Finding Bugs in Your Food? Here's What to Do

No one likes to find bugs in their food. And if you’ve ever opened up a canister of flour and found a bug inside, you’ve probably wondered how that insect got there in the first place.

Below, we’ve listed the most common pests found in food. We’ll even tell you how these bugs get inside your pantry and why you should call a pest control specialist for removal.

Types of Food Pests

Unfortunately, many different types of bugs could inhabit your pantry. Common food pests include:

  • Cigarette beetles
  • Drugstore beetles
  • Flour beetles
  • Granary weevils
  • Hide beetles
  • Indian meal moths
  • Khapra beetles
  • Maize weevils
  • Merchant grain beetles
  • Rice weevils
  • Saw-toothed grain beetles

Each insect prefers to eat a different type of food. For example, cigarette beetles like to snack on rice, spices, and dates. Drugstore beetles, on the other hand, enjoy dry pet food, cereal, and flour.

You won’t find food pests in just one type of food packaging. Because each insect eats different kinds of food, you’ll find them in flour containers, spice bottles, and even on pantry shelves.

Ways These Pests Get Inside Food Packaging

As previously mentioned, you can find food pests just about anywhere—even in an unopened package of rice or flour! But how do these pests get inside these containers?

One of the most common ways bugs get inside food is through defects in the packaging. Even small holes and tears provide these critters with an access point.

Additionally, some insects lay eggs on raw food, and those eggs survive the food packaging process. For example, if a flour beetle laid eggs on an ear of wheat, the eggs could still end up in ground flour. When those eggs hatch, the bugs have a large food supply to thrive off of.

Reasons to Eliminate Food Pests

Annually, food pests consume and damage at least 10% of the food produced worldwide. However, these pests also damage 30–50% of foods from subtropical and tropical farms.

In addition to causing this economic loss, food pests also contaminate food with fecal matter, molted skin, and webs. As a result, this tainted food is unhealthy to consume.

Ways to Prevent an Infestation

If you notice any pests in your food, take the following preventative steps:

  1. Package food in airtight containers.
  2. Store food in cool areas, as temperatures under 72 degrees Fahrenheit discourage food pest eggs from hatching.
  3. Inspect your food before you use it.

You can also call Greenleaf Organic Pest Control Management at 877-52-GREEN or 818-752-9989 to request one of our pest control services. We’ll send a specialist from our Los Angeles County office to your home as soon as possible.