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DIY Pantry Moth ControlHow To Control Pantry Pests

Since over 80% of our human food is from grains such as rice, wheat, corn and sorghum, it is no wonder that most of us will have a pantry pest infestation at some point in our lives. An infestation usually occurs either in grocery stores or at home where foods stay untouched for long periods of time.

Uninfested products can be quickly taken over by pantry pests if they are not stored and sealed properly in tight and hard cased containers. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to treat these buggers and keep your pantry pest-free. Solutions Pest & Lawn offers easy-to-use and easy-to-apply professional pest control products for all your pantry pest needs. Our products and guides are proven to work because we know what we’re doing.

Browse our products below and as always you can contact us if you are in need of suggestions of the pantry pest control products for you.

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How to Get Rid of Pantry Pests: Solutions' 4-Step Process:

Step One:  Identify the source of the infestation and remove the product from your pantry or storage area. We also recommend that all opened food containers be stored in airtight containers. By doing this step you can prevent further infestation. Completing this step properly is half the battle. Placing items in the freezer for at least 48 hours is also a great way to kill any pantry pests.


Step Two:  Once you have decluttered your pantry and removed unwanted foods and foods you feel are infested, it's time to do a thorough cleaning job of your pantry. Empty the shelves Vacuum and clean the shelves and surfaces of the pantry. If necessary, use caulking on the cracks and crevices of the shelves and apply fresh paint. We recommend immediately changing the bag in the vacuum and cleaning your vacuum thoroughly before using again. Also wash the inside of the pantry or cabinet with soap and water, then with a weak bleach solution. If your shelving is adjustable, clean out the little peg holes with a toothpick.Those are notorious for collecting moth eggs and webs.


Step Three: Apply a residual insecticide spray like Novacide Flea & Tick Killer or CB PCO Insect Fogger then follow up with an insect growth regulator such as, Gentrol Point Source IGR, which is also available in an aerosol spray and has a crack and crevice tip for easy application. Use pheromone specific traps to catch adult beetles and moths that are moving about in your pantry. 


Step Four: Give the product some time to work. Depending on the size of infestation it may take either a few weeks or up to six months to eliminate all the moths and larvae that are present. Regularly clean the pantry of any spills and clutter. Dispose of old unwanted food and seal all cracks and crevices with caulk and paint in your pantry to ensure no areas of harborage are available and make cleaning up a breeze. When stocking your pantry, make sure you dont overstock with food and just buy enough food for the short-term so there isn't so much clutter.


Check Out How to Get Rid of Pantry Moths


Learn All You Need To Know About Pantry Pests

Your kitchen pantry is the place where people usually store all of their favorite foods, snacks and dried ingredients and grains. This should be a safe place for keeping these foods but if nasty bugs such as pantry pests have infiltrated your food storage area, all of your yummy foods are at risk of being contaminated!

Pantry pests is a catch-all term which describes a class of numerous insects which are notorious for getting into contained dried foods and contaminating them with their feeding habits and unsanitary presence.

There are a large number of different types of insects which qualify as pantry pests. These include: Rice Weevils, Granary Weevils, Grain Moths, Grain Bores, Drugstore Beetles, Tobacco Beetle, Indian Meal Moth, Confused Flour Beetle, Red Flour Beetles and many other species and variants. 

Pantry pests are usually not picky eaters but they do have an appetite for dried foods that we enjoy. This is largely because these foods are tucked away in secluded spaces where these bugs can feed undisturbed for long periods of time.

Some human foods which pantry pests enjoy are  flour, cereal, dry pasta, powdered milk, cornstarch, crackers, spices, bread, rice, dried nuts and fruit. Some even enjoy clothes and cotton fabric materials.

Where Do Pantry Pests Come From?

Nearly 80% of food that humans regularly consume come from grains, such as rice, wheat, corn and sorghum. Due to this fact and the fact that pantry pests have an affinity for these type of foods, it should surprise no one that most people sooner or later suffer from a pantry pest problem at some point in their life.

Pantry pest infestations often take place when you go to grab an item from the supermarket that may have been packaged with pantry pests inside or they can occur in your own home from foods that are old and have been untouched or has not been properly sealed and closed in a tight fitting container.

A dried food product does not even have to be infested in the first place by pantry pests as they can be easily overtaken by hungry pantry pests if the proper precautions are not taken via using hard plastic containers.

Thankfully though, there are some simple techniques and products you can use to get rid of pantry pests and protect your pantry foods from contamination.Solutions Pest & Lawn offers conveniently easy to apply professional pest control products to address whatever pantry pest problem you may have.

Behaviors and Habits of Pantry Pest

What most homeowners find which signals to them the presence of a pantry pest problem is the  appearance of either an adult pantry moth or an adult pantry beetle. The most common pantry pest is known as the Indian meal moth.

This pantry moth is notorious for finding its way into grain products such as cereals and whole grains, but they are also known to contaminate dried fruits, nuts, seeds, spices, and even pet foods.

No matter what type of pantry pest you may have, they all go through a complete metamorphosis (egg, larvae, pupae, adult). When it comes to what phase does the most damage, it is by far the larvae phase.

During the larvae stage, pantry moths and other pantry pests devour anything and everything that is within their reach. Due to how tiny they are, pantry pests can go undetected for wide periods of time and are often only encountered when a homeowner opens up a particular food which has been infested.

As soon as they pour that bowl of cereal, the homeowner is in for a frightening discovery, when out comes wiggling and slimy larvae. Gross!

Perhaps what is most alarming about pantry pests is their ability to burrow through hard materials. While pantry pests usually infest open containers of stored food products, they do have the capability to drill their way through brand new unopened packages of food.

There have been numerous recorded instances of pantry pests tearing their way through cardboard, thin plastic, and foil to satisfy their hunger. Once they have gained access to a food product, they begin to multiply and spread to other foods in the pantry!

In fact, all stages of the pantry pest life cycle can be found (egg, larva, pupa, and adult) within the same food source, eating away at it or laying eggs in it.

Aside from making the food in our pantries unfit to eat, pantry pests pose no threat to humans. They don’t sting or bite nor can they inflict damage to the structure of a home.


Identifying Pantry Pests

When carrying out a pantry pest control program, it’s important to first confirm whether the insects you are encountering in your pantry are pantry pests or an entirely different invasion which can also find their way into your pantry foods such as ants or roaches.

As always, if you are having trouble identifying the pest yourself using this guide, you can always call or email us at identification@solutionsstores.com and we will identify the pest and offer you helpful suggestions on treatment using our wide selection of control products.

Indian meal moths are the most common pantry pest which can be found infiltrating pantries and getting into food packaging. Indian meal moths have two pairs of wings which can differ in size. Pantry moths are brightly colored with differing shades of grey or brown to reddish brown.

Moths, as we mentioned earlier, do the majority of their damage at the larval stage, gobbling up dried foods in your pantry with an insatiable appetite. Pantry moth larvae are cream colored worms and can have either a yellow, pink, green, or brown hue and can grow up to 1/2 inch long. After the larvae phase, the moth becomes a caterpillar. These pests contaminate more food than they actually eat. In adulthood, they do not eat.

Sawtoothed grain beetles have a slender, flat bodies and are colored a dark brownish red. What makes these beetles stand out is their namesake, their teeth, which are serrated and look similar to saws.

Sawtoothed grain beetles are cream colored when in the larval phase of their development and are 1/8th of an inch which makes them tough to spot. Sawtoothed grain beetles commonly infest foods such as  dried fruit, cereals, nuts, dried meat, macaroni, and seeds.

Drugstore beetles and cigarette beetles are about an 1/8th inch long, and have oval-shaped bodies. These beetles are both capable of flying and can be found hanging around windows. They get their names from the places that they have been reported to commonly infest.

The drugstore beetle have been known to infest old over the counter meds on shelves and even stored tobacco, much like the cigarette beetles. Aside from feeding on what is described in their names, drugstore beetles and cigarette beetles also consume dried plant products such as spices, macaroni and other grain based foods, dried flowers, tobacco products, and even items made from paper like the pages of a book.

Flour beetles are also a brownish red color and oval shaped. When living as larvae, they are shaped like a cylinder with pointed spines at the end and are cream colored. Due to how small they are in size during the larvae stage, they can go easily undetected by homeowners.

Weevils (which can fall under granary, rice weevils or maize weevils) are thin pests with a nose that sticks out. Often colored dark brown, weevils sometimes also have four orange colored marks on the wing covers. As larvae, weevils are white and wrinkly and are often found inside of corn kernels or seeds.

Weevils target only whole grains or seeds, leaving small round exit holes in infested kernels. On rare occasions they can also be found eating nuts, dried fruits, macaroni, and flour.

These are just a few of the main pantry pest culprits. You can find out more varieties of common pantry pests by checking out the various subcategories on this page.

Inspecting For Pantry Pests

After the pantry pests you are dealing with have been properly identified, the next step is to conduct a thorough and detailed inspection of your pantry. Here are some of the tasks you should carry out when doing a pantry pest inspection:

Locate and discard the source of the infestation. This is perhaps the most important tasks of the inspection phase of control. Finding the food item or package where pantry pests are crawling around and consuming has been contaminated and needs to be tossed.

It is important however to check all of your other pantry foods and leave no stone unturned. This may be a tedious task or take a lot of time but it’s better to be thorough than deal with pantry pests later because you weren’t.

Check pasta, cereal, grains, whatever you have since as mentioned earlier, they are capable of burrowing through thin plastic and cardboard to get to food they are targeting so even if something is closed or brand new doesn’t mean they haven’t snuck their way into the food item.

If you want to save time you can just go ahead and throw out everything you have. Most people would rather not do this because of all the loss of food you paid for but if the pantry pest infestation is severe enough, it may have to be considered.

Any food which you decide to keep that is not infested should be stored in tight containers that are hard to tamper. You don’t want to keep them in the original flimsy cardboard containers that they are found in after knowing pantry pests can cut holes into them to feed.

We recommend purchasing containers that are made of hard material such as hard plastic, ceramic or glass. As long as it has a tight fitting lid, it’ll suffice. We do stress not to mix older food with newer food to reduce risk of unknowingly spreading the infestation.


Pantry Pest Control Measures 

Solutions Pest & Lawn carries a variety of pantry pest treatment products and have created helpful kits and guides to assist you in executing successful DIY pantry pest control. We recommend that prior to using any chemicals, you would need to first is empty out, vacuum and sanitize your pantry with cleaning products.


One of the best products to control a pantry pest problem are pheromone traps. Pheromone traps attract and trap the pantry pest and can lure an unsuspecting pantry pest with the attractant to a glue trap which they won’t be able to escape.


Insecticide treatments are another solid treatment method for controlling your pantry pest issue. We offer fogging spray products which offer no residual control but act as a fumigant to be sprayed. We also carry contact spray insecticides which can be applied to the cleaned out pantry as well as crack and crevice sprays.


Insect Growth Regulators sprays are another useful tool in eliminating pantry pests which haven’t yet reached the larval stage. Eggs are often deposited in cracks and corners of a pantry if they are not deposited in the food itself so Insect Growth Regulators can provided an extra layer of control on top of a residual spray.

In Short, to achieve the best success in controlling pantry pests using chemical products we suggest following these easy steps.


  1. Locating the source of the infestation and immediately discard it. This achieves half the battle against a pantry pest infestation.

  2. Complete a total decluttering of your pantry and either trash everything or check each and every box to ensure they are not infested. Then follow up with vacuuming and cleaning up pantry shelves and surfaces.

  3. Apply a residual insecticide spray. An easy to use aerosol is usually the best option then follow up with an Insect Growth Regulator, which is also available in an aerosol spray and has a crack and crevice tip for easy application.

  4. Use pheromone traps to catch adult pantry beetles and pantry moths that are traveling in your home.

Preventing Pantry Pests

After the pantry pest issue has been managed via control measures and clean up, your pantry pest issues should be no more. However, you can’t be secure in thinking pantry pests won’t make a return.

All it takes is unknowingly grabbing an infested product from the supermarket that accidently packaged a pantry pest or a pantry pest was able to get into for the problem to come back.

Luckily, there are some things you can do to reduce the infestation.

  • -When shopping at the grocery store, do not buy food in bulk amounts but rather buy enough food that you will use and consume in a short time. This will make it so food doesn’t just stay sitting for a long duration in your pantry and making them susceptible to an infestation.

  • -Check products before you purchase them. Now we are not saying open up a box of cereal you haven’t even bought yet since that would be wrong but you can check for signs of possible infestation or contamination by checking if package seals have been broken or if holes have been made.

  • -Store non-infested foods in tightly closed glass, ceramic or hard plastic containers especially for foods that you know you will not eat quickly. You can also store susceptible foods in the refrigerator or freezer.

  • -Regularly clean your pantry, sweep up crumbs and spills as soon as they happen and discard old food that you don’t wish anymore. and remove old unused food you don’t want anymore.




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