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Guide to Pantry Pests

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Indian Meal Moths

Plodia Interpuctella

Description: The Indian Meal Moth was given its name after an insect scientist found it feeding on corn meal, also known as Indian meal. From wing tip to wing tip, adult moths measure from five-eighths of an inch to three-fourths of an inch long.

Color: Copper reddish coloring on outer part of wings
Legs: 6
Shape: Elongated oval
Size: 5/8" to 3/4"
Antennae: True

Habits: Indian Meal Moths like to feed on dried fruits, grains, seeds, nuts, chocolate, candies, bird seed, dog food, powdered milk, dried red peppers and candy.

Habitat: Attracted to the light, these bugs are found worldwide in areas where food is stored, such as grocery stores.

Threats: Indian Meal Moths infest foods and can contaminate food products.

Prevention: Dried food products should be inspected thoroughly for signs of moth infestations. Discard infested foods in outdoor trash bins. Clean infested cupboards thoroughly with a vacuum and soap and water. Store food in sealed containers.

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Merchant Grain Beetles

Anobiid and Lyctus Species

Description: Merchant Grain Beetles are typically not found in grain products, but instead like to attack cereals, cake mixes, macaroni, cookies and chocolate. Merchant Grain Beetles are dark brown and have six saw-like teeth on each side of their bodies. They can grow to be one-eighth of an inch long and have very flat bodies.

Color: Brown
Legs: 6
Shape: Narrow Oval
Size: 1/8" 
Antennae: True

Habits: The Merchant Grain Beetle's body shape allows it to crawl into packaging to eat, live and have babies.

Habitat: Merchant Grain Beetles are found in pantries or in food processing areas or warehouses.

Threats: Merchant Grain Beetles can infest stored food products and can contaminate food.

Prevention: Discard infested packages. Clean spilled grain and food sources.

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