It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is right around the
corner! In the coming weeks, Americans will be flocking to their
local supermarkets to prepare for their holiday feasts. Before
heading to the store, we recommend for everyone to conduct a
thorough inventory of their pantries and cupboards - not just to
see what ingredients they have on hand for their holiday meals, but
to also inspect for uninvited guests: Indian meal moths, grain and
flour infesting beetles and weevils, ants and mice.
Don't know where to begin? We recommend starting with an
inspection of dry ingredients. Small, pests with tri-colored wings
known as Indian meal moths have been known to lurk in dried fruits,
flour, powdered milk, dry dog food and corn meal. With an ability
to lay up to 200 eggs in one week, food can become contaminated
quickly. If an infestation is suspected, we recommend discarding
contaminated foods in outdoor trash bins and cleaning the infested
areas thoroughly with a vacuum, as well as with soap and water.
Next, closely inspect cereals, pasta noodles, cake mixes,
cookies and cocoa for grain and flour infesting beetles and
weevils. These creatures are small reddish to dark brown and use
their saw- like teeth to chew through food. Like Indian meal moths,
they can contaminate food so be sure to discard any infested
Once the pantry is clean, it's time to head to the supermarket!
While at the store, be sure to examine packaging carefully and look
for signs of damage. This will prevent bringing unwanted pests into
Last, but not least, we always warn homeowners about ants and
mice. While there is always a potential for an infestation of these
pests, winter is when ants and mice seek food and shelter the most
- and a cupboard or pantry just may be the perfect dwelling space!
To keep these pests out of cupboards and pantries, be sure to keep
all food sealed in airtight containers. Additionally, keep kitchen
counters, sinks and floors clean at all times, as crumbs and spills
can quickly attract these pests.
We hope these tips will ensure a pleasant and pest-free holiday