What is a Pantry Bug?

pantry bug

Pantry bugs are a group of small insects that love to eat foods stored in your pantry, such as flour, grains, and dried fruits. These critters often get into your home when you bring in dry goods or buy them in bulk at the grocery store.

They can quickly multiply unless you get rid of them quickly. The best way to do this is to thoroughly remove infested foods and clean your pantry shelves.

Grain Moths

If you see moths flying around your kitchen, pantry, or food storage areas, it’s likely a problem with grain moths (Plodia interpunctella). Also known as Indian meal moths, they are tiny winged insects that like to lay their eggs on stored foods.

The larvae of these pests spin silk webbing that can cause significant damage to dried goods stored in cupboards, cabinets, or granaries. They can contaminate flours, grains, nuts, cereals, seeds, chocolate, candy, pet foods, and spices.

Keeping flours, grains, nuts, cereals, and other dry goods in airtight containers helps prevent pantry moths from infesting them. However, if you get infected, keep your food in plastic containers and use Pro-Pest Pantry Traps throughout the year to help control them.

Saw-Toothed Grain Beetles

The saw-toothed grain beetle (Oryzaephilus agricola) is a pantry pest that can cause severe damage to food products in your home. They contaminate food, ruin packaging, and may create favorable conditions for mold growth.

They are small, reddish-brown beetles with six tiny projections on each side of the thorax that give them their name. They are less than 1/8 inch long and cannot fly.

These beetles are found in grain and dry food products. The females lay shiny white eggs in crevices in the food material. They hatch in 3 to 17 days, then the larvae feed and molt between 2 to 4 times.

The adults live about 6 to 10 months and can reproduce as many as seven generations a year. The damage they do to your stored food is substantial and can cost you time, money, and headaches in the long run. The best way to protect your food and home is to hire a professional pantry pest control company.

Flour Mites

Flour mites are tiny insects that can make a mess in your pantry. These pests can infest bread, cereals, and flour, as well as dried fruit, birdseed, and pet food.

If you suspect a flour bug infestation, it’s best to clear out your dry goods. Then, use hot soapy water to wipe down any surfaces that have been contaminated.

Another way to prevent a flour bug infestation is to store dry foods in clean airtight containers. This will help keep them safe from various pests, including flour mites, which can easily chew through plastic bags.

You can also use natural solutions such as garlic cloves and bay leaves to keep these bugs away from your food. A simple spray of essential oil can also be used to deter them.


The pantry bugs are a group of insects that like to infest stored grains, flour, and other grain-derived products. These pests can contaminate more food than they consume, so it’s essential to thoroughly clean and disinfect your cupboards if you find them in your home.

These bugs are easy to spot because they usually have dark-colored bodies and two-toned wings, which they use to fly. They can also be found crawling around the surface of a package or on a shelf, window sill, or another light source.

They are slender, oval creatures with a head and a slender waist joined to the thorax by elbowed antennae. Their wings are held flat to the body at rest and almost overlapping. Males and queens have wings, but workers don’t. Instead, they fly out to mate and start new nests. They don’t bite or sting, but they can be very irritating. They are most common in households and are typically small to medium.

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