Flour Mites

Asked November 10, 2015, 5:20 AM EST

I, along with a pest control expert have identified flour mites in my kitchen and pantry. I had sporadically seen them on my kitchen counters for a few months but didn't realized that my pantry was full of them. My pantry and kitchen was treated last Wednesday but I have now started finding the mites in the cork coasters that were on my ottoman, bedside table, and kitchen table. Weirdly I also found the mites on my tv stand which I'm thinking could have been contaminated by a speaker which had previously sat on my kitchen counter and also bedside table. I've only found a few in each other location but I'm seriously concerned that they might spread to my whole house! Is this a possibility even though all of the food in my house is gone except for the stuff in the freezer and fridge and the other locations I found the bugs don't have food in or near them? What can I do to get rid of them in these locations? Will they spread to other places in my house? Please help! Thank you!

Honolulu County Hawaii urban integrated pest management kitchens and bathrooms

1 Response

One reply from Ohio that may shed light since you mention flour:

It sounds like you might have flour beetles. Sometimes, no matter how clean a kitchen is, pantry pests still find a home in foods. This typically occurs in dry foods stored for long periods of time (60 days or more). Insects will find a way through almost any type of packaging except glass and metal. While the pests may show up at home, they may have come from the grocery store, warehouse, processing plant, or other source. Pantry pests look for dry food, either human or pet food. The types of food include flour, cereals, cornmeal, cookies, crackers, macaroni, rice, grains, dried fruit, cured meat, candy, nuts, dry dog and cat food, and bird and vegetable seeds. To control pantry pests, follow these tips: 1. Find the source. Check seldom used foods stored in the basement or pantry. 2. Use or dispose infested products. Flour can be treated (see step 3), then sifted to remove insect. This process may not get all insect fragments. Otherwise, throw it away. 3. Treat foods by heating or freezing. - Place food packages in the freezer for at least 3 days. - Spread dry foods on a shallow pan and heat in a 150°F oven for 15-20 minutes. - Heat treat dried fruit by dipping in boiling water for about 6 seconds. 4. Store foods in tightly closed containers. 5. Clean pantry and cupboards. Seal cracks and crevices with caulking. 6. Insecticides have no effect on insects breeding in foods. Sweep up insects found after treatment. . Cleaning should be repeated a couple times every 2-4 weeks to remove emerging insects. For more information, see http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2087.html. information on other types of beetles that might be found in the pantry can be found at http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2083.html

-Ron Becker OSU Extension, Wayne Co.

Other information from PSU:
http://extension.psu.edu/juniata/news/2011/pantry-pests

http://extension.psu.edu/plants/gardening/news/2013/the-bug-box-common-pantry-pests

This will be a war of numbers. continue to vacuum and clean up all pests that you see to help break the cycle.