Modern research finds that stored product pests (SPP) have been biologically unchanged for thousands of years. They were even discovered in Egyptian tombs from 4,500 years ago. It stands to reason that these pests will be a commercial and homeowner nuisance for many years to come. This list includes several dozen different species, including moths and beetles.
The presence of SPP beetle or moth adults is generally the first indication of an infestation. The adult stage will either lay eggs on or inside of a grain or kernel.
Of all the life stages, larvae are the most damaging — eating and pupating in and on grain and food products. Understanding the habits and biology of SPP, like any pest, helps to understand common control methods. The use of heat or freezing methods, along with discarding infested and contaminated products, plays an important part in pest elimination. However, this may seem demanding or stressful to a homeowner.
The inspection and removal of all infested products, new and recently opened, are required. Then, cleaning thoroughly with soap and water or using disinfectant wipes to clean empty shelves will eliminate food debris and insect contaminates. A residual product labeled for SPP also can be used in cracks and crevices where shelving adjoins the wall in those inaccessible seams without food contamination. Always read your label for proper control applications.