Stored Product Insects (SPI)

Stored Product Insects are found in business and domestic premises, where there is food stored. They are any insect which infest stored food, whether in the raw material state or processed. Most of these pests are introduced into our homes in infested food. Some invade homes through normal methods of entry.

And these come in three groups:

  • Beetles

  • Moths

  • Mites

Within these three groups there are many families of Stored Product Insects, most of which are capable of living of a variety of foodstuffs. Especially if it remains unused and exposed long enough in the home. Unfortunately all types of dry food is on the menu when we talk about Stored Product Insects. Some of these pests are more specific to certain foods for example the Biscuit Beetle. Feeds on cereal products, spices, and dried stored foodstuffs. Just to mention a few of the most common pests are, flour beetle, biscuit beetle, rice weevil, grain weevil, warehouse moth, Indian meal, the list goes on.

The infestation of these small insects can cause great financial loss, and also lead to stress. Due to the foods being contaminated by insects result in a loss of business. They can affect the goodwill, and the reputation of a large business or small company. Large populations of these food pests may develop in unused or undisturbed foods which were infested when purchased. Food packets which are not tightly sealed after use can also lead to an infestation. And once they are in they can spread to other exposed food. Often the only way that one knows of their presence is by discovery of an infested, and infrequently used food item or the encounter of flying or crawling adults.

The presence of stored food pests is not an indication of uncleanliness since infestation may be brought home in purchased food. The basic fundamentals of controlling stored food pests are exclusion, regular inspections, cleaning of shelves, and chemical treatment. Sometimes an infestation can develop on bread or cracker fragments or in some undisturbed, loose flour or meal on one corner of the shelf. Keep all containers tightly closed. Put susceptible items in tight containers or screw-top jars or other sealable containers. Do not overstock shelves with products which will not be used frequently or in a short period of time. Rotate use of stored items so oldest are used first. For the chemical treatment you will need to call a professional Pest Controller.

Textile Insect Pests

It is the larval stage of the Textile Insect Pest which causes the damage. They have the ability to digest a protein which is called “Keratin” and is found in:

  • Animal hair

  • Fur

  • Wool

The three named substances above can all be found in your home, and manmade materials such as cotton, have a good chance of being damaged even thou it will not be eaten.The most common textile pests found in this country are:

  • The Varigated Carpet Beetle. (Anthrenus verbasci) Larvae feed on fabrics, carpets, clothing, fur, and stuffed specimens.

  • Fur Beetle. (Attagenus pellio) Larvae feed on fabrics, clothing, furs, and stuffed specimens.

  • Common clothes moth. (Tineola bisselliella) Larvae feed on animal derived fabrics, fur, and feather products.

  • Case bearing clothes moth. (Tineola pellionella) Larvae feed on woollen clothing, furniture fillings, fur and carpets mainly of animal origin.

  • White shouldered house moth. (Endrosis sarcitrella) Larvae are able to digest “Keratin” but seem to prefer more a vegetable protein.

  • Brown house moth. (Hofmannophila pseudospretella) Larvae feed on fur, feathers, and museum specimens.

Varigated Carpet Beetle Fur Beetle Common clothes moth White shouldered house moth Brown house moth
Varigated Carpet Beetle Fur Beetle Common clothes moth White house shouldered moth Brown house moth

 

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