Stored Product Pests from Rodents◀ Back To Blog
February 15, 2015
Stored product pests like Indianmeal moths and sawtoothed grain beetles are sometimes found infesting items outside of the kitchen, items that don't actually qualify as stored foods. A common, and easily overlooked, source of stored product pests is rodent cached food in hidden voids.
Rats, mice, and squirrels collect pet food or bird seed and may hoard many pounds of it in hidden sites. When there is food competition, rodents hoard food near their nest so they can eat it in a protected location. For mice, this often means a food cache behind the kick plate under the sink or in a kitchen wall void, usually within 10 feet of their nest. Inside furniture, appliances, and the void under the bathtub are other mouse hoard sites. Rats cache their food anywhere, and for squirrels, the attic is a prime hoarding site. Sometimes, rodents hoard more food than they could ever use. One pest management professional found 30 pounds of insect infested dog food that had been hoarded by pine squirrels in the attic of a heated garage.
Some stored product pests will infest hoarded food right away (sometimes it's already infested when the rodents hide it). Other secondary food pests like sawtoothed grain beetles move in once the food is old or broken. And if the hoarded food gets wet, a whole new group of fungus-related beetles, flies, and mites can move in. A rodent food hoard can accumulate over many months and can result in hundreds of insects finding their way out of the hoard and into living space.
In most cases you can't solve the food pest problem permanently without first locating the site of the cache, opening the void, removing the food...and only then treating the site. Then getting rid of the rodents is the task.
The best way to protect your home and prevent any type of pest infestation is to follow pest-proofing tips throughout the year. Keep in mind, at the first sign of a pest infestation (noise, evidence, damage), to contact a pest professional. Clifton Park pest control professionals will assess the situation and recommend treatment.