As the manager of a food processing or storage facility, you know that stored product pests can be a serious problem. These pests are known for infesting commercial products and their larvae eat the product as they grow. With the potential of product contamination and failed sanitation audits, stored product pests have the ability to cost you a lot of money, not to mention damage your reputation. Knowing a little about these pests can be helpful in the fight against stored products pests.
- Cigarette beetle, found throughout the world, are known for their brown bodies and long serrated antennae. They are also known for feeding on tobacco products, as their name suggests, but they will also feed on spices and herbs, dry pet food, dried flours, beans, rice, peanuts and many other materials. The adult females lay their eggs in and around food materials. These insects destroy a variety of dried goods and foods.
- Indianmeal moth, found in facilities around the world, are known for their gray and reddish brown wings. They feed on grains and grain products as well as many other things, including dried fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts, candy, dry pet food, animal feed and dried flowers. The adult females lay their eggs on food materials and, once hatched, the larvae burrow into the food. Adult Indianmeal moths don’t cause damage, but the larvae can produce feces and webbing while consuming the product, making it unfit for consumption.
- Red flour beetle, typically only found in warmer climates, are known for their brown bodies and antennae that have an abrupt three-segmented club. They feed on grain products, specifically milled grain products like flour and cornmeal. The adult females can lay between 300 and 500 eggs, which means that a small infestation can get out of control quickly. These flour beetles consume and contaminate the food they infest and they can impart a disagreeable odor and taste to the products.
- Sawtoothed grain beetle, found throughout the world, are known for the six saw-like teeth on each side of the prothorax. They like foods that contain oils, including grain products, pasta, candy bars and baking mixes. The adult females lay their eggs in the crevices of food where the eggs will hatch. Their flat bodies allow them to enter packages that have been improperly sealed, contaminating the products.
- Warehouse beetle, found in just about any warehouse environment, are known for their brownish black bodies with yellow or yellowish brown markings. They feed on dead insects and other animal remains as well as pet food, dried dairy products, grain products and pretty much anything that can be found in a warehouse. The adult females can lay nearly 100 eggs over several days, but it’s the larvae that do the damage when they feed on products. The larvae can also be a health concern, as the barbed hairs that they may shed into food products can cause intestinal irritation, especially in very young children.
Recognizing that stored product pests are present is the first step in getting control over these destructive pests. The commercial pest management professionals at Copesan can work with your commercial facility to establish an environment that prevents stored product pests from thriving. Knowing how to keep these pests from finding your facility as a favorable location is the best way to prevent damage and expenses related to any of these food infesting pests.