Insects can be almost anywhere, even live in our kitchens and pantries and infest the food stored there. You can find a variety of hard shell pests in the kitchen, which feed on rice, grains, spices and flour. Hygiene and exclusion are some ways to reduce pest infections in pantries.
Spider beetles are small insects that are 2 to 5 mm long. They are oval or round and have a hard brown shell. They are usually seen in stored foods and are the most common pests in warehouses that store large amounts of grains or seeds. The drugstore and cigarette beetles are also common kitchen pests with hard carapace. Both beetles are usually 1/8 inch (0.3 cm) long, brown or black and oval shaped. These beetles infect and feed on food stored in kitchens, warehouses and restaurants.
Spider beetles consume food both in adulthood and in the larval stage. You can also see them in dried fruits, dried mushrooms, grains, seeds and dried meats; as well as in objects that are not food, such as hair, feathers, books and animal excrement. The drug store beetles feed on bread and any type of dehydrated food product. According to the Oregon State University website, these beetles can drill aluminum foil to feed on the food inside, as well as chew and drill most of the wrapping materials. Cigarette beetles like tobacco, but they are also found in cereals, spices, peppers and pet foods inside homes.
Discard any food from your kitchen that has signs of this plague. Inspect all stored foods, as some infections are very large and can infect several products at once. Vacuum the shelves in your cupboard or closet and wash them with chlorine or another household cleaner. Place susceptible food items, such as dry foods and grains, in containers with tight-fitting lids to prevent future infestations.
Insecticides can be useful for controlling pandemic pest infections if they are used together with cleaning and hygiene methods. Spraying the corners and sockets of infected cupboards can eliminate loose insects. Be careful that there is no food when you spray with the insecticide. These products can only offer a temporary solution to pantry pests. Hygiene and inspection are necessary to prevent future infections.