Pantry Pest Instructions

More people are purchasing Organic Foods. Although this may be healthier for humans it also may be “healthier” for pests. We expect the instances of stored product pests to increase as a result.

Insects can infest and destroy many “food” products. To name a few … Grains, cheese, seeds, nuts, flour products, dried fruits, meats, tobacco products, rice and dried beans, spices, birdseed, and dog treats. Weevils, beetles, moths, mealworms, mites, and grain borers can do significant damage to food products and in some cases can cause health concerns to humans and their pets.

Here are the top two stored product pests in customer homes:

1. INDIAN MEAL MOTHS –
These are small moths (5/8 to ¾” wingspread). They are slow, meandering flyers. When at rest they usually fold their wings so the insect looks long and skinny. The first ½ to 2/3 of the body is a pale gray. Then there is a band of coppery reddish-brown. The wing tips are darker than the rest of the body.

The female lays her eggs on or near appropriate food for her young. Here are the types of items of products the larvae eat: Whole or cracked grains, nuts, seeds (or birdseed), dried beans or rice, dried fruits, dog treats, powdered milk, chocolate, and/or natural decorations with wheat stalks, seeds, dried red peppers or Indian corn.

When the larvae hatch they burrow into the food material and spin a web-material which may cause the food material to cling together or stick to the sides. When they are mature and ready to “morph” into moths, the larvae will travel away from the food to a crack, crevice or corner and create a cocoon. Sometimes customers report seeing “worms” on the ceiling.

PREP FOR TREATMENT:
NOTE: The moth life-cycle is about 6 weeks (at typical house temperature and humidity), so it may take up to 6 weeks for complete control after treatment (following the preparations below can reduce the infestation and speed the process considerably).
a) Inspect. Inspect all product types listed above for moths, larvae, webbing/clumping, and for pinholes in packaging.
b) Discard. Discard all infested product and remove from home/garage.
c) Re-Package. Repackage NON-infested products in sturdy, tight-sealing containers. (Sealable storage bags will not prevent re-infestation and should only be used if storing product in a freezer.)
OR Freeze products and remove them only as needed.
d) Vacuum. Vacuum storage shelves and cupboards where infested product was found to eliminate any spillage.
e) Cover. Remove all foods and materials from areas where there was infestation. Place these items on a table or on the floor and cover with a tarp, plastic sheeting or a fabric sheet. Make sure all fruits, vegetables and medicines are covered as well. Also protect leather furniture and/or leather coats by covering with cloth or plastic.
f) Plan. Plan to remove all people and pets from the house for 3 hours after treatment. When the technician arrives to treat you should be ready to exit the house (stay around until he is finished in order to lock the house).
g) Sanitize. When you return, please wash all food prep surfaces and stove-top with soapy water.
h) Treated shelves and cupboards. DO NOT WASH after treatment. Instead, if you wish, place a non-sticky paper or plastic liner on shelves to have a clean surface for your stored items.
2. RED FLOUR BEETLES –
Flour beetles are very small beetles (about 1/8”). Color is reddish-brown. The adults often can be found in cupboards, on shelves, on the counter on the floor, or hanging around by lights or windows.

The female beetle lays her eggs on or near these types of products: Flour, cake mixes, corn meal, pancake mixes, processed cereal products, the dust-like particles at the bottom of bags of rice or dried beans, nuts, dried fruits, stuffed animals (taxidermy items), dog food or cat food.

They do not necessarily leave the food to complete metamorphosis.

PREP FOR TREATMENT:
NOTE: Red Flour Beetle adults can live for years if not controlled with pest treatment. They deposit a few eggs every day. The beetle life-cycle, egg to adult, is about 7 – 13 weeks (in normal home conditions). Control is usually achieved quickly, but poor preparation may extend the problem.
a) Inspect. Inspect all product types listed above for beetles, larvae, pupae casings, dark specks (which shouldn’t be there) in the product, and/or pinholes in packaging.
b) Discard. Discard all infested product and remove from home/garage.
c) Re-Package. Repackage NON-infested products in sturdy, tight-sealing containers. (Sealable storage bags will not prevent re-infestation and should only be used if storing product in a freezer.)
OR Freeze products and remove them only as needed.
d) Vacuum. Vacuum storage shelves and cupboards where infested product was found to eliminate any spillage.
e) Cover. Remove all foods and materials from areas where there was infestation. Place these items on a table or on the floor and cover with a tarp, plastic sheeting or a fabric sheet. Make sure all fruits, vegetables and medicines are covered as well.
f) Plan. Plan to remove all people and pets from the house for 2 hours after treatment.
g) Sanitize. When you return, please wash all food prep surfaces and stove-top with soapy water.
h) Treated shelves and cupboards. DO NOT WASH after treatment. Instead, if you wish, place a non-sticky paper or plastic liner on shelves to have a clean surface for your stored items.

 
 

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