Do Not Allow Pantry Pests To Spoil Your Holiday Cheer

December 16, 2019

The holiday rush is starting to be at a fever pitch.  

Family members will start to gather in their favorite part of the house during Christmas time: the kitchen. Cakes will be baked, and cookies will be made, and maybe some pasta too. After all, much of the tradition during the holidays is created in the kitchen. 

Lasting memories of our mom’s cooking are passed on to our own kids. Whatever it is that is on the menu, food will surely be abundant this season. As people raid their pantries for their favorite ingredients, Go-Forth Pest Control - the best pest control professionals in North Carolina - advises them to be vigilant as pantry pests may have already gotten there first.  

Among the pantry pests that you would have to look out for are the Indian meal moths, the merchant grain beetles, and ants. These insects are common household pests, targeting mostly the pantry and kitchen. All three insects contaminate stored dry foods like cereals, grains, flour, rice, sugar, powdered milk, powdered chocolates, oatmeal, and pasta. In addition, ants also like to eat cooked food and do so in large numbers.  

Watch Out For These Pantry Pests

Nothing can be creepier than opening a bag of cereals that has moths or beetles in them.  Let us find out more about these pantry pests to better understand how to beat them. 

Pantry Moths 

Also known as Indian moths, or Indian meal moths, or meal moths. But a pest by any other name is still as destructive. Whatever the name, they are the most troublesome of all the indoor pests because they can attack any kind of dry foodstuffs like sugar, rice, cereals, grains, nuts, flour, sugar, pasta, dog food, dried fruits, and nuts. Their size is about 8 to 10 mm in length and with a ⅝ inch wingspan. They are gray in color and the outer lining of their wings are highlighted by a reddish-brown color. They can chew their way inside plastic and cardboard containers.  Because of all the food waste that would be thrown away once they attack stored, dry foodstuffs, they can cause economic damage.

Meal moths are able to get into our homes through the food packages that were bought from the store. They do not really fly very far. Before buying dry foods, make sure to check these for the presence of moths. If you spot the presence of webbings, you can be sure that there are meal moths inside the package. If this happens, return the package to the store in case you already bought the food and noticed moths inside only after you get home, make sure that the store will dispose of it properly.

In case your dried stored foods in the pantry are infested, dispose of these properly and immediately to prevent the moths from spreading. Put your dry foods in sealed metal containers and not in cardboard boxes or paper bags; meal moths can chew their way into boxes and even plastic.  

Practice good housekeeping. Clean your cupboard every week to remove any eggs that may have been there. Do this by removing everything on your cupboards and cabinets and wipe with a cloth. Use your vacuum cleaner to clean as much as possible for the removal of the eggs that might be there.   


They are small, hardworking insects, their size range from .08 to 1 inch, and are omnivores. There are more than 10,000 identified species of ants, and they can be found all throughout the world, except in Antarctica. They are also known for their strength, as they can lift objects that are 50 times their own weight. Ants are highly regarded for their hard-working style and their value for teamwork.  Unfortunately, these qualities are also what make them pests.

 Most species of ants are found in the woods, where they are beneficial insects. It is when ants get near human dwellings that they start to become a problem. Where there are humans, there is food and water, plenty of food and water. Ants send out patrollers, who look for food individually. Once the patroller fins it, it will release a pheromone which the rest of the ants in the colony will detect. Soon, there will be hundreds of ants swarming the food, making them such a nuisance.  

Ants can also bite humans, sometimes without any provocation. Their bites are painful, and some people may have an allergic reaction to them.  

Lastly, ants are known to cause more structural damage to homes than termites. One particular species, the carpenter ants, boreholes on structural wood. These ants cause millions of dollars worth of damage to home every year. 

 To keep these ants away, store food inside sealed containers, or even inside the refrigerator.  Wipe off food debris and drink spills, especially the sweet, sugary ones. Seal off cracks and crevices by caulking.  Outdoors, you can pour boiling water on an anthill to kill them.  

Grain Merchant Beetle

The grain merchant beetle is a tiny beetle with a flattened body. Its size is only about ⅛ inch in length and has six legs. They are small enough to sneak inside food packages through the cracks and crevices. This type of beetles can fly, and they fly from one food source to another. They are common pests of kitchens, pantries, food processing areas, and warehouses, infesting and contaminating cereals, pasta, flour, oatmeal, nuts, biscuits, pancake mixes, rice, grains, and other dry stored foods. 

An adult female grain merchant beetle can lay 20 - 300 eggs in a span of 3 months.

To get rid of them, you may use your vacuum cleaner on cracks and crevices and shelves. Vacuum under the shelves and under shelf wiring too. 

You may use pheromone traps. These traps have sex pheromone to attract and then catch the male merchant beetles. Place a couple of traps in the kitchen or pantry. Buy only what you need as far as stored dry foods are concerned.


Weevils are small, ugly insects that are less than 6 mm long. They come in red, brown, grey, or black colors.

One distinguishing feature of weevils is their two spurs found on the femur of each of their front legs. There are more than 60,000 species of weevils, and there is not one family that they all belong too. Instead, they are from different families. The most common of these families is the Curculionidae family, where the true weevils belong. Weevils have long snouts attached to their heads. They use these long snouts for boring holes on rice, corn, cereals, sugar, powdered milk, grains, pasta, timber, and flour. Their mouths are at the end of their snout.

Weevils are dark in color. They are a known nuisance for homeowners because they attack homes in great numbers and ruin stored dry foods that are kept in pantries and kitchens.  They pass through small openings around the house, yet the most common way weevils get inside homes is through the boxed dry foods that were just recently bought from the grocery.

Weevils are also agricultural pests, victimizing thousands of farmers. The damage and kill crops like corn, grain, and cotton. They are also garden pests because they can kill your garden plants.  

To get rid of weevils, store dry foods like grains, rice, pasta, flour, sugar, oats, and dried fruits inside a sealed plastic or metal container because weevils can bore holes in cardboard containers.

Seal cracks and crevices by caulking. Weevils can enter the house through these openings. 

Buy dry food products only as much as you need. Storing too many of these items would attract more weevils in your kitchen cupboard.

Get a piece of cloth and pour water on it to make it damp enough. Place this damp cloth in areas that you find plenty of weevils inside the house. Weevils will be attracted to it. Once you find enough weevils on the cloth, wash them away with water. Repeat as necessary.

After doing everything within your power to contain these pests, yet you still find them scattered all over the pantry, throw away the contaminated items then call a pest professional. For a practical choice in pest control prices, call Go-Forth Pest Control. 

Go-Forth Is Simply The Best!

No home or pest is the same, that is why there is no cookie-cutter solution. At Go-Forth Pest Control, we have professional technicians who will examine your home and your lawn to evaluate your individual necessity. We will identify points of entry and make treatments as necessary. We only use state of the art equipment to keep up with these ever-evolving pests. 

If you want to completely eradicate these troublesome pests in your home safely and efficiently, call Go-Forth Pest Control, the company that residents and businesses in North Carolina trust. 

You too can trust Go-Forth Pest Control.

Just dial 336-841-6111 for a free estimate.

Our friendly operators are standing by.

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