There are several different varieties of pantry pests and whenever possible it is best to determine which one is causing havoc in your home. It will help narrow down possible food resources that they are using and harborage areas. Typically the first signs of a pantry pest problem are moths, small brown beetles or tiny worms on the wall, counter, shelf or pantry floor.
Of course these insects can't roll up in the McDonald's drive thru for their next meal---that's why they are at your house. Their favorite foods include dried goods-especially those containing grains, dried fruits and nuts. Baking mixes, flours, spices, cereals, powdered milk, pastas, bird seed, dry pet food and pet treats---(obviously-refer to 1st paragraph). Even unopened boxes of cake mixes, puddings, cereal, crackers, popcorn, etc. can have an infestation. Some varieties will even feed on dried flower arrangements and some eat...chocolate-Oh ya-I went there! Chocolate!
Ok...So what do you do about it? First thing is inspect. Everything. It is time consuming, boring and yep tedious, but you will never get rid of the problem if you try to skim thru it. Empty your pantry, your beloved cookie or cereal cabinet or the pet food/treat stash. You are checking for holes in unopened packages, looking for bugs (or parts of them) in clear bags, check areas where crumbs gather-behind appliances or canned goods, look for any webbing and check the shelves-and above them in each of these areas.
The bright side? Once you locate and eliminate all infested foods, you have cleaned thoroughly, and repackaged the remaining items in sealed containers, any remaining adults (beetles or moths) will be looking for another food source to deposit their eggs. -But you have done your job, which means they can't do theirs. Nice.
Yeah, It's a pain in the butt to get rid of them. But... once you have eliminated your problem you can help avoid future infestations. Repackage materials in properly sealed clear containers. Inspect new items-as soon as you bring them into the home, especially discounted or nearly expired products. Rotate your food products to use older items first.
Now you can sit back and enjoy that bowl of cereal once again....and know -it's just a bowl of cereal.