Stored Products Pest Control

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What is a Stored Product Pest?

Another name for Stored Product Pests is “Food Pests”, because they live amongst their food. These arthropods are particularly associated with stored bulk raw and processed foodstuffs. They are also known as “Stored Product Pests” (SPP).

The term “food pests” is used here to denote those insects which feed on and live in stored foodstuffs which have low moisture content. These pests include certain beetles, moths, booklice and mites and spend most or all of their lives in contact with the food.
Because food pests include a range of diverse arthropods it is not possible to give an all-encompassing description of their appearance. However, the adult insects are generally small (no longer than 20mm). The adult mites are about 0.5mm long.

Food pests exhibit two types of metamorphosis: “complete” (some insects) and “incomplete”.
With complete metamorphosis the insect egg hatches into an immature stage (larva) which bears no resemblance to the adult. On reaching maturity the larva changes into an immobile pupa. In the pupal stage the body of the larva is completely remodelled into the adult form. The adult then emerges from the pupal case. Thus there are four stages to the life cycle: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Beetles and moths have a complete metamorphosis.

With incomplete metamorphosis the arthropod hatches directly into an immature stage (called a “larva” in non-insects; called a “nymph” in insects and in non-insects after the first moult). This has the general appearance of a very small adult. The life cycle has three stages: egg, larva/nymph and adult. Booklice and mites have an incomplete metamorphosis.

Why do I have them?

The small size of food pests is integral to their success. If they were larger they would not be able to move easily amongst the particulate, granular and flaked foodstuffs in which they are found. They would also require more food and therefore be easier to control by the cleaning up of food residues. Being small, they can enter through small defects in storage structures, and are likely to be overlooked until their numbers have built up significantly. The larvae can infest such items as flour, grains, cereals, dried fruits, pasta, powdered milk, stored bird seed and dry pet food.

Are they dangerous?

Adult Stored Product Pests do not cause damage other than the contamination of food products. It is the larval or caterpillar stages that are very destructive and can contaminate food products as well as breed in areas where stored products are kept.

How do I get rid of stored product pest?

Stored Product Pests can be difficult to eradicate because of the wide range and food products they are likely to infest. Coupled with the fact that adult females can lay hundreds of eggs within days of emergence and mating, you can have a large infestation of these pests very quickly. It is essential that a thorough inspection take place to determine the source of the infestation.

Can I do it myself?

Do-It-Yourself methods of Stored Product Pest control are not often successful. Over-the-counter products are rarely sufficient to solve a stored product pest infestation. There are no products available to kill the larval or caterpillar stages where they are developing. NZ Pest Control professionals are trained to seek out and eradicate Stored Product Pests that are residing in or around your premises.

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How soon can you get here?

At NZ Pest Control, we strive to give our customers a rapid, efficient service, and make every effort to be with you as soon as possible.

Is the treatment safe?

All products used by NZ Pest Control, must have first been thoroughly checked by the EPA and registered for pest control use. Only then can they be considered for use by our highly trained pest control professionals. You can be assured that pest control services provided by NZ Pest Control will not cause any harm to humans or pets.

How can I prevent stored product pest returning in the future?

Regular and detailed inspection for food pests, including checking of all incoming goods. Ensure no seals are broken on bought food and that the packaging date is not expired. Store food in insect proof containers such as zip lock bags, screw-top containers or metal containers. Cleaning up of food residues. It is particularly important to frequently remove food residues from difficult-to-inspect areas, where
residues may remain undisturbed for months, allowing pest populations to build up unnoticed.

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