Stored Product Insect Pests

Stored Product Insects (SPI) are insect pests that infest and damage food, fibres, leathers, wood and other products in homes, shops, warehouses and other places of storage.

Identify the problem Identify the problem

Evidence of stored product insects (SPI) pests include:

  • Damage to stored products.
  • Live or dead insects (larvae [grubs/maggots] beetles and moths).
  • Silken webbing on food packaging and shelves.
  • Holes, larvae or webbing on the outside of packaging.
  • Larvae, pupae or silk webbing in cracks and crevices around shelves.
  • Holes or damage to wood items, carpets, clothing, leather, etc.

There are many insect pests that can infest stored products. These include:

  • Beetles
    • Common furniture beetle (borer) - Anobium punctatum
    • NZ native borer beetle - Leanobium flavomaculatum
    • Varied carpet beetle - Anthrenus verbasci
    • Fur beetle or carpet beetle - Attagenus pellio
    • Black carpet beetle - Attagenus unicolor
    • Black larder beetle - Dermestes ater
    • Larder beetle - Dermestes lardarius
    • Hide beetle - Dermestes maculatus
    • Cigarette beetle - Lasioderma serricorne
    • Red-legged ham beetle - Necrobia rufipes          
    • Golden spider beetle - Niptus hololeucus
    • Merchant grain beetle - Oryzaephilus mercator
    • Australian spider beetle - Ptinus tectus
    • Spider beetle - Mezium americanum
    • Lesser grain borer - Rhyzopertha dominica
    • Drugstore beetle - Stegobium paniceum
    • Yellow mealworm - Tenebrio molitor
    • Cadelle beetle Tenebroides mauritanicus
    • Red flour beetle - Tribolium castaneum
    • Confused flour beetle - Tribolium confusum
    • Destructive flour beetle - Tribolium destructor
    • Khapra beetle - Trogoderma granarium
  • Moths
    • Cacao moth - Ephestia elutella
    • Mediterranean flour moth - Ephestia kuehniella
    • Yellow V moth - Oinophila v-flavum
    • Indian meal moth - Plodia interpunctella
    • Meal moth - Pyralis farinalis
    • Angoumois grain moth - Sitotroga cerealella
    • Carpet moth or tapestry moth - Trichophaga tapetzella
    • Case bearing clothes moth - Tinea pellionella
    • Clothes moths – several species
  • Mites
    • Flour mite Acarus siro
  • Weevils
  • Others


Pests in Stored Food/Pantries

  1. Clean and Dispose – Check and dispose of all infested food.
    Remove all the food and food utensils from the pantry.
    Clean down all shelves by vacuuming or sweeping up all spilled dry food. Wash down all surfaces with detergent and water.
    Let the surfaces dry completely.
  2. Spray – Spray all surfaces with a light coat of NO Bugs Super or NO Spiders Total Protection. Pay particular attention to cracks and joins where spilled food may accumulate.
    Let the surfaces dry completely.
    Note: For booklice NO Spiders Total Protection is the preferred option.
  3. Replace and Keep Dry – Once the surfaces are fully dry put the food stuffs back in the pantry sealed in airtight containers.
    Keep all dried food and paper/cardboard packaging dry by ensuring good ventilation and heating. A dehumidifier can be useful in keeping the area dry.

Pests of Fibres/Carpet

  1. Spray – If you are able to lift the edges of the carpet (~30 cm); vacuum under the edge then spray the floor below and the underside of the carpet with NO Bugs Super . Put the carpet back down and lightly spray the upper surface in a band about a metre wide around the edge and affected areas.
    If the edge of the carpet cannot easily be lifted then spray the upper surface relatively heavily using NO Spiders Total Protection. [NO Spiders Total Protection will move through the carpet to the underside more easily than NO Bugs Super.]
  2. Fumigate/Bomb – After spraying use NO Bugs Super Bug Bombs or NO Bugs Super Fumigator to quickly knock down adult beetles and moths and treat areas that may not have been sprayed.
    NO Bugs Bug Bombs contain the same active ingredients as NO Spiders Total Solution and similar to NO Bugs Super. It will enhance the effectiveness of the targeted spray treatment.
    Consider woollen items and other food for fibre damaging pest  in roof voids, NO Bugs Bug Bombs are an ideal way to treat roof voids and other voids where insects may be living.

  3. Vacuum – After treatment, vacuum thoroughly to remove eggs, dead beetles, moths and larvae.
    Dispose of the vacuum bag immediately afterwards by sealing in a plastic bag and placing in the rubbish.

Wood Boring Insect Pests

  1. Protect – The best option is always to protect the wood directly by treating it with long lasting NO Borer Total Wood Protection fluid.
    Treat any bare wood with NO Borer Total Wood Protection. NO Borer Total Wood Protection concentrate and ready to use will penetrate deep into the timber and in normal circumstances protect the wood for many years. Small areas where solvent cannot be used can be treated with NO Borer Total Wood Protection ready to use trigger spray.
    Inject - Inject flight holes in painted, varnished or polished timbers with NO Borer Spray Injector. The aerosol forces insecticide into the labyrinth created by the borer larva, killing any larva in the labyrinth or nearby. It also prevents adult beetles laying eggs in the flight hole.
  2. Fumigate –Use NO Bugs Super Bug Bombs or NO Bugs Super Fumigator fumigators between Oct-Mar to quickly knock down adult beetles before they mate and re-infest wood.
    Fumigation is often the only option for treating homes and buildings where all the timbers cannot be easily accessed.

  3. Ventilate/Dry - Borer prefer timber that has some moisture in it. Ensure that your sub-floor and roof spaces are dry and well ventilated. Check for plumbing leaks and unblock all air vents.

Did You Know Did You Know

Most species of stored product insect pests go through multiple generations per year. In some species of stored product insects it is only the larval stage that consumes food. In these cases, the purpose of the adult insect is to mate, find food and lay eggs. Insect species in which the adults also feed can survive longer and continue to infest and feed on available foods for several months to a year.

Tips Tips

Decorative items such as dried flower arrangements, or pet feed may be treated with heat 70°C for about 20 mins or in a non-self-defrosting freezer at -18°C for 4 days.

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