Pests in the Pantry: What You Can Do
If you are like most people, chances are you have had the unsettling experience of dealing with pantry (or stored product) pests at one time or another, as they are occasionally found in nearly every home.
Common pantry pests include various types of moths, beetles, and weevils, each with its own unique habits and tendencies. Although these types of pests are most often found in or around the kitchen, they can be found in any areas where food products such as flour, grains, cereals, or other processed foods may be stored. Fortunately, regular inspections, food storage practices, and sanitation can go a long way in minimizing the likelihood of a pantry pest infestation.
How to Keep Pantry Pests Out of Your Home
- Inspect Your Food Before Buying
Although stored product pests may arise any place food is on hand, some measures can be taken to minimize the potential for intrusion. Keeping in mind that pantry pests are generally introduced into an environment within or upon the food items they are infesting. Be conscientious while food shopping, paying close attention for any pest activity in the areas around and beneath shelves where flour, grains, pastas, and other processed foods may be housed.
- Store Food In Sealed, Air-Tight Containers
When unpacking foods such as flour, grains, cereals, pastas, and pet foods, consider transferring them from their original packaging to a sealed, air-tight container. Not only will this allow you to see if any of your food is currently impacted by adult stages of pantry pests, but it will also make the food less accessible for future attack from external feeders, preserve the integrity of the food for longer periods of time, and make it less susceptible to other pests such as ants or rodents.
- Discard Older Food Items
Because internal feeders may emerge over time, older food items should be removed and discarded on a routine basis. Pastas, grains, flour, rice, pet food, and other similar products that remain on hand beyond their utility become highly likely for an outbreak to occur. Any food items found to contain stored product pests should be immediately discarded and removed from the home.
- Clean & Sanitize Regularly
All areas where food items are stored should be cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis. Special attention should be given to cracks and joints between shelves and doors, as stored product pests may work themselves into these areas. This process also forces a periodic inspection of the areas where food is kept, allowing for the quicker discovery of areas of concern.
- Pay Special Attention to Pet Food Items
Because dog food, cat food, bird seed, and many other pet food items are very attractive to many types of stored product pests, pet owners should be particularly vigilant in their pet food inspection and storage practices.
Although an outbreak of pantry pests can feel overwhelming, the steps outlined above will go a long way in reducing the likelihood of future invasions. Additionally, some homeowners find that the most effective approach to keeping their home environment consistently free of pests is by incorporating an ongoing, year-round pest control service plan with a licensed pest control professional.
Consider the services of a licensed local Spring Green professional for pest control treatments.