SPIs can be sneaky. They can destroy, demolish, and disappear before you even know a target’s been placed on your back. It’s difficult to locate their boss, sometimes impossible. But once they set their sights on you, there’s no erasing the damage. So what exactly is a SPI? It’s a Stored Product Insect, otherwise known as pantry pests. These undercover bugs pose a huge risk for the food industry. A very expensive risk. A Stored Product Pest can cost a mid-sized business close to $40,000 annually. Compare that to a run-of-the-mill pest infestation that costs around half that amount. So which pests are considered SPIs, which one is the most dangerous, and how can you avoid that crippling cost, you ask? Read the pest dossier below, give us a call, and consider the mission completed.

Who: The SPI you most want to avoid is the beetle, specifically the boring beetle and mites. These beetles can literally bore their way through food items and even packaging with their intense mandibles. Another type would be the grain beetle, whose miniature size makes it very difficult to detect.

The rice weevil is another pest you don’t want putting a target on you. These pests can fly and use that ability to damage grain before the harvest. But the field isn’t their only territory. They’ll take over your food storage as well.

Some female stored product pests have the ability to lay 400 eggs in the span of one lifetime. And the larvae and adults alike feed on one your thing; your food products. So not only are you paying to get rid of these guys, you’re also paying to replace your stock.

What: All food is at risk from these pests. Even if the pests haven’t reached your food source, if they’ve even gotten near the packaging, the food is considered at-risk for diseases.

Where: You’re most at risk for an SPI infestation when a delivery truck is en route or where food is stored. Stored product insects – especially beetles – like most bugs, are attracted to light. It is rare – thought not impossible – to discover an infestation in a mostly unlit area.

The Stored Product Insect Solution

The most effective way to keep an infestation from occurring is having regular checks from a pest control company (like us!). But there are things you can do yourself as well. Ensure all openings to your food storage units and delivery trucks are sealed tight. Restricts lots of activity surrounding food storage and within the unit. Also, train staff to look for signs of any tampering of food, including small openings or scratches in the packaging.

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