OTIS | Have You Pest Proofed Your Pantry?

Jan 20, 2023

Have you ever had the unfortunate experience of digging through your pantry in search of the ingredients you need, only to be confronted with pests hiding amongst your flour or nibbling on your chocolate? It's a lot more common than you might think, and while it may trigger feelings of disgust, there is no need to be ashamed of the discovery! Pests are often attracted to food sources, so it makes perfect sense that you might find them lurking in your pantry. Book an appointment for pest control in Knoxville to resolve the problem, and then look at some of the steps you can take to prevent future infestations!

What Are Stored Product Pests?

When you find insects hiding in your pantry, they are often what we refer to as stored product pests. These are insects that you unwittingly bring into your home inside packages of ingredients you have purchased. They are more common in paper packaging and unsealed bags and will usually come in dry ingredients. Some of the most common pests of this nature include the following:

  • Merchant Grain Beetles - Despite their name, merchant grain beetles are not usually found in raw grain. Instead, they prefer processed products, including cereal, cake mix, cookies, and even chocolate! They are flat brown insects with saw-type teeth.
  • Indian Meal Moths - The Indian meal moth gets its name from where it was first discovered - munching on cornmeal, also known as Indian meal. They will likely feast on dried fruits, grains, nuts, and birdseed. However, they will also eat dog food, candy, and chocolate.
  • Flour Beetles - Flour beetles are one of the most invasive types of stored product pests. These eat wheat and other grains, can survive in dry environments, and withstand high radiation levels, making them tricky to exterminate! Their mealworm larvae can devastate large stores of grains and cereals.

Preventing Stored Product Pests

Now that we know what stored product pests are, what can we do to reduce the risk of an infestation that will need pest control in Knoxville? The National Pest Management Association has suggested a few tips that can help you to avoid bringing stored product pests home from your next shopping trip!

  • Check items for signs of damage. If you see any evidence of damage on the packaging, choose another bag, as that one could be infested with bugs already!
  • Adding a bay leaf to any package of dry goods like your flour, grains, and rice can repel many pantry pests thanks to its naturally pungent aroma!
  • When you are storing your products in the pantry, make sure you keep them sealed. It is a good idea to transfer products from paper packaging into sealable glass or Tupperware containers, especially once the packages have been opened.
  • It is also essential to wipe up any crumbs and spills immediately to avoid attracting pests. You will also need to clean the shelves of your pantry on a regular basis using soap and water to rid them of anything residual.
  • When you are doing a deep cleaning of the pantry shelves, take the opportunity to check all expiration dates and throw away old items.

Other Pests That Threaten Your Pantry

Stored product pests are not the only type of pest that can represent a threat to your pantry. It is also important to be vigilant of other pests, including ants and rodents, who will also be attracted to food if it is not stored correctly in sealed containers. The first step in deterring pests is to arrange for pest control in Knoxville to treat your home. Many homeowners will wait until they find evidence of an infestation before calling on the services of professional pest control in Knoxville. However, if you have your home treated on a regular basis as a preventative measure, you can reduce the risk of experiencing an infestation in the first place!

In addition to booking regular pest control in Knoxville, you can also take some other steps to prevent pests. You can apply some of the advice given for stored product pests, such as cleaning up food spills and storing food items in sealed containers, to other types of pests. However, for the likes of rodents and other pests, you will also need to take a few additional steps. One of the first things you should consider is eliminating the potential access points. This means installing door sweeps and screens, screening chimney vents, and sealing up any cracks or holes on the home's exterior. It is important to pay particular attention to areas where materials join together and where pipes and vents enter or exit the house. Moisture is also a big attraction to various pests, so it is important to address any leaks, clogged drains, blocked gutters, and other areas of dampness and moisture. When left unchecked, these can be ideal breeding grounds for a variety of pests.


Otis Termite & Pest Control is a full-service pest control company with a focus on outstanding service. We have been serving the East Tennessee area for over 56 years and our reputation is built on prompt and effective service. We’re good at what we do and we’re fast. We do the job right the first time – and that’s an actual guarantee! 

Call 865.690.1662 or visit www.otispestcontrol.net.



Emily Moeck

"I unknowingly moved into a home that had a HUGE bed bug infestation..."Don't you worry, we are on top of this until they are gone, I promise!"... Jack was knowledgeable and honest in his assessment of my house/treatment methods. Thank you, Jack and Rocky and the whole Otis team! My home is home again!"


Joshua Weaver

"Prompt responses and appointment times. Very friendly and knowledgeable. Straight forward service without any "pushing" for extras."


Charlotte Bishop

"These guys were super helpful and kind. Jack thoroughly explained every procedure and made what could have been a horrible situation much more bearable. I definitely recommend them!"


Tamie Ridenour

"Excellent service and staff!! They were at my house the same day I called, for New construction pre-treatment!"


Cathy Amos

"Highly recommend! Jack and Rocky are great! You've got a business and highest recommendation! Great people to work with!"

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