Tips & Info

Pantry Pests in Store Bought Food

A variety of beetle species are common pantry pests that commonly infest our cereal, rice grains, flours, nuts, spices, and other grain-based foods. These pests are oftentimes seen as weevils, worms or moths inside our grains. While some of these pests may have found their way intoinside your homes from outdoors, the majority of these pests are already in the food products already you brought into the home. This is because chances of foods becoming infested increase the longer they are stored in the same location.

How to eliminate them:

1. Prevention is better than cure: ALWAYS clean up your pantry! Make sure your house is free of food leftovers and discard old grains that can trigger cross-infestation to your other pantry items.

2. For infested food: discard infested food in an airtight garbage bag, then inspect nearby stored food. Throw out everything that has been infested.

3. Thoroughly vacuum and clean the cupboards, pantry shelves, floors, etc. to remove any spilled food stuffs. Insecticide sprays are of little value in controlling pantry pests when infested materials are removed and cracks and crevices are cleaned.

4. Store your food in heavy duty re-sealable airtight containers on your shelf.

5. Before restocking your food, make sure everything is dry i.e the container, the shelves, and every cracks and corners.

6. If there is space in your fridge or freezer, keep pest-prone food, for example wholemeal flour and wheat flour in there.

Pesticide Residues in Food
2. Life Cycle of Indian Meal Moth, most common pantry pest in warm climate.

Reference: a) How to Deal with Pantry Pests - New York State Integrated Pest Management, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University. 2017

b) Cereal and Pantry Pests - Department of Entomology, Pennsylvania State University College of Agricultural Sciences. January 2013

c) Warm and wet conditions bring moths to Sydney's Pantries - Web Magazine. 17th June 2016

d) Masalah serangga di rumah? Jangan risau, tips ini dapat membantu anda -, Majalah Hartanah Online, 6 April 2010

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