It’s that time of year again. As we celebrate the holidays, it often includes a flurry of activity in the kitchen, while we prepare our most coveted holiday recipes to present at the next holiday party. It’s also the time of year when we may discover some unwanted and unsavory pests in our pantry. If you have ever contended with these buggers, then you know what we are talking about.
If you haven’t encountered them before, pantry pests, also known as stored product pests, are critters such as beetles, moths, ants, and earwigs. And as you might have guessed, they are often found stowed away in pantries and cabinets; having snuck in with some of your most common baking ingredients such as flour, sugar, dried fruit, nuts, grain and more. The good news is these pests are not known to be a serious health hazard – phew! However, they can be a serious nuisance (not to mention the ick factor). Especially since they can infest your pantry in a short amount of time.
First things first…
As you begin your holiday cooking preparations, consider taking a little time to implement these tips to prevent pests from ruining your baking plans:
- Before You Get Started in the Kitchen: Take a few minutes, and do a quick inspection of your pantry items, and make sure they are pest-free. Especially those you are planning to use soon, like your flour and spices. Periodic checks of your pantry items throughout the year will help ensure that you do not end up with an infestation on your hands.
- Proper Storage: Tupperware, glass Mason jars, or canisters are a few types of airtight containers you could use to seal and protect your food from lurking pantry pests. Sealing up your items will also help to keep your supplies fresh. Not to mention it might spiffy up the area a bit.
- Check the Date: While you’re at it. Check the expiration date on your ingredients and toss out the old stuff. Even though many pantry items are considered nonperishable, they can still actually go bad and affect the flavor, if kept beyond the expiration. Furthermore, as your items slowly go bad, they are more likely to attract pantry pests.
- Clean out the cupboards: Beyond throwing out the old and expired stuff on the shelves, check around your cupboards for old spills and crumbs. Even if things look pretty clean, a quick wipe with soap and water can remove any tiny hiding bugs. Going forward be sure to take care of spills right away, which will make your pantry less attractive, since there is nothing good to snack on.
- Inspect Groceries: Believe it or not, many pantry pests enter your home from already infested groceries. Therefore, you should carefully check the packaging of items in the store, before purchasing, for signs of damage. Damaged packaging means pests can infest the product.
These steps are a great approach to preventing pests from taking hold of your pantry. But if you discover you already have an infestation on your hands, throw out our infested food items, using outside bins. Thoroughly clean your pantry, including the shelves and floors.
If the issue persists, you may want to call a professional pest control company, like Modern Pest Services, who will be able to inspect and treat the problem. Modern’s goal is to solve your pest problem while minimizing the amount of materials placed in and around your home. We do this through careful inspections, locating pest “hot spots,” as well as helping you to minimize conditions that promote pest activity in and around your home. Give Modern a call today at 1-800-323-7378 or get an instant online quote for the comprehensive HomeCare Green program that controls 60 common pests – including pantry pests!