If you have ever been in the middle of a baking frenzy, only to discover that unwanted critters have infested your dry goods, then you are not alone! Foods stored in the pantry are particularly susceptible to invasion by pests. Cereal, flour, nuts, dried fruits, and other stored foods make an attractive meal for all sorts of pests.
Pests that like to turn your pantry into their next meal may include merchant grain beetles, Indian meal moths, cockroaches, rodents, weevils, and ants. Rodents and bugs that invade your pantry are not only thieves who eat your food, but they also dangerous spread bacteria, potentially causing your family to become ill.
Tips for Pantry Pest Prevention
Keep these tips in mind to maintain a clean, healthy, pest-free pantry.
Keep it Clean and Tidy.
Pests are attracted to the food in your pantry, and they’ll sniff out any spills or crumbs in no time. Keep them out by leaving nothing available to attract them. Clean inside your pantry and cabinets once every 4-6 weeks as general maintenance, plus anytime a spill is detected.
Take everything out of your pantry and wipe down the shelves, walls, corners, and floor of the pantry. Vacuuming shelves and floors may be even more helpful for reaching into cracks and crevices you may have missed. Check for signs of nesting, rodent paw prints, pest feces, or other indicators that pests may have made your pantry into their area for foraging and feasting.
If an infestation is detected, use a disinfectant to kill any germs pests may have carried in before re-using your pantry or kitchen cabinets.
Cardboard boxes and paper packaging used for cereal, baking supplies, and other pantry goods are not ideal for storage. These flimsy containers can easily get holes in them, create spills, or be chewed through by uninvited guests such as rodents. Even thin plastic, zippered bags can be easily chewed through by mice or rats. The best practice is to make a habit out of decanting the contents of your pantry into reusable glass or plastic storage containers that can be tightly sealed. Do this immediately after you return from the grocery store for the best prevention.
Pests are attracted to moisture so keeping everything dry is critical. Leaking pipes, clogged drains, and spills can all contribute to moisture that attracts bugs and other pests into your kitchen pantry. Fix leaky pipes or drains as soon as they are discovered and be sure all the moisture is dry before refilling your pantry. Clean up any liquid spills immediately, taking extra care with spills that might leave a sticky or sweet trail.
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Avoid Bringing Pests Into Your Home.
Sometimes pantry pests come from the areas inside or outside your home. And sometimes you bring them in through the foods that you purchase. Before buying pantry items at the grocery store, make a quick scan of each container. Check the sell-by date and make note of any holes or damage to the container. If damage is found, be sure to report it to the store manager to handle the problem on a larger scale.
The best way to be sure that your house is not riddled with critters is to get professional pest control assistance. A pest control professional is specially trained to see the signs of infestation, carefully and safely get rid of pantry pests, and prevent future infestations.
Cypress Creek’s Healthy House program is the perfect way to find peace of mind, knowing that all of your Houston pest control needs are being taken care of year round. Contact us to schedule an inspection or other residential pest control service today.