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How to Prevent Pantry Pests

Learn how to prevent pantry pests in this Howcast video featuring expert Jeff White.


My name is Jeff White and I'm the research entomologist for bedbug central and the host of bedbug TV I have no idea how I got into bugs and bedbugs and here I am 6 years later and having a lot of fun working with bedbugs. And I'll be talking to you about pest control. You just opened up a package of rice in your pantry and found all these disgusting bugs inside of it. What's going on and how do you stop this from happening in the future? What you've just encountered is a stored product pest and what this is, is it's an insect that typically infests the foods that we have in our house in our pantry. And there are a lot of different varieties of these pests. There are beetles, cigarette beetles, flower bettles. There are moths, such as the Indian meal moth and then there's a bunch of other different kinds of critters that can get inside our food and eat our food, right under our noses. And so how do you stop this from happening? The one thing I can say for sure is that just because you bought if from the store does not mean that it doesn't have a problem. I have bought things from stores in cardboard boxes and plastic containers that I've opened up when I got home and found bugs inside of them. And so if you ever open anything up and find bugs in it, whether it's new or old, you immediately want to dispose of that item. The longer those infested items stay in the house, the longer those bugs have to reproduce and the more things that they can infest. And so you want to seal that item in a plastic bag and get rid of it in an outdoor trash can. Now, you've think you've gotten rid of that problem, you want to go to all of your other goods and you want to make sure that you store them properly. Just because something's in a cardboard box and not opened, does not mean it's sealed. Just because something's in a plastic bag, does not mean that it's sealed. I've seen bugs bore through cardboard, eat their way right through plastic and the 2 best way to store different foods against stored product pests is either by a sealed, airtight plastic Tupperware type container or potentially a glass container. And those will properly protect different items against stored product pests. And once you do that you shouldn't have to worry about opening a box of rice and finding all these bugs crawling out of the top, as disgusting as that is. If you continue to see problems after you've gone through all your goods and you're still finding different stored products pests walking around, you may want to call in an expert. Because sometimes you will get weird things, where bugs can get inside wall voids. I've actually seen mice take dog food out of dog bowls and then store them in wall voids. And then the actual stored food in the wall void, that the mice put there, get stored product pests and then you find beetles walking all over. You might need a professional to help you identify those things. But you can do a quick inspection of your goods, seal them properly and hopefully you won't have the unfortunate situation where you open up a bag of oatmeal and find bugs crawling out of the top.

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