Pantry Pests & How to Get Rid of Them

grain beetlesPantry pests is a term used to describe a group of pests that like to feed on stored foods. There are hundreds of different species of these annoying insects, but the most common include grain moths, rice weevils, grain beetles, granary weevils, and rain bores. If you don’t want to open a bag of flour and notice something crawling inside, you should know how to prevent pantry pests.

Identifying Pantry Pests


Moths vary in appearance and size depending on the species, but most pantry moths are smaller than two centimeters. They have two pairs of wings, are covered in scales, and are usually gray or brown to reddish brown in color. Pantry moths usually fed on a variety of flour, seeds, and grain products.


There are a number of different species of pantry beetles, and they all have different behaviors, diets, and habitats. This is one of the reasons why calling a pest control professional when you notice an infestation is so important. The most common pantry beetles are grain beetles, which are oval in shape and reddish-brown or black in color.


Granary, rice, and maize weevils are dark brown insects with orange spots on the wing covers. They usually attack whole grains or seeds. Grain weevils can’t fly, while rice weevils have the ability to fly.

Places to Look for Pantry Pests

If you suspect you have pantry pests, thoroughly inspect all dry food in your pantry. Moths, for example, like to hide out in rice, flour, and cereal, but you should also check your pet food as well as every open bag or container that contains food. It’s the same with weevils and beetles, so the most important thing is to check all food sources in your pantry and throughout your kitchen.

How to Get Rid of Pantry Pests

  • Check all food items for contamination and throw out those that are infested. If something doesn’t appear to be infested, but you’re still concerned we recommend being safe rather than sorry and throwing it away.
  • After throwing away infested food items, your next step is a thorough cleaning. Take absolutely everything off the shelves and vacuum them. Make sure to get all the cracks to remove all food bits. After vacuuming, scrub the shelves with hot water and soap with a disinfecting solution and make sure you also get the door hinges and door jamb.
  • Wash old food containers thoroughly.
  • Seal any existing cracks in your pantry shelves to prevent future infestations.
  • Transfer all your food into containers with air-tight lids.
  • Inspect any grains and rice before you buy them and bring them home.

If you have an infestation that grows beyond your control, the best solution is to call a pest control professional. Don’t try to deal with it on your own since it can be hard to remove pantry pests permanently without proper treatment.

Proudly serving the greater Chicagoland area in Illinois and southeast Wisconsin, the professional exterminators at Aerex Pest Control understand the habits of different pests and use that knowledge when developing pest control program that is best suited to your home and your particular problem. Our technicians are professional, state certified, licensed applicators. Call today for your free consultation 847-255-8888 or click here for a free quick quote.

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