Common Pantry Pests

Common Pantry Pests
February 27, 2024 Cure All Pest Control

You go to grab the flour for your famous chocolate chip cookies and notice some little black bugs scurrying away. Gross! Upon closer inspection, you see tiny moths flying out of your cereal boxes, or silky strands in the creases of your tins. Double gross! Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Pantry pests are super common, especially in the hot and humid Brisbane climate. The trick is identifying which creepy crawly has invaded your food so you can get rid of it. From weevils to moths, there are a few usual suspects behind home infestations. Knowing what bugs are in your cupboards will help you kick them out for good. Read on to learn how to spot the signs of common Brisbane pantry pests and say bye-bye to bugs in your baking.

Common Pantry Pests

Common Pantry Pests Found in Brisbane Kitchens

If you’ve noticed tiny crawling insects in your pantry or emerging from food packets, chances are you have common pantry pests. The three most prevalent ones found in Brisbane kitchens are:

  • Weevils: These reddish-brown beetles, about 2-3mm long, infest whole grains, rice, flour, and cereal. You’ll spot them crawling around or see tiny holes in the packaging.
  • Meal moths: Greyish moths up to 6mm long, flour moths lay eggs in most unclosed food sources but mostly cereals, mixes, and grains. Their larvae spin silken threads that clump ingredients together.
  • Grain Beetles: Weevils are one type of grain beetle, but there are a few other to keep an eye out for. There are also the ‘Confused flour beetle’ and the ‘sawtooth grain beetle’ to name a few. 

If you suspect an infestation, inspect all pantry goods for signs like webbing, clumping or perforations. Then, freeze any infected items for 4 days to kill all stages, vacuum shelves thoroughly, and wipe them down with white vinegar. Tightly seal or discard anything past its ‘best before’ date. You can also purchase baits and traps, however these are usually only beneficial for prevention and hardly impact pest populations when an infestation takes root. 

With vigilance, these common pests can be eliminated. Do regular pantry checks, store items in airtight containers, date everything, and practise good kitchen hygiene. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Call in the experts at Cure-All Pest Control if needed. Your pantry will be pest-free in no time.


How to Identify Pantry Moths and Their Damage

Common Pantry Pests

If you’ve noticed small moths fluttering around your pantry or tiny worm-like larvae crawling on surfaces, you likely have pantry moths. These common pests feed on stored food products like flour, grains, nuts, and dried fruits. Here’s how to determine if you have an infestation and what kind of moth it is:

  • Check for silk webbing and cocoons. Pantry moths spin silk webbing and cocoons, especially in corners and cracks of your pantry. Indianmeal moths and Mediterranean flour moths are common culprits.
  • Inspect for damage. Look for holes in packaging, spilled grains, and webbing binding food particles together. This indicates you have an active infestation. The larvae of pantry moths feed on food sources and leave behind frass, a powdery waste material.
  • Identify the moths. Pantry moths are small, 1/2 inch or less, and fly in a zigzag pattern. Indian meal moths are reddish-brown, while Mediterranean flour moths are more grey. Almond moths have distinctive dark spots on their wings. Capture a specimen for identification or comparison to images online.
  • Determine the source. Check all opened packages of flour, rice, cornmeal, nuts, and dried fruits for signs of larvae or moths. Once the source is located, discard infested items and thoroughly clean the pantry to remove eggs, larvae, and moths.

With some inspection, you can identify which kind of pantry pest you have and take action to eliminate the infestation before it spreads. Call Cure-All for professional pest control if needed. We can fully treat and protect your pantry from future invasions.

Spotting Weevil Infestations – What to Look For

Once weevils find their way into your pantry, it can be difficult to get rid of them. The best way to tackle a weevil infestation is to identify it early. Here are some signs to look for:

  • Small brown or black beetles, about 0.3 cm long with a snout, crawling around your food packages or pantry shelves. These are adult weevils.
  • Tiny white larvae, known as grubs, inside your foods, especially flour, rice, cereal, and grains. These legless grubs cause the most damage.
  • Small round holes in food packaging, bags, or boxes where adult weevils have chewed their way in or out.
  • Cocoons that look like small silk hammocks attached to food particles or packaging. Larvae spin these cocoons as they pupate into adults.
  • Flour, grain, or cereal that looks ‘lumpy’ or sticks together. This is a sign that larvae have infested the food, leaving behind webbing and excrement.

Once you spot these telltale signs of weevils, take action immediately to get rid of them before the infestation spreads further. Remove all infested food packages and thoroughly clean your pantry shelves to eliminate larvae, cocoons, and adult weevils. Tightly seal any remaining food packages or consider freezing items to kill any weevils or eggs inside.

With vigilance and prompt action, you can eliminate a weevil infestation in your pantry before these pesky beetles devour your supplies. Stay on the lookout for new invaders to avoid another outbreak in the future. Prevention is the best way to keep weevils out of your kitchen!

Common Pantry Pests

Spotting Grain Beetles

Have you noticed tiny brown beetles scurrying around your pantry lately? If so, you may have an infestation of grain beetles. These pesky pests feed on dried goods like flour, rice, cereal, and spices. Here are some signs you may have grain beetles in your kitchen:

  • Pinhole-sized holes in packaging. The beetles will bore into bags, boxes and containers to access the food inside. Check all your pantry items for tiny holes or tears.
  • Cocoons in containers. The beetles spin silky cocoons, especially in corners of containers and shelves. Look for small white cocoons about 3 mm long.
  • Larvae in opened bags. The worm-like larvae feed on the food material, so opened bags are especially susceptible to infestation. Look for tiny white larvae that are about 2-3 mm long.
  • Adult beetles on surfaces. The adult beetles, which are brown and oval-shaped, may crawl out of infested bags and onto shelves, counters and floors in search of food. They are typically 2-3 mm long.
  • Webbing and frass. The larvae spin webbing and produce frass, which are tiny dark pellets of excrement. Look for webbing, frass and larvae clustered together in infested areas.

If you spot any of these signs in your pantry, it’s best to get rid of infested items and thoroughly clean the area to eliminate the infestation. It may also be a good idea to call a pest control expert like Cure-All to inspect for any remaining beetles and larvae to prevent future infestations in your home. They can also advise you on pantry pest proofing to help keep these destructive critters out of your kitchen.

Identifying Cockroach Eggs in Your Cupboards

Have you noticed small, brown egg cases in the corners of your kitchen cupboards or drawers recently? Unfortunately, these are likely cockroach oothecae, or egg cases, which can each contain up to 50 tiny cockroach nymphs ready to hatch.

Cockroaches are technically pantry pests, but the pantry offers a perfect location for them to feed and nest. Cockroach eggs are oval-shaped and roughly 3cm in length. The egg case will be brown in colour and coated in a sticky, protective secretion. Female cockroaches, known as breeders, typically lay their egg cases in sheltered locations, like the underside of cupboards, in wall cracks, or behind appliances where the nymphs will have easy access to food sources once hatched.

If you spot cockroach egg cases in your kitchen, it’s critical to take action quickly before the nymphs emerge. Contact Cure-All, your trusted Brisbane pest control experts, right away to schedule a treatment. Our techs can perform a targeted spray treatment to eliminate the egg cases and any cockroaches in the area before an infestation begins.

Left unchecked, a single female cockroach can produce over 400 offspring in her lifetime. Don’t delay – call Cure-All today to protect your home and avoid a cockroach plague in your pantry. Eliminating an infestation is much more difficult than preventing one, so be proactive and get cockroach egg cases under control now. Your kitchen will thank you!

Preventing Pantry Pests in Your Brisbane Home

To stop pantry pests in their tracks, take a proactive approach. Here are some tips to help pest-proof your kitchen:

Inspect packages before purchasing.

Check for any signs of damage or infestation before bringing foods into your home. Look for small holes in packaging and avoid dented or swollen cans.

Store food in airtight containers.

Glass or plastic containers with sealed lids create an impenetrable barrier against pantry pests. Transfer foods like flour, rice, oats and pasta to containers as soon as you get home from the shop.

Practise good hygiene.

Clean up food scraps and spills right away. Do regular deep cleans of your pantry and kitchen, moving appliances to clean behind and underneath them. Pests are attracted to clutter and crumbs.

Use natural repellents.

Place bay leaves, cedar chips, lavender or eucalyptus oil in your pantry. Their strong fragrance deters pests in a natural and non-toxic way. You can also try traps using food pests love, like flour or rice, and boric acid powder.

Check stored goods regularly.

Once a month, do an inventory of your pantry staples to ensure there are no signs of larvae, webbing, or actual pests. Discard anything past its ‘use by’ date. Prevention is the best way to avoid an infestation getting out of control.

Taking steps to eliminate access to food sources, keep your kitchen clean, and make the environment inhospitable to pests are the keys to a pest-free pantry. Staying vigilant with regular monitoring and maintenance will help give pantry pests the slip.

Pantry Pests FAQs: Getting Rid of Infestations in Your Kitchen

The most common question homeowners ask is “how did I get these pests in my pantry?” Unfortunately, pantry pests are often brought into the home through contaminated food products, entering through small cracks and crevices in walls and cabinets, or hitchhiking their way in on reused containers or packaging. The key is to eliminate access points, clear out infested items, and thoroughly clean the area to remove pests and eggs.

Some other frequently asked questions include:

  • How do I know which pests I have? Check for signs like webbing, frass (insect excrement), larvae (worms), cocoons or the pests themselves. Match what you see to the descriptions of common pantry pests.
  • Do I have to throw out all my food? Not necessarily. Inspect each item closely, throwing out anything opened that shows signs of pests or damage. Sealed, undamaged goods can be treated by freezing for a week to kill pests and eggs before returning to the pantry.
  • How do I get rid of them organically? Use natural repellents like bay leaves, cedar, cinnamon sticks or coffee grounds in your pantry. Diatomaceous earth or borax can dehydrate and kill pests in cracks and crevices. As a last resort, you can try pantry pest traps or boric acid powder in inaccessible areas.
  • How can I prevent future infestations? Store all food in airtight containers like glass jars or plastic bins. Clean up food spills and crumbs immediately. Repair any cracks or holes in walls and seal cabinets to eliminate access points. Practise good kitchen hygiene like wiping up spills and taking out the trash regularly. With diligent prevention, you can avoid pantry pests in the future.


So there you have it. A rundown of the most common pantry pests in Brisbane kitchens. If you’ve spotted any signs of infestation, don’t panic. The good news is that most pantry pests are easy enough to get rid of if you take action straight away. Just be sure to check all your dry foods and throw out anything that looks contaminated. Give your cupboards a thorough clean, removing any crumbs or spilled food. You can use pheromone traps and natural sprays to deter future invaders. The main thing is not to let an infestation take hold. Stay vigilant for those tiny invaders and you’ll be able to enjoy pest-free pantries and cupboards in no time.