Preventing uninvited guests

You notice moths flying around the kitchen and pantry. Maybe you see them hovering around the light over the kitchen table or at a window. That is solid proof that you have Indian meal moth lurking in some leftover flour products.

Pantry pests are those tiny grain beetles and flour moths that use the leftover flour to feed on and live in. This situation is more common than you think.

Where do the pests come from? They likely came from a contaminated product purchased and carried into your home. They occur in a wide range of products including birdseed, dry dog food, dried flower arrangements, etc. Grain products like cornmeal, cereal, flour, grits, pasta and cake mixes can all contain the pests.

To keep infestations at bay, store open food items in airtight plastic or glass containers. Store flour products in the refrigerator or freezer. Clean any spills and crumbs right away.

To clean your pantry, vacuum the area and wash with hot, soapy water being sure to get under the shelves and in any crevices. Throw away expired items and make sure your storage containers aren’t damaged. Any open packages are an invitation for the pests.

Source: U of I Extension