Are there Mealworms
in My Stored Food?


A pile of mealworms. A pile of mealworms.

A pile of mealworms.

From snacks at the office to pantry supplies at a restaurant, mealworms will infest any space with food. If you notice holes on food packaging, “dust” on packaging, or you’ve seen these pesky pests, there’s a chance you’re dealing with a mealworm infestation.

Finding mealworms in a food container is far from pleasant. A mealworm infestation is usually the result of poor sanitation. It’s important to deal with an infestation in your business as soon as possible before these pests spread and contaminate more food.

What Are Mealworms?

People often treat Mealworms as if they are a pest species on their own. However, they are actually the larval form of many different species. The most common type of mealworm is the yellow mealworm, which is the larval form of the mealworm beetle. The mealworm beetle is a species of the darkling beetle.

The mealworm life cycle represents one of the four stages that these beetles – and many insects – go through before they become adults. The full cycle includes egg, larva (mealworm), pupa and adult (beetle). Mealworms spend 8-10 weeks growing and molting before they enter the pupa stage. 

Where Do Mealworms Come From?

Beetles may have laid eggs on or near your food so that their young would have an available meal once they hatch. Adult beetles are nocturnal and prefer warm, dark, humid areas. If you have a humid basement or store area, that is likely to be the source of your problem. 

Mealworms are especially fond of older, rotted and moldy foods. Check the back of your cupboards for neglected or spoiled food that may have become a breeding ground for these pests.

Signs of Mealworms in Food

Mealworms are persistent pests that are often prevalent in restaurant pantries and office kitchens. They can hitch rides into your business through cardboard boxes, in stored dog food, or simply through an open door. They are often found in cereal, flour, baking products, and other dry foods and grains. There are several signs that you have a mealworm infestation in your stored food, including:

How to Get Rid of Mealworms

The ideal spot for mealworms is dark, humid, and warm. A restaurant or office pantry is a perfect place for mealworms to hang out. In most cases, a mealworm infestation can be cleared up relatively easily. Rid your stored food of an infestation with the following tips:

How to Prevent Mealworms 

The best way to deal with a mealworm infestation is to prevent one in the first place. Once your business is pest-free, take the following measures to keep mealworms out:

Keep Mealworms Away

If you’re struggling to get your pest problem under control, get in touch with Assured Environments today! We provide the best pest management services throughout New York and New Jersey. We can rid your space of mealworms and other unpleasant pests that can compromise your business.