Pantry Pests 101: How to Identify a Bug Infestation in Your Pantry?

It is very likely that you have eaten a pantry bug or its eggs at some point in your life. Most of the food products that are known to sometimes have bug infestations (flour, rice, cereals,…) already have bugs in them when they are bought from the market. This is because female bugs lay eggs in grain kernels and these eggs sometimes survive the milling and manufacturing processes. While the idea of having accidentally eaten bugs hiding in your food is certainly gross, luckily ingesting bugs that inhabit flour or grain-based products isn’t harmful for humans. You can also console yourself with the fact that the heat from baking kills the tiny creatures.

Just because the extra protein in your diet isn’t harmful, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take steps to eliminate the bugs.  While there is nothing you could have done to prevent the bugs from ending up in the box of cereal you picked off the shelf of your favorite supermarket, you can make sure the bugs don’t chew through everything in your pantry. The damage such bugs do to stored products creates harborage for fungi and bacterium. The first step in resolving the problem is to identify if there is an infestation in your pantry. If you aren’t sure that your pantry is infested, here are a few signs to look out for:

Do you have unwelcome guests?

The easiest way to identify an infestation is when you see little brown bugs crawling in the food product. This could happen on the day you open the box for the first time or any number of days after as more females lay eggs which hatch and grow.

Can you see the creepy crawlies elsewhere?

Cardboard boxes and bags don’t stop these tiny critters from moving around. Unless all the products in your pantry are properly stored, the bugs can move from the original point of infestation to eat anything else in your pantry that is made from grain such as cereal, pasta, pet food, etc. So if you see bugs crawling on surfaces near stored products, you can be sure that they are happily gorging on something in your pantry.  

Who chewed through the cardboard?

Since the bugs are really small and their eggs even smaller, it will be difficult to discover them unless you have a major infestation on your hands. A sure shot sign of their presence is visible entry or exit holes in the packaging of the stored products.

Is it getting hot in there?

If you have a severe infestation, products in your pantry will tend to overheat. Just checking the temperature of the bag of flour or box of cereal will alert you to the presence of bugs.

Now that you know there is an infestation in your pantry, you need to take appropriate action to get rid of it. If the infestation is too severe for you to handle or the bugs keep reappearing, your pantry will require insecticide application. To avoid misapplication, book a pest control professional. The experts at ServiceMarket can help you choose the most suitable pest control company in Dubai.

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