Keeping Pantry Pests Out of Your DC-Area Home


Home Pest Control    Indian Meal Moths   
indian meal moth crawling in dc snow

Keeping Pantry Pests Out of Your DC-Area Home

Are you familiar with what a pantry pest is? While there are many pests that can get into your pantry and contaminate your food, pantry pests are a little bit different. They don't come in, eat your food, and leave. They actually lay their eggs in your food. The most common pantry pests are Indian meal moths, several species of weevils, and several species of beetles. In commercial pest control, we call these stored-product pests. So, when searching for information on the internet, you may find them under this classification. While disgusting, pantry pests aren't as much of a threat as other pests that can get into your pantry food such as cockroaches, mice, rats, etc. Pantry pests don't go from your trash-can to your stored foods and back again. But that shouldn't make you feel any better when you open up a food package and find bugs or webbing inside. Today, we're going to look at a few methods for keeping pantry pests out of your DC-area home.
There are two ways pantry pests will get into your home. They will come in from the outside and find their way into areas of stored food or they will be carried into your home with your groceries.
Keeping Pantry Pest Outside
  • The screens on your doors and windows are your first line of defense when it comes to pantry pests. Make sure all of your screens are in good condition. It doesn't take much of a hole for one of these pests to get in. So look closely.
  • When you come in and out of your home, pests can come in with you. Keep doors open only long enough to allow yourself to go in and out. And bear in mind that it is not usually safe to keep the door open between your home and the garage. Most garages are not nearly as sealed from insects as a home is.
  • Pantry pests can get into your home in many of the ways other pests get in. The seal around window frames, gaps in weather stripping around doors, damaged door sweeps, and holes created by other pests.

Keeping Pantry Pests From Hitchhiking

  • Examine all food packages before purchasing them from the store. If you see any damage or any holes, pantry pests could have gotten in.
  • Check the expiration dates on the items you purchase. Many pantry pests a drawn to decaying foods.
  • Keep a watchful eye as you shop. Noticing and recognizing a tiny Indian meal moth sitting on a shelf could help you prevent an infestation.

Pantry Management

There are many ways to make your pantry less susceptible to pantry pests. We have offered up many fun storage solutions to keep these pests out in previous articles. These help to stop pantry pests from spreading from package to package. It is also a good practice to do the following:
  • Put new items toward the back and old items toward the front. This will ensure that you use those old items first.
  • Do a routine check of due dates and throw out any items that are past due. The smell of pantry items that are past due can lure pantry pests into your pantry.
  • Clean your shelves routinely to remove powders and food particles.
  • Clean your floors to get any foods that have fallen.
  • Keep it dry in your pantry. High humidity is a threat to your foods and an invitation for pantry pests. Fans and a dehumidify can help keep things dry.
  • Never mix old foods with recently purchased foods.
  • Check that link for fun storage solutions. When you put your pantry foods in sealed, plastic containers, you keep the smells in and the pantry pests out. You'll also preserve your food and make it stay fresh longer. Just be sure to put the due date on the outside of your plastic containers.
If you ever have a pantry pest infestation take root in your home, remember that the pest professionals here at American Pest are standing by to help. Pantry pests are pernicious. But we know what works to eliminate those pests completely. We service the DC-area, Maryland and Northern Virginia with industry-leading pest solutions. Reach out to us for immediate assistance. 


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