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Professional Pantry Pest Control Charlottesville VA

The pantry pest is notorious for invading homes and their pantries. The main purpose of the home infiltration is pantry food. What is classified as anptry food? Any non-perishable food stored in pantries, cubbyholes, and kitchen cabinets. Non-perishable food ranges from dry cereal to nuts to cookies to crackers. Just about any food that is stored outside the refrigerator, with a short life.

The pantry pest is also referred to as a “stored product pest” in some countries. Both classifications serve the same purpose, as they refer to insect species that invade home pantries. The 3 primary species of pantry pests found in Charlottesville, Virginia include the cigarette beetletobacco beetle,” Indian meal moth, and saw-toothed grain beetle. All of these species meet the criteria to be classified a pantry pests

Some pantry pest species continuously breed, meaning there is no breeding season. Unless you consider year-round the breeding season. There are few exceptions to this rule. This exception is the beetle, which is an overwintering pest species. However, not all of the species overwinter, but instead, stay awake or alert year-round.

An overwintering pest enters a state of deep sleep, beginning in the late fall, right before the winter season is set to begin. Some of the pests wait until winter has begun to enter the overwintering state. Entomologists believe overwintering is necessary to protect impacted pest species from extinction. One of the harshest seasons for insects is the winter season. Why? A few months into the winter season, food becomes scarce for many insect and animal species. This mostly applies to insects that do not overwinter and animals that do not hibernate.

Contrary to belief, cleanliness or messiness has no impact on the pantry pest’s decision as to which residential or commercial establishment to infiltrate.

Learn More About The Top Three Pantry Pest Species In Charlottesville VA

Pantry Pest Indian Meal Moth

The “Plodia interpunctella” is a tiny moth, with unique physical characteristics utilized for identification purposes. The wings are layered in coloration – reddish/black, tan, and reddish/black. A layer of golden copper gives the wings a unique overtone.  The wings span down the insect’s back, touching the ground.

Three sets of legs carry the insect from place to place. The antennas are utilized to help the insect touch and smell. The larvae ingest pantry food, not the adult.

The diet consists of pantry food products – flour, sugar, candy, potato chips, and birdseed. The insect has the ability to spin cocoons, as part of the development process.

Pantry Pest Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle 

The “Oryzaephilus surinamensis” has unique projections that protrude from both the right and left sides of the posterior head. The projections replicate the teeth of a handsaw. The insect utilizes its saw-toothed projections to fight off predatory insects, infiltrate homes and pantries, and copulation

The diet consists of uncooked oatmeal, dry cat food, single-serving cakes, dried fruit, walnuts, and powdered milk. Both adult and larvae saw-toothed grain beetle ingest pantry food products.

The body is segmented into three components that are held together by tiny joints. The body is similar to that of an ant. The three sets of legs allow the insect to travel from place to place. The antennas are also segmented to ensure better touch and smell.

The body ranges between dark brown and black in color.

Pantry Pest Cigarette Beetle (Tobacco Beetle)

 The “Lasioderma serricorne” grows up to 1/8” in length. Its most unique physical characteristic is a humpback. The body ranges from tan to light brown, covered with a thin layer of fur. Witnesses describe the tobacco beetle as having a “furry” or “fuzzy” look.

The diet consists of tobacco products – cigars, snuff, and cigarettes – and spices. The insect is often found foraging for pantry food on countertops, in kitchen cabinets, and on shelves.

Why Is My Home Infested With Pantry Pests?

Pantry pests are drawn to homes with vulnerable pest barriers, a group of structural components responsible for keeping insect intruders out. When these structural components are damaged, they will become entry points for pantry pests and other insect species. Fortunately, repairing and updating much-needed structural components are generally fairly easy. It is recommended to utilize caulk, silicone, foam insulation, and metal sheeting for small to large openings.

Some pantry pests are also classified as overwintering pests. These insect species may not breed, reproduce, or feed after home infiltration. The beetle species is just one example.

How Do Charlottesville Property Owners Identify A Pantry Pest Infestation?

By knowing the signs – live pantry pests, fecal droppings on countertops, dining tables, and kitchen sinks, damaged food packagings, and tiny moths hovering low over contaminated food surfaces and food.

The Indian meal moth is drawn to bright lighting in low light conditions. The moth will fly in the direction of bright lighting indoors and outdoors.

Are Pantry Pests A Health Risk To Humans?

Pantry pests have not been associated with foodborne illnesses. More research is needed to determine if pantry pests do carry diseases and/or parasites. The insect species that fall within the pantry pest classification have been linked to food spoilage. While only in rare cases, manufacturing packaging damage caused by pantry pests leaves food exposed to contaminants and posts.

Victims of pantry pest infestation have reported hundreds of dollars in financial loss associated with contaminated food products. Once the insects infiltrate pantry food containers, the only option is safe disposal. It is not recommended to save contaminated food after pantry pest infiltration.

Pantry pest species drop their fecal droppings everywhere. The fecal material can be found along the pathways traveled to and from nests and food supplies.

Do Pantry Pests Cause Structural Damage?

Yes, pantry pests with mandibles do cause structural damage. Pantry pest mandibles are powerful mouthparts, capable of gnawing through wood, plastic, fabric, and other materials. The insect utilizes its mandibles to feed and fight off predatory insects.

What Is The Most Effective Pantry Pest Prevention Strategy?

Sealing all potential access points, leading from the exterior to the interior of your home. Pantry pest access points are generally found around windows, doors, air conditioning duct connections, dryer flex duct vents, soffit, and crawlspace vents. It is crucial to repair and update these components, as part of your pantry pest prevention plan.

While it is crucial to prevent pantry pests from invading your home, it is even more important to protect your stored pantry food products. Transitioning from manufacturing paperboard and plastic bags to ceramic, stainless steel, glass, and durable plastic storage containers. Be sure to only invest in food storage containers with resealable lids.

Wash and air dry pantry pest storage containers before each refill. Dispose of all unused pantry foods, never mix with fresh foods when refilling.

Learn the signs of a pantry pest infestation to eliminate all risks of unnecessary delays. It is also recommended to learn how to identify the saw-toothed grain and cigarette beetles species and the Indian meal moth.

Routinely wipe down and vacuum your pantries and kitchen cabinets. Utilize mild soap and water to thoroughly wipe the interior and exterior of each cabinet. It is best to allow the interior to completely air dry before filling it with pantry food storage containers.

How To Charlottesville Exterminators Eradicate Pantry Pests?

It depends on the exterminator. However, most licensed exterminators in Charlottesville agree professional pantry pest management is more effective than all other options. Fortunately, pest control is broken down into two categories – do-it-yourself and professional. Both options are effective pest control strategies, but only professional is suitable for pantry pest infestation.

Once the property is deemed pantry pest-infested, it will be up to the occupants to take the appropriate action. In most cases, the pantry pests are detected in the commercial or residential property several days or weeks before the exterminator is called in. The reason for the delay is oftentimes contributed to denial. It is easy to see why owners struggle to admit their properties are infested with pantry pests.

It is also possible, the first few pantry pests will be ignored because they are not causing any issues. The first damaged non-perishable food container will prompt more drastic action. We highly recommend immediate action upon detection of the insects in your home.

Our Charlottesville extermination team is on standby waiting to take your phone call. Our exterminators are fully trained and prepared to take on pantry pest infestations in all severity levels.

Do not forget to take advantage of our free consultation and inspection.

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