Nothing can ruin breakfast more than pouring a cereal into a bowl to find it’s infested with many tiny bugs. Though this can seem like a horror story, pantry pests are extremely common within Oklahoma. In most cases, houses will become infested when an already compromised food source is introduced within a new pantry. For this reason, checking food sources for damage prior to purchase or introduction into a pantry is essential.
The cigarette beetle derives its name from its affinity to dried tobacco and tobacco products. However, the cigarette beetle can also be found in pantries where a wide variety of food sources can be found. These food sources include flour, raisins, spices and a variety of other common pantry items. Cigarette beetles are also commonly found eating the binding of books for its starch content.
Drugstore beetles are aptly named because they tend to feed on many poisonous substances such as strychnine. This species of beetle can also be found in areas with food sources such as almonds or peanuts, wheat, coffee beans and many other common pantry items. Drugstore beetles are also known to feast on certain fabrics and furniture fillings.
Rice weevils are rarely found within homes because they prefer to nest in grain storage facilities or their associated processing plant. In these habitats, they are known to feed on grain sources, such as rice, wheat, oats and corn. When this weevil is found inside a home, they typically will be found in food sources such as birdseed, sunflower seeds, beans and, occasionally, dried grains like spaghetti.
Sawtoothed Grain Beetle
The most widespread of all pantry pests, the sawtoothed grain beetle infests foods such as flour, pasta, cereal and various packaged goods. Because of their characteristic teeth, these beetles can easily enter cardboard boxes or plastic packaging. In some instances, captive sawtoothed grain beetles have lived over 3 years. Within standard conditions, the life cycle of this beetle completes in around 30 days.