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Moths, Beetles, Weevils, and Worms

Moths, beetles, weevils, and worms all can live in dried food products. Follow the steps on this page to avoid an infestation.

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Don't bring pests home.

Inspect all dried food packages (cereals, beans, flour, dried fruits and spices, birdseed, and pet food) before you purchase them.

  • Reject broken or unsealed containers.
  • Check the packaging "sell by" date.
  • Look for the presence of insects through clear plastic or wax paper packages. Telltale signs of an infested bag or box include tiny holes or webbing.

Store foods appropriately.

Proper food management can help prevent insect infestations.

  • Store packages of dried food (including pet food) in screw-top metal, glass jars with rubber seals, or airtight containers. Do not leave them in their paper, cardboard, or plastic wrappers.
  • Use cold to reduce or kill developing insects.
    • Store dried foods in a refrigerator to prevent pests from developing.
    • Storing dried foods in a freezer for 48 hours will kill developing pests.
  • Buy only small quantities of foods so they will be consumed quickly. Long-term storage encourages problems.
    • Use opened packages before opening new ones.
    • Use older products first.

Keep areas clean.

Prevent any pests from spreading to other foods.

  • Put away leftover food. Clean up crumbs and spills immediately.
  • Keep sinks and counters wiped clean. Remember to clean countertop appliances like toasters and microwaves, outside, inside, and< underneath. Also clean on and behind shelves and larger appliances.

Contacts

Emergencies

  • Environment, Health & Safety:
    (858) 534-4534 weekdays, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Campus Police: (858) 534-4357 after business hours

Non-emergencies (Typical response time: 1 working day)

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Notice: The UCSD Environment, Health & Safety Department does not provide pest control advice or help to individuals or agencies outside UCSD. Area residents should contact their local animal control agency or exterminator for assistance.