Stored product pests
Stored product pests
Most stored product pests are very small insects and infest products like grain, flour, cheese and chocolate. They are sometimes brought into houses through packets like flour or sugar that has been infested elsewhere. Food factories, bakeries, supermarkets, suppliers, farmers and breeders all are bound by the Food Regulations and Environmental Health to ensure that the environment they produce their product in is the cleanest and most hygienic possible. One of the main aspects of this regime is pest control.
Controlling stored product pests/ larder beetles
The first step in controlling larder beetle infestations is locating the food source. Both larvae and adults tend to travel long distances, and finding one or two does not necessarily mean locating the infestation. In homes, inspect kitchen cabinets, shelves and spaces under ovens and refrigerators. Sheds where animal feed is stored should be inspected. Attics and basements should be checked for the presence of dead rodents, birds, bats or insects.
The best way to prevent and control larder beetle infestations is exclusion and good housekeeping practices. Keeping stored foods in tightly sealed containers and properly disposing of rubbish will eliminate smells that attract beetles. To prevent invasion from the outside, it is helpful to install tightly fitting door and window screens and seal all external holes and cracks.
Residual insecticides can be applied as dusts or sprays.
Always take great care when using insecticides, read and follow the instructions carefully.
- Do not use spray insecticides while children are in the room.
- Cover fish tanks when using sprays.
- Wash hands immediately after use.
Flour beetles are pests of flour and cereal products. They are common in homes and grocery stores. They also infest mills and food processing facilities.
These are small beetles. The adults are about 1/8" long. They are reddish brown in colour.
The flour beetles are a large group of insects. Flour beetles do not attack whole grains. The female beetle deposits eggs directly on flour, cereal, dry pet food, or other similar product. The females deposit a few eggs each day in the food that she is eating. The egg laying can last several months. The eggs are hard to see in flour or meal.
Adult flour beetles can crawl into packages that appear to be sealed. Infestations can easily spread from one product on a shelf to several different products. People can transport infested products from place to place. As they eat, the beetles cause flour to become discoloured and develop a disagreeable odour.
The larvae hatch and begin to eat the material where they hatched. The larvae are about 1/4" long. Flour beetles can develop from egg to adult in as little as seven weeks.
Controlling flour beetles starts with a thorough inspection. Every infested package should be thrown away. Vacuum the pantry and cabinet shelves. This will remove food particles. Store new food products in sealed containers to prevent new infestations.
Insecticide application is the last step. The insecticide should go into cracks and crevices. The object is to eliminate any flour beetles that may be hiding. The crack and crevice application requires special application equipment. It is advisable to call a pest control professional or the councils pest control service.