Every kind of pest needs a few basic things: shelter, water, and food.
Shelter and water can be easy enough to find, but food sources can be very diverse. Because of that, it’s helpful to divide pests into groups based on what they eat. For instance, pests that can scavenge human foods will tend to appear in your kitchen and pantry, and while they come from a variety of species you can count on them to have a few important things in common.
They Can Be Indirectly Harmful
Pests that can live on sugar, flour, cereal, and other pantry staples usually don’t have any interest in hurting humans or drinking our blood. They’re scavengers rather than parasites, so their preferred meals are things that will never try to escape or fight back. However, pests like rats and cockroaches can often carry diseases and transmit them to your food supply. If you notice these pests in your home, you should do something about them even if they would never hurt you directly.
Clean Kitchens Are Still Vulnerable
Even if you keep your countertops spotless, even if you wipe down your oven after every use, even if you sweep your floors and toss out every crumb you find, pantry pests can still find their way inside your kitchen. Depending on the species they might be able to burrow a hole through the wall behind your cabinets or squeeze through a crack near the floor, and they can survive and thrive in places too narrow for you to reach with a broom or cleaning supplies. Some pests can even enter your kitchen by hitching a ride on your produce.
Pantry Pests Aren’t Picky
As scavengers, most pantry pests can eat anything with a decent calorie count. Flour and cereal are preferable, but they can also go after dried fruits, nuts, beans, and even spices. Open containers are most likely to get their attention since they’re easy to enter and often spread a smell around, but pests can also chew their way into unopened containers. This is why many homeowners empty their flour, sugar, and other supplies into thick plastic, glass, or porcelain containers.
One Visible Pest Could Mean More
If you see an ant or a cockroach in a random part of your kitchen, it might not mean anything. It could be a stray insect that somehow got in by accident. However, if you spot a pest near your food supply or next to a window, it could be the first visible sign of a much bigger infestation. After all, scavenging pests stay safe by staying out of sight, so if one is visible it could mean the hiding places are already crowded.
If you spot a pantry pest like moths, weevils, or cockroaches in your kitchen, you should give your pantry area a thorough inspection. If you find more pests or more evidence of an infestation, contact a pest control service in your area right away. And if you live in Sunnyvale, Habitat Pest Control is happy to help.