Tiny bugs sharing our Christmas treats? It’s not something that we like to think about but it could be a problem all the same as insects can infest stored food.

Being aware of the problem and knowing how to spot the signs of stored product insects is the first line of defence – and will hopefully help you to keep those Christmas treats all to yourself.

Being alert to the signs of stored product insects will allow you to take early action and nip the problem in the bud before the insect infestation spreads.

What insects are found in stored food?

In the United Kingdom stored product insects are generally beetles weevils, silver fish and moths.

Most of the insects are minute with beetles and weevils measuring around 3-4mm, flour mites are just 0.5mm, while moths can be up to 9mm.

These little critters are brought into warehouses, factories and bakeries inside bags of grain and flour.

However, they can also be found in products such as nuts and dried fruit.

They can be a serious problem if found in a commercial operation as infected produce will need to be thrown away. Business owners will also need to thoroughly clean the area – and apply insecticide to ensure the insects have been removed – this should be done by a professional pest control firm.

Within the house stored product insects cause similar problems albeit on a much smaller scale. At the sight of a brown fleck moving in your flour, holes in packing, damaged food or silken webbing in the kitchen it is time act – and quickly.

The faster the response to stored product insect infestations the easier the situation will be to manage and to contain the amount food affected.

What to do

Remove all affected food – this could be sugar, flour, breakfast cereals, dried meat and dried fruit. Follow up by comprehensively cleaning the entire cupboard, including cracks and joins. Make sure the kitchen is as clean as possible.

A pest control company will be able to ensure the removal of insects and can treat the affected area.

For advice on tackling insect infestations contact Pest Busters.

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