Control and Prevention Measures for Stored Products

You will find stored products pest almost in every home at some point. Many people do not recognize why they occur or how to identify and control them. Most of the pests are transported to homes from warehouses and stores. Others appear at home from products that have been stored for long.

You know that incidence when you see a moth moving around the lighting or television at night. The kind which turns into powder when squished, or the moment you measure flour to make some pancakes or cookies and see some brown insects floating on the flour. That is a sign that you are infested with these pests. If you find the same bug repeatedly in your home, it is an indication of product pests’ problem.

Pantry pests are more common in the food storage areas whereas fabric pests are commonly found in closets or regions with sources of leather or natural fiber. However, they could also be in other sectors, for example, some pantry pests can infest in an area where there is an animal carcass such as a rat or mouse that had died somewhere in the house, and fabric pests can be spotted anywhere in the house. The following is a list of the product pests and how to control them.


Indiana moths

They can be either pantry or fabric pests. They come in different color patterns, size and behavior which can help to identify which area they prefer to attack. There is the Indiana meal moth which is the most common indoor pest. It is identified by its two-toned colors, tan and copper wing pattern. It feeds on dry fruits, chocolate, powder, dog food, nuts and a variety of grain products.


You must be able to identify this pest and locate all the infested food products. Use of insecticide sprays is not necessary. Removing an old infested bag of grain foods is enough. If the infestation is high, you can apply pesticide to the corners and cracks around the food bag. You can use Pyrethrin, resmethrin, allethrin and tetramethrin since they are safe to use in the kitchen and food storage areas.

Clothes moths

This kind of insect can be recognized from their small size, the shape of wings and their secretive nature. Adult clothes moths are rare to find since they avoid light and are mostly active at night. The larvae feed commonly on protein-based fibers such as carpets, pet hair, fur and woolen clothes.


Dry cleaning can kill all types of moths, but it is not an efficient way of infestation prevention. The best way is to put all the dry-cleaned items in a cold environment like in a sealed airtight container protected with fumigants. Keeping the decorations made from clothing materials in cedar wood closet does not protect them from moths adequately unless if it is a freshly chipped wood, and the container is tightly closed. The infested decorations can be sealed and put in a freezer about -4 to -20 degrees for about a week to kill eggs and larvae. You can also use heat since cloth moths are killed by exposure to 122 degrees for a few minutes.


Many kinds of beetles are found in the pantry and stored foods. They include drugstore beetles, cigarette, ladder beetles, mealworms, weevils and the saw-toothed grain beetles. They feed on a broad variety of stored grains, fruits, powdered milk, dried meat or dead animals and insects.

Control and prevention

Their control measures are like that of pantry-infesting moths. You need to start by locating the infestation source and seal the un-infested foods in tight air containers like thick plastic or metal containers. Inspect the cracks where there could be food debris and check under the cabinets to see if there are any food spillage. Vacuum clean the cabinets. If the infestation is heavy, you may need to use insecticide sprays.

Carpet beetles

These bugs feed on any source of animal protein like milk, cheese products, and dried meat. If you consume food with the carpet beetle larvae, it is likely to cause irritation.


You can inspect woolen, silk and fur carpets. Also, inspect the pet hair and the windows sills and light fixtures. The main way to prevent them is sanitation. Ensure to vacuum the decorations, and if there are any woolen materials, dry cleaning is recommended. If the infestation is serious, you can use pesticide treatment. Heat or extreme cold can also treat the infested decorations.

The general ways to control all these stored product pests is doing a thorough cleaning, check the expiry date of food before buying them, ensure to remove the decorations that have been in use for a long time if they are infested, and keep food in tightly closed containers.

It is a noble thing to call a licensed pest management company and let them do the control work for you. Dealing with stored product pests is not easy at times and could make your home uncomfortable.

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