Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic Update - January 9, 2008

Kitchen Insect Pests


Insect pests can occur in the kitchen anytime of the year, including winter. Recent samples have included:


  • The cigarette beetle, one of the more common stored product pests.
  • Psocids, a less common pest associated with moisture or out-of-condition stored food and feed such as bags of pet food that have gotten wet.
  • Fruit flies, a common annoyance in late fall and early winter. Although fruit flies may breed in over-ripe or rotting fruit or potatoes, it takes 7 – 10 days for flies to develop and spoiled fruit rarely stays in the house that long. Fruit flies are often breeding in slow-running or seldom-used drains; so check those basement drains!

Household Spiders


The most exciting sample we received this month was two live brown recluse spiders! Luckily they were well packaged. Brown recluse spiders are very uncommon in Iowa, but we do receive a couple of samples each year.


Brown recluse spider.  Photo by Jim Kalisch, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Department of Entomology


Brown recluse spider. Photo by Jim Kalisch, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Department of Entomology

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