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What To Do About Beetles In Your Portland Pantry


Beetles of any kind are an unsightly, unwanted pest inside the home. They break in to eat your food and can cause structural damage on your home that is a close second to that of termites, and termites cause a lot of damage. Beetles in Portland are typically one of three types: wood-destroying, food-driven, or fabric-infesting, each of which causes damage that is truly unpleasant and very costly. Some beetles that homeowners in Portland might encounter are:

  • Pantry beetles: Common pantry beetles include a large group of food-driven beetles that are minuscule in size, measuring approximately 1/16 to 1/10 inch in length. They are reddish-brown to black in coloring and are drawn to your home either from grains that are already infested that you have brought into your home, or because they have breached the foundation of your home and are in search of food. They pose a serious health risk primarily due to the issue of food contamination. 
  • Cigarette beetles: Cigarette beetles might be considered charming with their ladybug-like appearance if not for their destructive nature. They love cupboards and will lay their eggs directly in food so that their larvae will have a hearty meal once they hatch. They enter the home through gaps under doorways, open windows, and cracks in your home's foundation. 
  • Saw-toothed beetles measure approximately 1/10 of an inch and are flat and brown in appearance. Their petite nature makes them nearly impossible to spot with the naked eye, and lucky for them, because this allows them to wreak havoc in your home. Similarly to common pantry beetles, most of the time they find their way into your home through grocery items that were already contaminated.

How Beetle Infestations Start

Over the last decade, American homeowners have seen an uptick in beetle infestations, making them all the more prevalent and important to prevent. Infestations start differently based on the sort of beetle that you are dealing with. That said, many species of beetles are looking for packaged foods, stored grains, house plants, fabric, or wood. The scary part is, you may be bringing beetles into your home without even knowing it.

While beetles certainly have the primary goal of searching for food, they also come indoors looking for shelter as most other pests do. Portland homeowners can expect to see more beetles inside their homes during the winter months as they hope to avoid the cold. If they were not brought inside through damaged packaged foods, beetles may break through the perimeter of your home through gaps around doors or window frames or through cracks in your home’s foundation. Once inside, they seek food and the adult beetles will lay their eggs near human food, which will then serve as food for their larvae. 

Prevention is key when it comes to keeping pantry beetles out of your home. And with a few key steps, this is an attainable goal. To keep your food beetle-free, here are a few tips to try:

  • When at the grocery store, make sure that every food item you purchase is in a sealed package and that it shows no signs of damage or vulnerability. 
  • Once at home, store food in either glass or plastic containers with airtight lids. 
  • After cooking or baking, make sure that all pantries, cabinets, and counters are crumb-free and clean. Thorough cleaning is a standard tip for preventing nuisance pests of most kinds. 
  • Store seasonal decorations and items in airtight containers and make sure that these are kept in dry environments like a closet or attic. 
  • Be sure to use pantry items before their expiration date. 

The most effective way to get rid of an active pantry beetle infestation is to contact the professionals at Big Blue Bug Solutions today.