red flour beetles

Red flour beetles in a bag of flour

Baking is a big part of tradition for lots of people during the holiday season.  And what better time while you’re breaking out all of the baking supplies to inspect your pantry for signs of pests.  Pests are living creatures that are in search of the same things we are…food, water, and shelter.  A pantry where those necessities are stored is an ideal place for pests to make a home.

Common pests that are found in pantries:

Below are tips on ways to inspect your pantry for pests:

  • Place foods in tightly sealed containers.  This will keep bugs out and freshness in.
  • Unpack seasonal decorations outside.  Dried foliage, potpourri, etc, should be unpacked outside of the home and inspected before displaying in your home.
  • Place a bay leaf in containers of dry foods like flour and rice.  The smell of bay leaves often repels pests.
  • Inspect groceries before bringing them in to your home.  As with anything you bring into your home, be sure to inspect it.
  • Always check the date before using items in your pantry.  Frequent checks of this throughout the year can be beneficial.
  • Clean messes immediately.  Wipe any spills or crumbs as soon as they happen and take the trash out regularly.
  • Place trash in a tightly sealed bag.  Remove the bag frequently to a garbage can outside of the home that is equipped with a tightly sealed lid.
  • Seal cracks or holes that pests could use to enter your home.
  • Eliminate moisture areas.  Seal leaky pipes and use humidifiers in the home.  Water is a major attractant for bugs so the less access they have to water, the better.

If you find pests in your pantry, throw out the infested food immediately.  If pests have made a home in your pantry you should call your professional pest control company.  A professional exterminator will be able to inspect the area and treat the problem properly and efficiently.

Sources:

http://www.pestworld.org/news-and-views/pest-articles/articles/preventing-pantry-pests/

http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/resources/pantrypests304.shtml