November 3, 2015 / Residential Pest Control

Common Pests Found In Dog Food

Common Pests Found In Dog Food

It’s always a little bit startling if you notice that your dog’s dry food has moving parts. Canned food usually doesn’t harbor stowaways since the packages are hermetically sealed, but persistent insects can sometimes find their way into cardboard or paper containers. Moths, beetles, and other bugs can make their homes inside large bags of dry dog food, infesting your home and spreading illness to your pets. Here we’ve listed three of the most common pests you might find hiding in your pet’s food.

Indian Meal Moth

An Indian meal moth infestation can expand rapidly, since the adult females can lay up to 200 eggs in their lifetime. Therefore, it is important to act quickly at the first sign of an infestation. The Indian meal moth is quite easy to spot, with a body one-half inch long and bright copper and gray wings. Only the larvae will feed on the dry dog food — or any dry stored food or whole grain. Silk webbing will line the top of food containers if an Indian meal moth infestation is present. When mature, larvae will leave the food source and can travel a relatively long distance before establishing a cocoon. It is not uncommon to discover caterpillars and cocoons on ceilings.

Warehouse Beetles

Warehouse beetles will eat nearly any source of food in sight. They’ve been known to consume dog food, cereal, candy, pasta, cornmeal, flour, and dried milk. A female warehouse beetle can lay about 150 eggs in your dog’s dry food with a larvae pupation (transformation) span of 34 days. The eggs will hatch in approximately six days, and will begin feeding on stored food or grains. Warehouse beetles and their larvae like to move from one food source to the next in short durations, and can be quite a nuisance to eliminate. While the larvae prefer dark, secluded locations, the adult females seem to be attracted to light after laying eggs. Even without a source of food, some warehouse beetles can survive for a year. Not only are these pests excellent scavengers and survivors, but their hair-like projections will shed, which can irritate the respiratory systems or digestive tracts of exposed individuals and animals.

Sawtoothed Grain Beetles

Sawtoothed grain beetles can be found in a variety of foods, such as cereal, dried fruit, dog food, and pasta. They grow to about one tenth of an inch in size, and are usually black to reddish-brown in color. They are easily recognizable by jagged protrusions on the sides of their thorax. These pests can live up to three years, and the females will lay more than 250 eggs in a lifetime. These pests can easily squeeze into tiny crevices and cracks to infiltrate food containers.

Have you found insects living inside your pet’s food? The experienced professionals at JP Pest Services can get rid of food-dwelling insects from your home quickly and completely! Contact JP Pest Services to request a free residential estimate today!