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Many people are familiar with the groan that comes in the morning    ”Mom…There are bugs in my cereal!”  Once again you are the victim of a Stored Food Product Pest.  The question you immediately ask yourself is “How did this happen?” 

Most often it is the result of bugs getting in the packaging during food production, or even more likely transportation or storage.  Somewhere between the manufacturer and your grocer, the product you purchased with the confidence that nothing was wrong, then placed into your pantry, and forgot about….  A moth, or a beetle began to develop.  The egg or larvae inside of the cereal or the nuts was already developing and days or weeks later you open the package to discover that not only are Rolled Oats no good, but the Pasta is infested, the Split Peas are bad, The Honey, Wheat and Oats are ruined and just about everything else in the pantry is bound for the garbage bin.

We asked the professionals at University Termite & Pest Control about this and they boiled it all down for us “There are weevils, moths, beetles, bugs, worms and so many more… We could spend a lot of time here discussing the life cycles, the where’s and whys of how these bugs get into your food, how they mate and how they spread….but in the end what you really want to know is this.”

How do I keep them out of my food (and my other stuff too)?

  • When you get home, immediately take things out of the boxes they are in and place them into airtight, individual plastic containers.  This will contain anything that might be inside that package.  You may group like things, with like things at your own risk…but be warned.  If you place a package of infested pasta in with all of your good pasta, all your pasta may become bug ridden.  You may have to toss the entire container.
  • Do the same for your pet food.  “Yes I said pet food.  Pet food is just as vulnerable as our food to infestation as people food.  Keep it sealed and segregated.  I have seen entire sections of national pet stores decimated by stored food product pests in dog biscuits.” Said Rick Rupkey Sr.  many people overlook pet food when they look to protect their food supply.  Don’t forget to protect Fido too!
  • Be careful where you shop.  We all love specialty our stores, but not all cultures embrace the same levels of cleanliness that Western culture does.  Insects are tolerated and considered a beneficial part of the food in many parts of the world.  Isolating your foods will keep you from contaminating your entire food supply.
  • Be aware where you get your craft supplies from and where you store them.  Stored Food Product Pests will attack any number of things that are not traditionally considered food.  Cotton, Dried Flowers, Silk, Tobacco, Wool, Naturally derived fibers and glues, Animal Hides and the like.  These should be also stored in airtight containers so they do not become infested with these bugs.  Museums spend massive amounts of money protecting rugs and hides from insect damage…do the same for your dried flowers.
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