Holidays and cooking go hand in hand this time of year so before the cooking begins, make sure pantry pests are not invited to your meals. Panty pest prevention should be addressed early. Yes, I know, another addition to your to-do list, but believe me, you don’t want to see an Indian meal moth or other pest flying out when open your pantry door at meal prep time.
Step 1- Check and clean out your food pantry. Take a moment to first, throw out old or expired food. Taking stock of what you have now and what you may need for holiday meals may also keep you from those frantic last-minute purchases at the store wondering “Do I already have that spice?”
Another point to consider is, “did you bring that pest from the grocery store?” You may not want to think of pests in your recently purchased store items, but it does happen.
Tip 1: When you bring dry goods home from the store, place them in a plastic bag in the freezer for one week to kill any moth eggs undetectable with the naked eye. After you pull this from the freezer, you can sift through a sieve as an added precaution.
Step 2 involves a little elbow grease. You will need to remove all items from the pantry. If you don’t remember the last time you cleaned out your pantry, then it’s probably a good time to do this. Yes, it will take a good chunk of your time, but having to throw out and replace food items when you get an infestation is wasteful as well as gross to know bugs were in your food pantry! Remove and replace old shelf liners vacuum any spilled food particles. Be sure to vacuum baseboards and corners as well as clean wire shelves and hardware. Vacuum away cocoon webbing that could be hidden in back corners. Once everything has been cleared away, wipe down the pantry shelves with warm, soapy water. For a safe and simple cleaning solution, you can also use a 50-50 solution of white vinegar and water to discourage pantry pest re-infestation. The vinegar smell dissipates after it dries and you’ll be left with a clean, and hopefully pest free area.
Tip 2: pure peppermint oil on a cotton ball placed in the pantry corners will help repel pests.
Step 3 is Storage. Staples like grains, flour and sugar are just some dry good items that can attract ants, pantry moths and other pests if left out and unsealed. Store grains and other dry goods in air-tight containers with secure lids. Whether plastic, glass or metal containers, we want to make it almost impossible for pests to contaminate your food items in the pantry closet.
Tip 3: Be sure dry pet food is also stored in a sealed, airtight container as ants would love to enjoy this meal if left open.
The goals to address for pantry pest prevention are:
- Take stock of items and expiration dates
- Wipe Down shelves
- Seal up opened food items
These 3 steps will go a long way in helping to prevent pantry pests from making your home their home. If you already have pantry pests or other home pest issues, call or contact Bio-Tech Pest Control at 281-296-6022.