Insects on a food cupboard.

Bugs In My Food Cupboard.

Store Product Pests.

There is a wide range of pests that survive living off food produce found in your food cupboard. These are known as Store Product Pests. Normally these cupboard bugs are introduced by accident such as purchasing a contaminated packet of store product from a shop. This could be a bag of flour, dry foods or dried fruits for example.

Once a store food pest has has access to food it will lay eggs and before you know it you have an infestation. It could be as simple as how you store your flour in the cupboard. Storing grain products is another common cause of infestation without even knowing. This is in the form of door stops or microwavable bed warmers which have a grain or bean content. Weevils like to infest these types of product.

The blog is about a recent case study in which Pest-Tech Ltd were called out to a cupboard insect pest problem in a kitchen. We will cover the following:

  • Pest Control Case Study.
  • Food Source for Store Product Pests.
  • The Tobacco Beetle.
  • Confused Flour Beetle.
  • Treatment For a Store Product Pest.


A sample of confused Flour Beetle
A sample of confused Flour Beetle found in a bag of sugar.

Pest Control Case Study.

Recently a customer in which we deliver an annual service contract to, called us to inform us they were finding small little bugs in their kitchen. We arranged a visit that day and requested they left everything as it was, so we were able to get a true picture of what was happening. On arrival to the site it was evident that there were several different species of store product pests present and because the activity levels around certain products it was clear what produce should be checked first.

Tobacco Beetle living on cereal
Tobacco Beetle living on cereal from a contaminated food packet.

Food Source for Store Product Pests.

First was a packet of cereal that had been opened and not secured. Checking the date of the product it was 5 years out of date. On decanting some product to inspect more closely it was amazing to see how much damage the pests had done. On inspection of the store product pest it was apparent that it was Tobacco Beetle. As you can see this reddish brown beetle has been eating the cereals whilst the population of this store pest has grown.

Tobacco beetle on a cereal
Tobacco beetle on a cereal from an infested food cupboard.

The Tobacco Beetle.

The Tobacco Beetle gets its name from attacking stored tobacco but also infests a wide variety of products and in this case, it was the cereal. Other food sources include flour, pet food, spices and pasta. Whilst inspecting the pest sample a couple of them flew which was good confirmation as the adult beetles are strong fliers. They are very active in dull light and when disturbed, adult beetles play dead for a few moments.

Tobacco Beetle
Tobacco Beetle

Confused Flour Beetle.

The second product that was inspected due to high levels of activity was bags of sugar that had just been brought from a superstore. Samples were taken from inside the sugar as there were lots of them. Under the microscope it was clear that the second store product pest was a confused flour beetle. They normally infest cereals or grains but like most store products. Once they have been introduced to an area, they will then contaminate everything. Judging by the small amount of time this product had been in the kitchen it was suggested that a bag was contaminated in the store as a sealed bag had over 40 inside.

Confused Flour Beetle found in a food cupboard
Confused Flour Beetle

Treatment For a Store Product Pest.

With most store product pests, if they are caught early enough then the treatment is reasonably straight forward.

  • Remove product and its packaging from cupboard.
  • Double bag the product ensuring the bags are secure.
  • Place in an outside bin.
  • Remove all other contents of the cupboard and inspect for contamination of any other pantry pests.
  • Place all other products in secure plastic air tight containers.
  • Clean out cupboard using a antibacterial spray and ensure that all adult beetles and larvae have been removed.
  • Finally place contents back in cupboard and monitor regularly for repeat activity.

If you are unable to deal with the problem or don’t fill confident you know what to do then we are on hand to help with the problem. If the store product pests were not able to be identified on site, we have the facilities to be able to send them away for insect id by a trained entomologist. In this case we were able to identify all insects present and following the treatment above the store product pest infestation was resolved with no further action required. If you have a pest in your food cupboard or store, then Pest Tech can help you to resolve your problem.

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