What Causes Pantry Bugs

What Causes Pantry Bugs?

Does the presence of pantry bugs worry you? I also get scared of them. Though their presence is inevitable we can try to find the root cause of what causes pantry bugs.

That said and done, this article provides us with necessary information on how to deal with these pantry bugs. 

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What Causes Pantry Bugs?-What You Need To Know.

The most common cause of pantry bugs infestation is brought processed foods and dry foods into your house. This dry food could be, grains, cereals, fruits, vegetables, nuts, bran and others in your store.

  • Processed foods like floor, chocolate, spaghetti, macaroni, bread, cookies, cheese, and candies are also possible attraction points.
  • Their infestation can occur either at the store or in your kitchen and therefore the need to constantly check on the packaging.

1. Cereal and grains

As earlier stated, bugs come into our house because they are looking for food. It is hard to find them if there is nothing to eat. Cereals like maize, rice, barley, wheat among others mostly attract weevils and beetles.

  • In this case, weevils infest open cereals and grains where they lay eggs and continue in their multiplication.
  • They feed on these cereals where they lay eggs inside the grains where their life cycle starts. Their larvae stage eats and develops in the grain before the metamorphosis into adults.

Idianmeal moth, rice weevil, beetle, lay hundreds of eggs in the infested food making it inconsumable. The damage by these bugs is more of contamination than the food they consume.

2. Flour mix 

Flour mix and other processed foods are very susceptible to attack by floor weevils, wheat bugs, rice bugs and flour. They are also visible on pasta, cakes, and any other mixes.

  • Their destruction of flour and other foods leaves web-like traces, larvae and eggs making them inconsumable.
  • Some other times, you will also notice tiny brown insects on your floor as a sign of their infestation.

Among the many reasons why these bugs attack your flour is also keeping in humid and moist conditions. The other reason is leaving flour and other foods open and exposed to the bugs.

3. Other processed foods

Spaghetti, noodles, biscuits and cookies, pet food, powder milk, processed chicken and fish among others are also subject to attack by these bugs.

If you have any of them in your house, keeping them open and disposed of is an invitation to the bugs. 

Another possible invitation for pantry bugs is dirt. Though you may doubt this most pantries will thrive where the kitchen is poorly cleaned.

  • That unemptied litter bin can easily attract the bugs and before you know it, your whole kitchen is full of bugs.

There are favourite foods that will draw them from miles away into your kitchen? Let’s have a close look at what each of these foods will attract.

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What are these common pantry bugs in the kitchen?

There are certain bugs that you are most likely to find in your kitchen as compared to others. Some of these include beetles, Idianmeal moths, rice/grain weevil among others.

1. Bean and Rice Weevils

Though there are very many weevil species, the most notorious pantry bug weevils are bean and rice weevils.

  • If you find Small holes in the beans or rice grain, it’s already a sign of infestation by these weevils

One similarity with these weevils is that they both attack cereals and lay their eggs inside the grains and cereals.

But their differences are;

Rice weevil attacks, corn, rice cereals, wheat, dried fruits, apples, pears while bean weevil commonly attacks beans and peas.

In size, rice weevils are slightly bigger than bean weevils.

Also, rice weevils have a snout while bean weevil doesn’t.

Bean weevils have a light brown colour and are oval-shaped while rice weevils are white and slender in shape.

2. Idianmeal Moth

This is most probably the most visible pantry bug in our kitchen.  Unlike the weevils, the moths show up in your kitchen when searching for the best site for mating and lay their eggs.

  • Their most destructive stage is the larvae which are easy to find on flour, cereals, rice, nuts, and dried fruits among others.

The larvae leave behind a trail of webbing, poop and dead skin making it hard to consume the infested food. As the larvae mature and turn into moths that can be easily spotted flying around.

Though the food infested by these moths is not harmful, it is also not good for consumption and should be disposed of immediately. 

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3. Beetles

There are different species of beetles that you are likely to find in your kitchen. Flour beetle, drugstore beetle are the most common in our kitchen.

  • You can find these beetles on flour, grains, nuts and other cereals.

They poop and leave behind excretion that causes a foul smell on them making them hard to eat. They also create moulds on your food.

How do I get rid of bugs in my kitchen?

There are different methods that you can use to control pantry bugs in the kitchen. Most of these methods are more on preventing bug infestation than control

Check for open food packages– open food is susceptible to infestation by these bugs. Whether it’s deliberate opening or accidental opening. Food packaging should be properly and tightly sealed at all times.

Cleaning your kitchen- most pantry bugs thrive in dirt, moist and humid environments. With proper cleaning and disposal of kitchen garbage, you eliminate their chances of survival in your kitchen.

First in, first out protocol-to avoid packed food going bad in your store or kitchen, use the food bought first before you can embark on the last bought food.

  • On the same, use the food with closer expiry first as compared to those with a longer expiry date.


If you are still wondering what causes pantry bugs, now you know. Next time you have that packaged food, cereals and vegetables ensure they don’t have holes that can cause easy entry of these bugs into your kitchen.

  • Maintaining proper kitchen hygiene with routine cleaning, the timely garbage disposal is among other things that you can do to control bugs entry into your kitchen.
  • That said and done, if an infestation occurs, use traps and other techniques to rid them.

Though the bugs are barely harmful, they should not be entertained within the pantry area