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Pantry Pests – What’s Hiding in Your Pantry?


Particularly in Myrtle Beach, when you think of pantry pests, the first insect that comes to mind is likely the palmetto bug, or American cockroach. The truth is that there are other pests far more likely to be searching for a snack in your pantry. Moths, weevils, mites and beetles love a nice dark and well-stocked pantry. Here are just a few common ones to keep an eye out for – and what they look for in a meal.

Bean Weevil – As its name implies, the Bean Weevil’s preferred foods are beans. Nearly any kind of legume will do-kidney beans, dried peas, lentils, green beans and pinto beans are all on the menu for this pantry pest. They burrow into the bean as larvae and then feed on the inner portions of the bean until all that is left is the outer shell.

Indian Meal Moth – When many people think of moths, they’re reminded of the moth balls in grandma’s closet to protect her clothes. However, there are all different kinds of moths and some much prefer your pantry over your closet. The Indian Meal Moth isn’t terribly choosy about chowing down on whatever happens to be available in your pantry. This moth will dine on grains, corn, nuts and seeds, fruits, biscuits and baking mixes, chocolate, candy, dry dog or cat food and even dried red peppers.

Furniture Mites – Despite their name, Furniture Mites prefer damp, poorly-ventilated rooms like some old-style pantries to your sofa. These pests will eat flours and cereals but particularly enjoy anything that may have a bit of fungus or mold growing in it. They also taint the foods they get into and cause some rather uncomfortable gut irritation should you end up using it without realizing they’ve already had a bite.

Cheese Mites – You may not think about cheese in the pantry but we have all kinds of packaged goods these days with cheesy sauces (dried or pouch) and plastic containers of more shelf-stable grated cheeses. These pests also enjoy nuts, fruits and flour with their cheese. And like their friend, the Furniture Mite, they cause contamination that leads to gut irritation for people.

Drugstore Beetle (Biscuit Beetle) – Once common in the drug stores of yesteryear, these bugs are more interested in the packages themselves than what’s in them. A dinner of paper and cardboard is delectable to these beetles but they’re also known to partake in leather, wool, books, hair, dried plant material, seeds and spices.

Grain Beetles – The two most common grain beetles have similar interests in your pantry, however one flies (Merchant Grain Beetle) and one does not (Sawtoothed Grain Beetle). Both are known to chew through packaging, plastic bags and foil wraps to get at your stored stockpile. These pantry invaders obviously go for the grains but also cereals, flour, dried pasta, nuts, sugar, chocolate and even dried meats.

There are dozens of pantry pests that love nothing more than a tasty dinner in the dark wonderland of your pantry. The ones in our list are some of the more common you may find or hear of. Ultimately, bugs love food just as much as people, which means there are always unwelcome guests waiting for the opportunity to invite themselves to dinner.  If you have pantry pests that need to be eliminated, call The Pest Force at (843) 236-1286.