Common Pests in the Pantry and How to Deal with Them

Everything You Need to Know About Pantry Pests

Common pantry pests like cockroaches, rodents, and houseflies not only contaminate your food but also predispose you to a wide range of diseases. While you can use DIY products in some cases, you may want to hire pest control experts if the problem has turned into a full-blown infestation. 


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Below is the list of the most common pantry pests and the corresponding solutions to eliminate these creepy creatures. 




House cockroaches, also called German cockroaches, are particularly attracted to your kitchen because of the excess moisture, garbage, dirty dishes in the sink, leftover or pet food in containers, and crumbs on the floors and counters. 


Cockroaches not only contaminate your food and drinks, but they also cause a nasty allergic reaction in some people. 


In the event of a cockroach infestation, you will most likely need multiple pest control systems. 

  • Caulk gaps and crevices around cabinet doors, drawers, and walls to prevent further infestation. 
  • Place traps and bait stations in high traffic areas. 
  • Boric acid is often added to make gel baits more effective. 
  • Removing trash and food debris and practicing regular sanitation in your home is the best way to make your kitchen unattractive to cockroaches and other pantry pests. 



Mice and rats pose a serious health risk since they carry up to 70 diseases, some of which can be transmitted to people. Hence, it is advisable to call pest control services if you see any telltale sign of rat infestation–e.g., droppings, holes chewed through walls, scratching noises, and chewed packaging. 


While rat poison may seem like a cheap solution, it is not always advisable because it poses a significant danger to children and pets that may accidentally ingest this highly toxic chemical. Meanwhile, a safer and more effective method is to use mechanical traps.


To prevent other animals from getting into the rat traps, place these inside a milk carton or a box. 


Sealing gaps and practicing sanitation in your home are equally important to prevent reinfestation. 


Different house ant species have their preferred food supplies. For instance, crazy ants like sweets, while rover ants are drawn to meat and other protein sources. 


One way to prevent them from taking over your kitchen is to remove food supplies, i.e., store them in air-tight containers made of glass or plastic. You can also use indoor ant baits if the infestation has gotten so bad. 


“Classic” pantry insects 

Pests such as flour beetles, drugstore beetles, rice weevils, sawtoothed grain beetles, and warehouse beetles, Indian meal moths, and mealworms are the “classic” pantry pests because of their rapid population growth and ability to contaminate and wipe out in no time a pack of flour, rice and other grains, pasta, dry nuts, seeds, cereals, herbs and spices, and fruits. 


To prevent infestation, place cereals, grains, and pasta in air-tight containers and store dried fruits, nuts, and powdered milk in your fridge. 


Many pantry pests hitchhike into your kitchen in infested flour and other food supplies. Hence, make it a habit to check your grocery items before you store them in a container or cabinet. 


If you see any sign of infestation, put the tainted food in a sealed bag and throw it far from your house. You should also vacuum your pantry and wipe it with soap and water. 


In some cases, you can salvage part of the tainted food by deep-freezing it for 3-4 days or leaving it in the oven at 120 degrees for an hour. 


To learn more about pantry pest control treatments, call Pest Be Gone at (916) 257-4942. This Rocklin-based pest control expert uses eco-friendly products and low-hazard chemicals to reduce the impact on beneficial insects and other non-target animals.