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Common Pantry. Pests. The Impact Of Household Insects On YOUR Food. Four Basic Concepts. I dentify Properly identify the pest S anitize Clean on a regular basis to reduce what attracts pests E xclude Seal any entry points into the home C ontrol Use non-chemical methods first - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • IdentifyProperly identify the pestSanitizeClean on a regular basis to reduce what attracts pestsExcludeSeal any entry points into the homeControlUse non-chemical methods firstUse pesticides only when necessary

  • Moths Triangular shaped with scales on wingsBeetlesOval shaped with hard front wingsWeevilsThe worm-like babies of each of these insects are often incorrectly called weevils

    Indian Meal MothRice WeevilCigarette BeetleSaw Tooth Grain Beetle

  • Can spread easily to other food items

    Can cause loss of food

    Throw food away = Throw money away

  • Grain food itemsFlour, cornmeal, rice, pasta, cereal, oatmeal, crackers

    Pet food itemsDog food, cat food, pet treats, birdseed Spices - Dill, parsley, pepper flakes, oregano, cumin

  • Clean shelves & bins

    Use a rag to gather crumbs and throw away the crumbs

    Clean containers before refilling with new food

    Insect eggs might still be in the container if you dont wash it

  • Vacuum food particles from cracks

    Then wash shelves with hot soapy water and cleaning solution

    Use caulk to seal cracks around shelves where debris collects

    This makes cleaning up crumbs easier

  • Inspect food items before purchase

    Do not buy items that are damaged or open

    Buy small quantities of food that will be used in 2-4 months

    Storing food in air-tight containers will protect it from invasion

  • Throw out all infested foodTo Save Infested Food:

    Heat food in 200F oven for at least 90 minutes

    Or place the food in the freezer for 3-5 days

    Remove any dead insects

  • Use a broom or brush to remove any eggs or dead insects from cabinets or shelves

    Use pesticides as a last resort

    Do not apply pesticides to food!!!

  • Once pesticides dry you can put food back into your pantry as it was before

    Inspect your pantry weekly until no more pests are found

    Then keep following the same steps that you used before so that you keep the pantry pests out

  • Check with your landlord if you rent

    Check with a pest management professional

  • Step on it Arnold! Step on it!

    Good Morning/Afternoon and Welcome! My name is __________________________, and I am from Texas Cooperative Extension. Thank you for attending todays Better Living for Texans Program called Common Pantry Pests; The Impact of Household Insects on YOUR Food.Todays program is about pests that can be found in the food we keep at home. Today we will learn about the impact of pantry pests on our food. We will also learn ways that you can prevent them from getting into your home and pantry. This way, you will be able to stop the insects from entering into your home, and prevent food from going to waste because of insects.This program is brought to you through the cooperation of the Better Living for Texans Program and the ISEC Home Pest Management Unit at Texas A&M University. This program is also sponsored by Food Stamp Nutrition Education and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. With that said, lets get started!!!!There are four basic concepts to controlling pantry pests - identify, sanitize, exclude and control. Identifying means finding out what type of pest you have. With that information, you can often figure out where the pest is coming from. Sanitizing is also known as cleaning. By sanitizing or cleaning, you can eliminate many things that attract pests into the home. Excluding means keeping pests out of your home by blocking their way to get in. Control is the last step that should be used, even though many people use it as the first and only step. Often, pest problems are not solved just by spraying a bug with bug spray. By using all four steps, pests can be kept out of the home or reduced in numbers for longer periods of time and in a much safer way.Like humans, pests have three basic needs for survival. The three things are water, food and a place to live, also known as shelter. If you take one of these things away, the pest will either die or move to a different place to live. To control pests, you need to remove one or more of the three items and break the pest triangle. Removing two or all three is even better!There are many pests that can be found in food. Some common pantry pests are shown here. The two main groups of insects that get into food are moths and beetles. Moths typically have a triangular shape ***when they are not flying***, while beetles are often round or oval. The babies of both kinds are worm-like. Many people refer to all pantry pests as weevils even though they really are not.

    NOTE TO AGENTWeevils are actually a specific type of beetle that can often be found in foods. Weevils have an elongated snout similar to an elephants trunk. They do have larvae that are worm-like. ****Many people grew up hearing about weevils in their food, so they assume all insects infesting food are weevils, even though they are not really weevils.***

    OPTIONAL ACTIVITY!!!If possible, have bags of flour, cornmeal, or cereal, so participants can see what the insects look like up close!!! Take time to show them the insects after going over this slide

    Why should we keep pantry pests out? What damage can these small insects do? Well, once pests are in your pantry, they can spread from one food to another. Pantry pests can cause loss of food items because you may choose to throw the food away once infested. Since throwing food away is like throwing away money, keeping pantry pests away makes good sense!

    OPTIONAL ACTIVITY!!!Ask participants how often they have to throw away food because of pantry pests. This will hopefully give them an idea of how much damage pantry pests can do to their food.Most pantry pests are brought into the home with food. It is hard to keep all insects out of food while it is being processed. Sometimes, insects will lay eggs in processed flour when it is being milled and these will remain in the food when it is packaged and sent to the store. When food in the store is not sold quickly, insect eggs may hatch in the food, or if it is bought, ***the insects can hatch out in your*** home. So, pantry pests can be found in a variety of grain items including flour, cornmeal, rice, pasta, and cereal. They can also be found in spices like dill, parsley, and pepper flakes. They are even found in pet foods such as dog food and birdseed.There are many things that you can do to avoid getting pantry pests in your home. The first step to keeping pests out of your home is to sanitize all parts of your kitchen. This can be done by cleaning food storage shelves and bins on a regular basis. Use a rag ***or vacuum cleaner*** to gather and throw away any crumbs that are on your shelves or bins. If you store food in containers, such as plastic or glass jars, they should be cleaned with hot soapy water, before putting new food in them. This is because insect eggs might still be in the container if you dont wash it.The second step to keep pests out is to clean up and seal up youre the places where you keep your food. If you have shelves, food particles can fall down into the cracks. This may not seem like a lot of food, but pantry pests are very tiny and that small amount of food is a lot to them. So every so often, you need to vacuum ***or wipe*** off the shelves, and then ***clean them*** with soapy water or a cleaning solution. After cleaning, cracks in the shelves can be sealed with caulk to keep food from falling down into them. Once the pantry is clean, you should keep it clean by wiping up any spilled food immediately.

    The third step to keep pantry pests from entering your home is excluding them. When possible, inspect food items ***for damage or insect infestation*** before you buy them. Do not buy any items that are open, damaged ***or infested***. This is the way most pests get into homes. Also, try to buy food in amounts that can be used within 2-4 months. In addition, storing foods in air tight containers during this time will make it hard for pests to get to your food. Storing food in ***sealed, plastic or glass*** containers or ***sealed plastic*** bags will help protect food against insect invasion.

    OPTIONAL ACTVITY!!!Have examples of storage containers and freezer bags to share with participants. This way, they will know which containers are good to use and which are not so good.Even if you try hard to avoid getting pests in your pantry, sometimes they will still find a way to your food. When this happens, dont worry, you can still get them out! The first step is, once again, to sanitize your pantry ***or area where you store food***. If you find pests in your food, remove the food from the pantry so the pests dont infest other foods. If you want to save infested food, there are two things you can do. First of all, you can put the food in an oven at 200oF for at least 90 minutes, or you can put the infested food into the freezer for 3-5 days. Either way will kill the insects in the food. After doing these things, you can sift the insects out of food items such as flour, cornmeal or sugar. You will need to pick the insects out of things such as rice, pasta or cereal. The second step to getting rid of pantry pests is to use some sort of control. Using pesticides alone is not a good way to control pantry pests. The key to solving a pantry pest problem lies in finding where the pests are coming from and getting rid of that source. First off, get rid of any dead insects or insects from your cabinets by using a broom, brush ***or vacuum*** to sweep them out from shelves. ***Pheromone traps can be used to help attract and capture adults that may be flying in the pantry. Pheromones are chemicals released by insects to attract other insects. T