The holiday season is a wonderful time full of feasts and
celebrations with friends and family. Unfortunately, this time of
year, there are some common intruders looking to crash the party
and enjoy their own feast in your pantry. Pests like Indian meal
moths, merchant grain beetles, ants and mice can quickly infest all
the dry goods in your kitchen so we have put together some great
tips on what to look out for and ways to keep your pantry
Before you stock up for the holidays, we always recommend a
thorough cleaning and a complete inventory of your pantry. Closely
inspect all your dry goods including flour, sugar, corn meal,
cocoa, pastas and cereals for pests and store all food in sealed,
Pests to keep an eye out for include: Indian meal moths which
are the most common and are small and reddish-brown in color. While
their lifecycle is short - 25 days, the females can lay up to 200
eggs a week quickly turning a small problem into an infestation.
They like to lurk in dried fruits, flour, corn meal, sugar and even
dry dog food.
Another pest often found in pantries this time of year is the
merchant grain beetle. These small, dark brown insects are
attracted to cereals, cake mix, chocolate and pasta and they use
their saw-like teeth to chew through packing and food.
Finally, while mice and rats are common home invaders
year-round, we definitely see an increase in rodent-related calls
when the temperature starts to cool as these pests are looking for
a warm place to call home and a food supply for the winter.
Now that your pantry is spic and span, it's time to go shopping
for all the ingredients for the feast. Be sure to thoroughly
inspect each item in the grocery store to ensure all packages are
completely sealed and show no signs of damage. Once you get
everything home, again, make sure all food is stored in sealed
air-tight containers in the pantry.
You should also keep your counters, sinks and floors clean at
all times as crumbs and spills can quickly attract unwanted guests.
If at any time, you suspect an infestation, you want to discard all
contaminated items as well as other open dry goods in outdoor trash
bins and clean the infested areas with a vacuum and soap and
We hope these tips will help you keep you and your family free
from pests this holiday season. However, if any unwelcome visitors
happen to invade your home this fall, a licensed pest professional
is only a call away to make sure they don't spoil the fun.