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Food Pests

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Food Pests

There are many types of insect pests that infest foods. They may be found inside food and its packaging, in cupboards, or on counters. Although control can be difficult, prevention is relatively simple.

These pests can be organized into groupings, such as Beeetles, Weevils and Moths. One of the most common is the saw-toothed grain beetle, a tiny brown beetle about 3 mm (1/8 inch) long. Other problem food pests include , drug-store beetles, granary weevils and several types of small moths.

Images of Some Food Pests

Drug Store Beetle.
A small, smooth brownish bug.


Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle.
This thin pest has noticeable ridges on its middle thorax.


Rice Weevil.
Note the interesting "snout".


Angoumis Grain Moth.
Moths can fly anywhere in your house.

Eggs are laid by the food pests on or near a food source. The eggs hatch into worm-like "larvae". The larvae can chew through plastic and paper packaging to get to food. When they are full grown the larvae "pupate" (form cocoons) in cracks or crevices in the cupboards or in the food itself. The pupae gradually become adults and the adults reinfest the food or travel to new, uninfested food to lay new eggs.

A wide variety of foods can be attacked by these insects. These foods include cereals, crackers, dried fruits, nuts, flour, cake mixes, dry pet food and spices.


  •     Keep foods in tightly sealed containers such as glass jars or "Tupperware".
  • Clean up spilled food promptly.
  • Buy only small quantities of foods that are not used often.
  • Check food packages carefully to be sure you do not bring insects home from stores.


Check all dried foods and destroy all infested materials. Thoroughly clean all areas where the insects have been found. For some types of these pests, we sell special traps you can use to help eliminate them. For persistent problems, call us. Our professional pest managers will carefully apply appropriate pesticides in cupboards, drawers and other areas as required to solve the problem.

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