Who Else Could be Eating Your Cereal?

Breakfast cereal has long since been a staple of the American diet. The elderly or health conscious might enjoy a fiber-rich bran based bowl with skim milk. Perhaps younger kids (and adults alike) go for their favorite cereal mascots and memories of sweet, tasty mornings. Regardless of whichever is in your pantry, someone in the house probably likes to enjoy a nice bowl of cereal on occasion.

Sometimes though, we end up sharing our favorite cereals with uninvited moochers. While we imagine our cereal safely tucked away, there might already be something else in there. Nobody wants to share their food with tiny cigarette beetles, rice weevils, or even mice. Unfortunately, these cereal and pantry pests can be all too common in the kitchen.

This, is obviously a problem.

First of All: Gross

Obviously, nobody likes the idea of tiny crunchy critter carcasses mixing in with their pantry foods. Common bugs found in cereal boxes like drugstore beetles and grainary weevils can go through their entire life cycle while nesting in food containers. That means they live, breed and die all in the same environment. If that sounds particularly unsettling to imagine, then you are not alone.

But Even More So…

Beyond a basic desire to avoid creepy crawlers, is the matter of good hygiene and health. It is true that most of these “cereal bugs” don’t present any immediate health threats. However, there is the legitimate issue of the other critters creeping in your pantry. Rodents are also really big fans of cereal and will tear through a box like a kid on Saturday morning if given the chance. Even more concerning are the legitimate health risks that they present. Rodents will commonly leave droppings where they eat, and as they dry they become poisonous and can cause the hentavirus.

Right now there is a solid chance that you are creeped out or at least a little concerned about the current state of your dried goods or pantry.

Keeping an Eye Out

Here is what you you want to look for:

  • Examine the Container – With instances of rodents, they will often chew or gnaw through the actual box or bag your food is in. Look for distinctive teeth marks around the edges of your container.
  • Look in Your Food – This seems obvious, but it helps to know what your looking for. Things like cigarette beetles and rice weevils are only visible during their adult stages. Simply put, if you see something like tiny grains of brown rice in something that isn’t, then you may have a problem.
  • Look Out for Recalls – The truth is, a lot of issues with pantry pests can start at the manufacturers and grocery stores themselves. Rarely do cereal bugs infiltrate the home or food storage from outdoors. As such, it can help to look up your favorite brand of dried goods to make sure there are no recalls in effect.

When it is all said and done, keeping your food safe from pests can be tricky business. It is NEVER a good idea to attempt to use insecticides on your own food to treat the issue. However, if pantry pests and cereal critters are a real issue, then feel free to contact the professionals at Advanced Pest Control of Alabama. They’ll make sure they only thing you put back in your pantry, is peace of mind.