Pantry pests are insects that get into your pantries and infest the food kept in them. While pretty much any type of household pests, ranging from cockroaches to mice can get into a pantry and make a mess, pantry pests are a little different. These bugs will get into your food. So how do you prevent pantry pests from getting into your food?
Obviously, there is nothing a pantry pest can do to a sealed can, but they can wreak havoc on your cereal, flour, sugar, and any other grainy food. The best protection is to be sure the food is pest-free when you bring it into your home. Take the time to inspect the packaging to ensure there are no holes for a pest to use as an entry point.
Once you get it home and open your package, do not close it by merely folding the top of the package open. Put it in an air-tight container or use a clip. They can be found in most grocery stores near the potato chips and other snack foods. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “if this package falls over, will anything come out?” If the answer is yes, there is a chance your food could get infected with hungry little pantry pests. If the answer is no, you’re safe.
Should anything spill in your pantry, clean it up promptly and thoroughly. Pests love it when food spills and the residue of the spills. For them, it’s a huge buffet, and that’s not the worst part. Yes, they will eat your food, but the biggest concern is them infecting the food they don’t eat. Indian meal moths and saw-toothed grain beetles lay tiny eggs in your food. These eggs will later hatch and cause further pest infestation.
The longer food sits in your cabinets, the more likely it is to get infested, so always put the newest items in the back. If you have something that won’t be used within a few months, be sure to rotate the container every month to check for hidden holes. If you find evidence (tiny holes or actual bugs) that some of your food has been compromised, dispose of all of it, not just the obviously damaged part. They may have already laid eggs.
Pantry pests can carry harmful bacteria that could make you and your family sick. Don’t take a chance. Take all precautions and keep a careful eye on everything that goes inside your pantry. For more information on how to handle pantry pests and your other pest control needs, contact Hopper Environmental Services.