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What Portland Homeowners Ought To Know About Grain Beetles

Grain beetle in flour

Are you familiar with the story of the Trojan horse? If you are, then it can give you some insight into a grain beetle infestation. Grain beetles don't usually get into homes from the yard. They don't explore your exterior walls looking for gaps and cracks. Most of the time, these insects are brought into your home from the grocery store—similar to how the soldiers used the Trojan horse. But you can't protect yourself by choosing to never take in gifts from your enemy. You have to learn how to detect these secret soldiers that are attempting to infest your home, and stop them before things get out of hand.

What Is A Merchant Grain Beetle?

There are several beetles and weevils that can hitch rides into your home. The merchant grain beetles is only one of them. You don't need to know the difference between this beetle and other beetles or weevils. Prevention works the same for all of them. But, if you're curious, merchant grain beetles are about 1/10 of an inch long, brown in color, and have tiny saw-like ridges on the abdomen. To see these ridges, you'll need to use some form of magnification.

Point Of Contact

Your first contact with grain beetles will be at the grocery store. While you aren't likely to see them hiding inside the foods you're purchasing, you may detect conditions that are conducive for a grain beetle (or pantry pest) infestation.

  • Check your pantry food packages closely. If you see any tears, rips, or holes, purchase something else. These tiny entry points can allow pests to get in, and believe us when we tell you, those pantry pests want to get in. They're going to take advantage of any hole they can find.
  • Check the expiration date on the packages. The scent of decaying food is strong. If a product is past due, it can attract pantry pests.

Detecting Grain Beetles

When you bring products home from the store, you have an opportunity to set yourself up to win this battle. Rather than putting food packages on your pantry shelves, consider putting these items in sealed glass or plastic jars. There are a few reasons for this.

  • If there are beetles in your food, you're going to see them when you transfer the product to the container.
  • If there are eggs in your food, you may be able to see grain beetle activity before you consume food that has eggs, larvae, or adult beetles in it.
  • Sealed containers help to keep food smells in and prevent attracting pests to your pantry.
  • Sealed containers keep grain beetles inside contaminated foods and prevent pests from getting in from other packages in your pantry.

Addressing An Infestation

If you ever detect pantry pests inside your food, you have two options. You can throw the food out, or you can strain the insects out of your food. Either way, foods that are in containers are isolated from the other sealed containers and they make it far easier to deal with an infestation. If you don't have containers, you'll need to systematically isolate infested foods by putting the contents of packages into sealable bags and by throwing out anything that is contaminated.

Extra Help

Some pantry pest infestation can be frustrating to deal with. This is particularly true if pantry pests lay eggs in the cracks and gaps in your pantry. If you want to flick the reset on your pantry, and get back to being pest free, it is best to reach out to Big Blue Bug Solutions. Our licensed pest professionals have the training and experience to get complete control of these insects. Contact us today to schedule an inspection. We're here to help.