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How To Keep Beetles Out Of Your Allen Pantries

Serving Families Throughout North Texas
Cigarette Beetle crawling on wood.

You wake up with a big craving for a bowl of your favorite cereal. You swing open the cupboard and grab the box, but before you can pour out those flakes, you spot something moving in the bag. A beetle. Pantry pest beetles have spoiled many a breakfast, and if you’re not careful, they can ruin yours, too. Here’s what you need to know to keep beetles out of your Allen pantry. 

What Are Pantry Pest Beetles?

There are many different beetle species that love to munch on your perishable pantry foods. They vary greatly in color, shape, and size, but they all have an appetite for dried grains, flour, beans, and nuts. Common pantry pest beetles you may encounter include:

  • Cigarette beetles – Reddish-brown in color and measuring about 1/8 of an inch long, these beetles have a unique “hunched” look with heads that dip downward.
  • Drugstore beetles – These beetles have a nearly perfect oval shape. They are incredibly tiny, often less than 1/10 of an inch in length, and are brown in color.
  • Red flour beetles – Reddish in color and measuring about 1/8 inch, red flour beetles have a long body with short antennae.

Are Pantry Pest Beetles Dangerous?

Pantry pest beetles aren’t known to spread any serious diseases, nor do they bite or sting. But what they do spread is contamination. When beetles infest your pantry, they leave behind droppings, eggs, and even body parts in your food. And what’s worse, these pests often require entire cupboards of food to be thrown out.

When beetles infest one box, they are likely to infest another. Any open packages in the pantry should be considered contaminated if beetles are found. Even if you’re not seeing live bugs in other food containers, it’s possible that eggs have been laid within them. It may seem like a waste of money and food, but in the interest of your health, it’s best to throw out your pantry foods if beetles are discovered.

How Did I Get Pantry Pest Beetles?

The most common way that pantry pest beetles get inside is from purchasing infested food items. Infestations can sometimes begin at processing plants and warehouses, but may not be apparent until after the food is packaged and purchased. 

Alternately, adult beetles may find their way into your pantry and lay their eggs in an open package of food. If you notice food debris falling out of small openings in the bags and boxes in your pantry, it’s likely that you have an infestation.

While these bugs might not pose any severe risks to your health, they are a major nuisance to put up with. Ways you can prevent pantry pest beetles are:

  • Buying only what you’ll eat – Consider downsizing your pantry. Buy only the foods you know you’ll eat within a few weeks. The longer food stays on the shelf, the more likely it is to be infested.
  • Deep cleaning the pantry – Remove everything on the shelves of your pantry and give it a good wipe-down. Be sure to focus on any food debris or spills you may find.
  • Switching to sturdy containers – Don’t just leave your pantry foods in the original packaging. Switch to sturdy plastic, glass, or metal containers with tight-locking lids for maximum protection against pests.
  • Sealing entry points – Check for tears in window screens and repair or replace as needed. Replace any faulty weather stripping or door sweeps that could be letting pests indoors. 

If you’ve spotted pest beetles in your pantry, the best way to deal with the problem is with professional assistance from your friends at Adams Exterminating Company. To learn more about how we can help, contact us today!

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