Key warning signs that common cupboard bugs are lurking without you knowing

By Staff 7 Min Read

The thought of bugs crawl around your kitchen cupboards and into your food is enough to make your skin crawl – an expert is warning what to look out for and how to get rid of the critters

Brits are being warned that their kitchen may be “crawling” with tiny bugs that are not easy to spot.

The idea of bugs lurking in your cupboards and getting into your dry food is enough to make your skin crawl. While the creatures are harmless, an expert says you may need to act fast to eliminate the problem growing.

The problem is that the bugs are so small – just millimetres long – that they are hard to identify. Ashleigh Tosh, an expert from MuscleFood.com has shared the common kitchen critters and her top tips to get rid of them for good.

Ashleigh said: “Common ones like flour weevils are easy to spot – the dark bug stands out in the flour. As soon as you see them, getting rid of the bugs is easy. Simply throw the flour away and check any other packages nearby. Others like cheese mites are so tiny they’re virtually impossible to see. But don’t worry, these are completely harmless if you consume them.”

It is vital the cupboards are kept sanitary in a bid to keep bugs at bay. You should make sure to vacuum the area well and give it a good clean, plus always throw away any contaminated food as this can attract critters.

Biscuit beetles are one of the most common bugs found in kitchen cupboards. They like to feed on bread, spices, and flour. Expert Ashleigh explained that they are approximately three millimetres long are a red and brown colour.

She added: “To get rid of them, you’ll need to find the source and deep clean the area, removing food residues, eggs, larvae, and adult beetles.”

Three times as big as the biscuit beetle is the larder beetle. These insects are dark-coloured with a band of light colour on their backs – which helps with identifying them.

The expert commented: “You’ll find these critters around skirting boards and maybe behind the cooker where they’ll eat grease or any dropped food. The best way to get rid of larder beetles is with an insecticide or heat treatment.” You must ensure to remove any food from the cupboard before conducting the deep clean.

Another beetle that loves kitchen cupboards is the confused flour beetle, who prefer to feast cereal-based foods as well as on clean flour where they often hatch eggs. These bugs are a red and brown colour and have antenna.

Unlike many of their beetle cousins, confused flour beetles aren’t necessarily harmful but they will cause food contamination. However they can live up to six months in good conditions.

People should also look out for the mill moth – also known as the Mediterranean flour moth – which also feats on flour. “These tend to be found more in commercial businesses but if you do find them in your home there are a few steps you can take,” said Ashleigh.

Cheese lovers should watch out for cheese mites – who are also very fond of the dairy product. They typically prefer aged cheeses with natural rinds and are so tiny that they are difficult to see. If you accidentally consume a cheese mite they are harmless. They can also be found in damp flours and some stored products.

And finally, the rarest bug to find in your cupboards is the rice weevil. Ashleigh commented: “You’re unlikely to find these at home – they’re commonly found in grain storage plants,” said Ashleigh. “However, they can occasionally be found in beans, birdseed, sunflower seeds and dry corn.

“You need to look out for a red or brown bug, around three millimetres long with red or yellow spots on the wing cover. If you do spot them, clean out your cupboards and get rid of all unsealed food. Give the space a deep clean and use insecticide if you need to.”

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