Avoid Post Holiday Pantry Pests
The winter holidays are nearly done, the hectic hustle and bustle has quieted, and people all over the US are packing up odds and ends to resume their “normal” lives. Maybe you’re ahead of the curve, and already did all of your clean-up!
But have you considered your pantry and cabinets?
Cabinets and pantries are convenient and some would say–vital–for the life of any home. But food storage is also convenient for pests, offering both shelter and food during winter. If you’re not careful, you could have an infestation on your hands in no time! With a few preventative measures, you can keep your pantry clean and pest-free. Here at Antworks, we want all of our neighbors to have a safe and happy home. With the following tips about post holiday pantry pests, your new year pantry can be pest-free!
Why are Pantry Pests a Problem After the Holidays?
The holidays typically involve a lot of food, sometimes special items that aren’t eaten regularly, or ingredients for baked goods. There’s probably been quite a bit of traffic in and out of your kitchen during the last couple of months, and all of those special ingredients and treats can make for some festive fodder for pests, including moths, weevils, and beetles!
Here’s how pantry pests get into your kitchen: they can infest grain, cereals, pastas, and other dried goods as these food items are stored in warehouses. The items get shipped–with the pests typically in egg form–and the food arrives in the grocery store. You buy the food from the grocery store, you put it in your pantry–and soon enough, those tiny pests emerge to infest your food, your pantry, and your kitchen. Yikes!
Ways to Prevent Post Holiday Pantry Pests
There are three basic areas to focus on to prevent this kitchen nightmare:
- Storage: pantry pests can chew through soft plastic and cardboard!
- Don’t store food–especially things like flour and sugar–in their original paper packaging. Store in hard plastic to prevent moisture, pests, and potential contamination.
- Check all new items for holes in the bag or in the cardboard box.
- Inspection: making sure your food is as fresh as possible is a great way to combat pests.
- Check expiration dates when you purchase items.
- If you have bulk items, put the item with the nearest expiration at the front, so you use it first.
- Regularly check dates on items within your pantry, and throw out anything that has expired.
- As you go through your pantry (every three months or so), vacuum and clean shelves with a mild soap solution.
- By inspecting and cleaning regularly, you can prevent other household pests from finding a meal, and also see the warning signs of an infestation!
How Do You Know If You Have Pantry Pests?
There are two basic indications you have a pest problem, including:
- The most obvious sign: moths and beetles in your food!
- When this happens, discard the affected item immediately, sealing it completely and throwing it in the outside garbage.
- Check surrounding items to make sure they weren’t affected as well.
- This can include larvae as well. Check for small white “worms”.
- Small holes in cardboard or plastic bags.
Professional Help with Pantry Pests
If you’ve found any pests in or around your kitchen, give us a call. The experts with Antworks Pest Control will be able to help identify, control, remove, and treat your infestation! We can also work with you on regularly scheduled pest control, so your home can be worry-free all year round. Give us a call today!