Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Creep crawly things-info on dust and grain mites

One would think that because I have Jennys allergy results I could keep her from being itchy. Not true. While I did get a better vacume cleaner it is only part of the solution. Here are some websites on the mites in question:



Grain Mites (Acarus siro):

The grain mites are pests of food and feed products, like cereals, dried vegetable materials, cheese, corn and dried fruits. These mites proliferate under high moisture conditions and are often found in conjunction with fungal growth. Severe infestations result in brownish tinge over the commodity, called "mite dust" because of the light brown coloring of the mite legs. This "mite dust" gives off a "minty" odor if the mites are crushed. The life cycle from egg to adult takes only about two weeks at normal room temperatures. Overcrowding in heavily infested products will force mites to move off in search of other food sources.

Pantry Pest Prevention:

The following tips may be useful:

**Purchase food in package sizes that can be used up in a short time. Do not store food products more than two to four months, if possible. Use older packages before newer ones and opened packages before unopened ones.

**When purchasing packaged foods, be certain containers are not damaged and seals are intac.

**Store dried foods in insect-proof containers such as screw-top glass, heavy plastic or metal containers. This will prevent entry or escape of insects. Cardboard, paper or plastic wrapping will not prevent insect infestations.

**Keep food storage areas clean and do not allow crumbs or food particles to accumulate, as exposed food will attract insects. Cleanliness is especially important in areas where pet foods and birdseed are stored.

Control of All Stored Food Pests:

Inspection and identification of all potential food sources is essential to controlling the infestation. Control requires locating and discarding all infested items. Do not overlook intact boxes or containers because many insects can chew their way into cardboard and foil.

Infested items can be thrown away or salvaged by freezing three to four days. Food can be heated in a 140ºF oven for an hour with the same result. Empty and thoroughly vacuum cupboards or shelves holding infested items, paying particular attention to cracks and corners. Vacuuming picks up hiding insects and spilled or infested material. Empty the vacuum cleaner or discard the vacuum cleaner bag after use to prevent reinfestation.

Do not use insecticides for controlling these or other insects in pantry areas. Washing shelves with detergent, bleach, ammonia or disinfectants will not have any effect on these pests since these insects lay their eggs on suitable food. Removing infested items and thoroughly cleaning with a vacuum is usually sufficient. As a precaution against reinfestation, store susceptible foods in tightly sealed glass, metal or heavy plastic containers or in the refrigerator or freezer.

If insects continue to appear, go through stored items again, also check other rooms in the home for possible sources. Tree seeds blown into ventilators or around windows may harbor these pests. Dermestids (carpet beetles) can develop in many products such as feathers, silk, wool, fur, stuffed animal skins, dead insects, lint and many other materials. If insect problems persist, seek assistance from a pest control professional.

This educational resource was adapted from Insect Pests of Stored Food in Kitchen and Pantry by S. Kamble, D. Keith and J. Kalisch, University of Nebraska. Link: http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/resources/pantrypests304.shtml

What none of the info I have found tells me is how to avoid the mites in foods in the first place. Is there a way to avoid grain mites competely?? Or is it only about avoiding gtting them in the foods you already have? It is confusing.

And because I have a sense of humor, check out the dust mite dog toy I found online:

You really CAN find anything online!