Pantry pests are the name given to insects, usually beetles and moths, which tend to infest stored food products. Many food-processing plants and supermarkets struggle with controlling these types of pests, but they can also become problems at home. One of the most commonly reported pantry pests in the United States is the Indian meal moth.
Indian meal moth adults are ½ inch long with a wingspan of 3/4 inch. They can be distinguished from other moths by their two-toned markings on their wings, which are whitish-gray closest to the head, and reddish-brown with a copper luster on the end of the forewings.
Indian meal moth. Photo by Jim Kalisch, UNL Department of Entomology.
Many of us are waking up this morning to ice, snow and dangerous wind chills. Taking preventative steps is your best defense when dealing with extreme cold weather. Prepare your home and vehicles in advance of weather emergencies. Keep abreast of changing weather and road conditions. Practice safety during these times of bitter cold and you’ll reduce your risk for weather-related health problems or injury.
If you absolutely have to venture outdoors, make sure you are dressed for extreme cold weather conditions.
Learn to recognize the symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia is a more serious medical condition and requires immediate emergency medical assistance. Check on neighbors, family and friends who may be susceptible to the cold. Learn more: Continue reading
Human bed bug is typically reddish-brown in color, oval-shaped, wingless and has sucking mouthparts to suck blood from its host. Photo by Jody Green, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County.
Varied carpet beetle
Red flour beetle
I get a lot of requests to identify specimens from photos. Emailing a photo of a pest sample rather than finding a container, catching it and bringing it into our office can save considerable time for our clients in the community. If you are able to send me a good photo accompanied by some details of the situation, it can save me considerable time too.
A good photo is one preferably in focus, one which includes some identifying characters of the pest. This can be as simple as the overall shape or as detailed as the presence or absence of wings, hairs, pits, segments or clubs on a specific body part. With spider identification, it is helpful to count the number of eyes and note the eye arrangement on the cephalothorax in order to positively identify the family.
Boxelder bugs aggregating on the south side of the house and trying to get inside around the windows. Photo by Jody Green, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County.
Some pests are considered seasonal or occasional pests and their grand entrance into your house in the fall may go unnoticed, but they are not accidental. Overwintering pests require a protective place to spend the adult stage of their life without freezing to death. They normally require a winter habitat between 40-50°F for hibernation. In the fall, large populations congregate on the warm, sunny side of the structure, usually the southwestern facing exterior wall and begin moving upward to find a gaps that leads inside.