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Pantry Pests

Beetles, moths and weevils are the most common pantry pests found in Arizona but all types of insects and pests can be brought into your home in dry goods. Once in your pantry, pests like these will infest your cereals, flour, grains, rice, pastas, nuts, dried beans, dried fruits, crackers and cookies and any other dry foods you store in your pantry. Some pests are attracted to the fats in dog and cat food.

Entry: Pests associated with living in your pantry are usually brought in as eggs in your dry goods. Since adults are easier to spot, infested foods are often discarded prior to being sold. But the eggs are not as apparent and easily escape detection. Once in the cool dark spaces of your pantry, these pests will feast on your food items and reproduce rapidly.

Do-it-yourself Effectiveness: Inspect foods before storing them in your pantry. Transfer dry goods to an airtight container. If you find dry goods that have been invaded by pests, discard the food immediately in a sealed bag and away from your home to reduce the chance of them escaping and returning to your pantry. Dry goods stored near the infested foods should also be inspected. Look for holes in the outer packaging and signs of the bugs inside the bagged foods.

American Spider Beetle

The American Spider Beetle has a reddish-brown body with cream colored head and legs. It is most active at night or in dark spaces and prefers cool temperatures.

Foreign Grain Beetle

The Foreign Grain Beetle feeds on fungus and is a most notable nuisance when it invades commercial and residential buildings. The female Foreign Grain Beetle lays her eggs on fungus growing on wood that became wet during construction.

Red Confused Flour Beetle

The Red Flour Beetle and Confused Flour Beetle are easily confused as they are the same size and both are reddish-brown.

Warehouse and Cabinet Beetles

Warehouse and Cabinet Beetles are small with yellow mottled color patterns on oval-shaped, brownish-black bodies. The Warehouse Beetle is slightly smaller than the Cabinet Beetle.

Bean Weevil

Bean Weevils are petite, with a rounded, oval shaped body and a small head. They are black or brown to olive green, usually with a speckled pattern.

Indian Meal Moth

The Indian Meal Moth is a small gray moth with a rusty-brown coloring on the bottom third of its wings, making it easy to distinguish from other moth species. The adult is not a h3 flier and avoids light.

Rice and Granary Weevils

The Rice and Granary Weevils are similar in their development and habitat. The Rice Weevil is brown with four patches of light color on its wings, while the Granary Weevil is all brown.

Dried Fruit Beetle

The Dried Fruit Beetle has a black, oval body with two large yellow spots on its back. The female lays her eggs on fruit. Eggs and larvae may still be on the fruit when it is harvested.

Cigarette Beetle

The Cigarette Beetle is found worldwide and is considered a pest for invading stored dried foods such as flour, cereal, rice, nuts, beans, pet foods, and dried plants such as spices and tobacco. Its body is larger than its head, which it holds down, giving it a humped appearance.

Larder Beetle

The Larder Beetle is brown with a yellowish band across its back, with six brown spots on the band. The larvae are brown with yellowish stripes. The female Larder Beetle will lay her eggs on or near a food source.

Sawtoothed and Merchant Grain Beetles

The Sawtoothed and Merchant Grain Beetles are so similar in appearance that it may require a magnifying glass to tell them apart and their breeding and eating habits are very similar.

Drugstore Beetle

The Drugstore Beetle has a brown oval shaped body with grooves running down its back. Adults can fly and are attracted to light. Adults may be first noticed near windows or on windowsills.

Mediterranean Flour Moth

The adult Mediterranean Flour Moth is gray with sloping black lines on its wings that can be rubbed off. Its flight is more meandering than straight. The adults are drawn to light and are most active in the early hours of the day.

Shiny Spider Beetle

The Shiny Spider Beetle is a small, reddish-brown beetle with long legs and a shiny, rotund body. It prefers to live in dark, damp locations and hides during the day, coming out at night to scavenge for food.