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The insects found in cupboards and pantries

An infestation of panty pests can be overwhelming; however, it is important to remember that the treatment is very simple and can be accomplished without the professionals.

The main indications of an infestation in your pantry are webbing on the food itself, or dust appearing on shelves and holes in the packaging. The food items most at risk include rice, cereals, nuts and flour.

The insects themselves will often look like white maggots or tiny dark coloured beetles. The larvae for most of the pests are usually inside the grains themselves, as such it is unlikely that you will notice these, rather the adults that gather towards the bottom of the container or packet.

The rice weevils “use the snout to bore into the grain, turns around and lay eggs in the opening and seals the hole. The egg hatches into a larvae, then generally stays inside the grain until it pupates.”

Skye Blackburn, an entomologist and food scientist explained that although quick action should be taken to halt and eliminate the infestation, there is no need to panic as they won’t harm the consumer.

Blackburn says “It doesn’t hurt if you eat them and it’s all extra protein. The average person will eat about a quarter of a kilogram of insects in their diet every year anyway!”

It is well known that in some cultures, it is very normal to consume insects regularly, especially larger ones such as crickets. In some countries, there has been mounting trends with eating insects and incorporating this into our diet.

The ones you are most likely to find in your cupboards are grain weevils, flour moths and flour beetles.

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