pantry food in sealed containers, it's time to buy some new food storage containers. Look for products with lids that close tightly, or your efforts will be in vain. By picking thick containers, you can make sure rodents, and other large pests can't get into your pantry food. You can find options online or at most big box stores. In addition to making your home less vulnerable to pantry pests, your food storage makes your home more organized. As soon as you go through your pantry, you can enjoy having all your food labeled, easy-to-find containers. 

  • Store Seasonal Decor Properly: You might not think of your wreath of fall potpourri as attractive to pests. However, most pantry pests enjoy the dry foliage that comes with seasonal decor. If you don't store it properly, you could have pests inside your home. When you're not using your decor, store it in airtight containers. As the season approaches, unpack your decor outside because there could be pests hiding inside it. Let your decor sit outside for a few hours before you bring it indoors. If you don't have the space to store your decor properly, don't bother saving it. The trouble associated with pantry pests isn't worth it. You're better off without your decor than you are dealing with a pest infestation.

  • Add Bay Leaves To Dry Goods: You can use bay leaves for a natural pest prevention solution. Most pests don't like the pungent smell of bay leaves, and you can use this to your advantage. Place a bay leaf in all your containers of flour, rice, and cereal. Despite the aroma, bay leaves won't taint your dry goods. They may, however, deter pantry pests. Just be aware that this alone won't keep your home free of pests. You could still find Indian meal moths or cigarette beetles inside your Cypress home.

  • Check Your Groceries: When you go grocery shopping, inspect the products you buy. Because most infestations begin at the grocery store, you should always look for pests inside your food items. Although you can't dump out a bag of flour in the grocery store, you can inspect the packaging. Look for holes in the corners or any other signs of damage. If the product has clear packaging, look inside for signs of eggs or larvae. You never want to buy open products because they are more likely to be tainted and contain eggs or larvae. Therefore, take your time while you shop and only buy unopened merchandise. You should also inspect your products when you get home. As you pour your flour or rice into the appropriate storage containers, look for pantry pests.

  • Check Dates: Every few weeks, go through your pantry and look for expired items. As products past their expiration date, dispose of them. If there is no expiration date, sift through it and look for signs of pantry pests. People often make the mistake of hanging onto items long after they expire. But ask yourself this question. Is a two-dollar container of flour worth the expense that comes with a pantry pest infestation? Probably not. Don't let your frugality get in the way of pest prevention.

  • Be Clean: If you maintain a clean home, you can keep pantry pests away. Clean up spills and messes as soon as they form, or pests will have plenty of food. If you notice crumbs on your floor or pantry shelves, wipe them up right away. Make sure your garage has a lid on it, and you don't have food spilled next to the can. Oftentimes, people overlook the importance of cleaning their cupboards. Once every few months, empty your cabinets and clean them with soap and water. Bugs could be hiding inside them and welcoming your crumbs. The cleaner you are, the less likely you will have pantry pests.

  • Seal Up Cracks: To make sure pantry pests don't come from your neighbors, seal up your home. Use caulk and weatherstripping to make your home less accessible. Typically, areas around your plumbing and electrical wires are access points for pantry pests. Inspect your home with care and make it difficult for pests to get inside. 

Work With A Team Of Professionals

Why battle pantry pests on your own? For the best results, you should team up with a company that has years of experience. Here at Modern Pest Control, we know how difficult it can be to keep pantry pests out. We've seen far too many homeowners struggle with pantry pests.

You can count on us to keep pests away from your pantry or to kick out any invaders. With years of experience, we have what it takes to help you. For advice or assistance, give us a call today. Our ongoing home pest control assistance can make all the difference.

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