Recognizing & Controlling Common Stored Food Pests

Recognizing & Controlling Common Stored Food PestsStored food pests are exactly what they sound like, pests that are found in dry foods that are usually stored for extended periods of time. These pests are often found in homes after being transported there in food from grocery stores, however, they may come from outside when potential sources of nutrition are sensed by the insects.

Also known as pantry pests, they can cause a number of issues, the most obvious being spoiled food. Being able to recognize the pests you've spotted in your home will help to narrow down where they may be coming from. This will better allow for a professional pest control team to eliminate them in a quick and efficient manner. In Sacramento, three of the most common stored food pests are the Indian meal moth, weevil and the flour beetle.

Indian Meal Moth

The Indian meal moth is one of the most common insects to be found in homes. It's most identifying feature is its two-toned copper and tan wing pattern. Favorite snacks of this type of moth include cereals, bread, grains, nuts and animal food such as bird seen or dog food. Larvae are pale and creamy in color and stretch between 9 and 19 millimeters. You will see these moths gathering mostly in your cabinet areas near their food source. However, they can venture out placing cocoons near where the walls and ceilings meet. Adult moths are nocturnal, but they'll take flight in daylight when necessary.


The weevil is a small beetle that rarely grows to be more than six millimeters long. They are dark with brown and black coloring. With more than 97,000 varieties of weevils, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly which one has infected your home. In any case, it is important to remove them. There are many variety of plant feeding weevils that may be attracted to your home during the winter months, looking for shelter. But in the case of stored food pests there are Rice weevils who can be brought in to the home from foods, in food packaging. In some cases, they may also come inside from a nearby garden or fruit tree. Though weevils are very small in size, they can make an appearance with great numbers.

Flour Beetle

As their name suggests, flour beetles are commonly found in flour. A variety of grains and cereals will fill their stomachs just fine. The two most common are the confused flour beetle and the red flour beetle. These beetles are brown with a reddish hue and their flattened, oval shaped body are often described as shiny. They are a winged insect that will grow to be about 1/8th of an inch in length. As the others, they can come in to your home from your store bought packaged dry foods. You may notice these beetles in your food packaging or cabinets, or in your flour they can create discoloration and odor.

In all cases of stored food pests, be sure to inspect your dried food packages closely when purchasing. Make sure foods at home are sealed properly. If you notice signs of an infestation immediately discard any contaminated or infested food/packaging. Clear out infested areas, vacuum and clean, discarding of the waste outside of the home. Further action may be needed with a professional pest control treatment if the pests have gotten into unreachable cracks and crevices.

If you have spotted any of these pantry pests and need professional pest control in Sacramento or the surrounding communities do not hesitate to contact Direct Hit Pest Control. We utilize safe and effective methods of removing pests from homes and offices, ensuring a healthy living environment. To learn more, or to request an estimate from an expert pest control business in Rio Linda, Sacramento or the neighboring towns, call us at (916) 992-6870 and we'd be happy to help!

Direct Hit Pest Control Blog

Written and Published By MORBiZ