You are sitting down for breakfast, about to pour your favourite cereal, and notice an uninvited guest! Although we have been experiencing an Indian Summer, the cold season is right around the corner. Along with it, come these uninvited guests looking for a bed and breakfast to crash!
As summer ends, so does the food source for many pests. These bugs begin to search for alternatives to help them survive the winter months. Your snack pantry is the ideal sweet spot! An infinite supply of snacks (dry cereal, crackers, dried fruit, nuts etc.) is the number one attraction.
Some of the pests that you may stumble upon this season are moths, beetles and grain mites.
Moths are the most common food-infesting pest. They are attracted to food filled areas such as homes or grocery stores. The most significant damage is done by the larvae. Signs of infestation include silk webbing (near food sources/areas), matured moths flying around the pantry, or larvae hanging from the ceiling.
Beetles are also common food-infesting pests. Beetles can typically consume a variety of foods, which makes it easier for them to survive. They can also lay eggs in any dry matter near their food source. Beetle larvae can secrete substances into foods which can leave them with a foul order or taste. Adults produce microbes into foods, which once ingested are turned into a chemical which can irritate the mouth or stomach and require medical attention.
Grain mites require high moisture environments to reproduce and are found in environments with fungal growth. They are almost negligible in size (less than 1mm!) These pests can completely conquer your pantry. Another noticeable trait is that they release a “minty” odour when crushed.
Here are some tips to keep these pests away:
- Keep snacks sealed in air tight jars/containers with lids (no zip loc bags)
- Clean shelves regularly to ensure no crumbs are left behind
- Ensure windows/entrances are caulked properly to minimize entrance for pests
- Inspect groceries as infested products can enter your home
- Maintain adequate ventilation in your pantry/snack area
- Place bay leaves in your containers (strong smell keeps pests away)
- Use silica gel packs on shelves to help absorb moisture
If the infestation is severe, contact Advantage Pest Control to inspect and remove these unwanted pests!