Pantry Pests Outside of the Pantry

By Chris Williams on November 2, 2011.

When you see tiny beetles or moths in your kitchen, you immediately think that you have infested food products. Usually, that’s the case. But sometimes, so-called pantry pests are infesting items other than packaged food. The only requirement for the pest is that the item be made of plant or animal materials. There are many items around a house that fit these criteria but are often overlooked. Sometimes, a pantry pest infestation will start in food packages in the kitchen, but will then spread into other items in the home. If you have persistent beetles or moths that are nowhere near your kitchen, there is no doubt a less obvious, secondary food source.

Indian-meal-mothProbably the most common secondary infestation site for pantry pests is dry pet food or bird seed. These items may be stored in the kitchen or pantry, but are just as often kept in a basement, garage, or laundry room. Open bags of dry dog or cat food are a favorite food of many pantry pests such as Indian meal moths, grain beetles and grain moths, warehouse beetles, and others.

The list of household items that can be infested by pantry pests is long. Below are just some of the possibilities. If you have a pantry pest problem, give Colonial a call. Our trained technicians will go through the entire list, checking each item to find the source of your pest infestation.

  • bean bag toys and chairs
  • bean or seed mosaic pictures
  • dead animals in voids, attics, or crawls
  • drugs (especially old and opened)
  • felt pads in a piano or other instrument
  • fertilizer or bone meal
  • fish or turtle food
  • furniture stuffing (old, natural such as horsehair or feathers)
  • furs, skins, horns, hair, feathers, bristles
  • hair and lint in crevices
  • insect displays or collections
  • jewelry made with seeds or beans
  • leather goods (especially in storage)
  • nests of birds, rodents, wasps, bees, bats
  • popcorn used as packing material
  • rodent bait
  • smoked and dried meats
  • tobacco
  • trophy heads mounted on walls
  • seeds and bulbs stored for the garden
  • table centerpiece with seeds/nuts/gourds


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