What's This Bug In My Cereal?
Ew. Nothing takes away your appetite quite like pouring a bowl of cereal full of bugs. But what are these reddish-brown bugs making their way out of your pantry? Chances are they are beetles. There are several types of beetles that could be the culprit, but none are appetizing.
What Do Grain Beetles Look Like?
Grain beetles—whether saw-toothed, merchant grain or weevils—look pretty similar. Their color is generally brownish-red to black and their flat bodies grow to only about 1/10” long. They live in and feed off of grain and food products; laying their eggs, living and dying in the same place.
Where Do Grain Beetles Come From?
Many people are surprised to find that grain beetles have staked a claim in their pantry, despite never seeing them crawling in there. Most likely this is because the beetles came in with the cereal, flour or grains they are feeding on. Gross. Grain beetles are found worldwide in food storage facilities, and most often ship right along with the products you are expecting to eat and enjoy.
How Do I Get Rid of Beetles In My Pantry?
There are several ways to protect yourself from the scourge of grain beetles.
- Whenever possible, check food before bringing it home. This may not be feasible sometimes, but signs of grain beetles can sometimes be seen outside the storage containers, so if you notice any beetles on the store shelf, do yourself a favor and do not buy.
- Throw out infested food. If you find an egg or adult beetle in your food, get rid of it right away. If it was in your cupboard, do a thorough inspection of other foods stored nearby and throw out any other suspicious items.
- Clean your pantry shelves throughly. Once you’ve eliminated the contaminated food, vacuum the shelves, making sure to get into any cracks or crevices that escapees may be hiding in. Once you’ve vacuumed, wipe down the shelves with a solution of dish soap and water and allow it to dry.
- Check your spice rack. Sometimes even the most fastidious homeowner overlooks hiding places, like spices or candy which may be stored outside of the pantry. Grain beetles are flexible eaters who may find food outside the typical cereals.
- Store food in solid, airtight containers. This is important for the prevention of many pests, and always a good idea. If you should unsuspectingly transport beetles in one food item, they will be unable to infest another if it is stored properly.
- Call Ace Walco for a free inspection and helpful advice. Our pest experts have the tools to identify, treat and eliminate grain beetles and other pantry pests. Give us a call today!