PUBLISHED ON February 24th, 2011
If you’re like most homeowners, you’ve probably struggled with a pantry pest infestation at some time or another. Indoor pest control can be a big problem, especially during the winter and especially in kitchens and pantries. Certain types of moths, weevils, beetles and other insects can infest home food supplies – and often they’re even inadvertently brought home in packaged foods.
Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to reduce the chances of having unwanted inhabitants in your pantry:
Lock food up tight. A clean pantry is the best defense against winter pantry pests. Store any human or animal food products in air-lock containers – especially bread, flour, cereal, pet food, crackers, bird seed, nuts and dried fruit. Pests are less likely to invade a pantry if they can’t smell or sense any food nearby, or if they can’t easily get to it.
Don’t mix the old with the new. Pests can get into even the best-kept pantry. If this happens, your food supply may be infested without your knowledge. For this reason, never mix new food, like flour or rice, with old supplies. If you do have an infestation, you don’t want to run the risk of contaminating the new food items.
Clean food containers before reusing. If a food container is contaminated, it can cause the new supply to become infested.
Keep your pantry dry. Moisture can encourage pantry pests to thrive, while dryness discourages them.
Use appropriate home pest controls. The majority of pantry pests are some form of beetle or moth. These pests can usually be removed by a round or two of home pest control measures, such as traps or aerosol sprays. Make sure to keep the traps out of the way of kids and pets, and remove all food in the vicinity before spraying.
Some pantry pests can’t be dealt with yourself. If your pantry has become overrun, or if you aren’t comfortable using a DIY pest control product, contact a professional pest control company.