Arrow Exterminators Helps Homeowners Keep out Unwanted Guests

Indian meal moths, merchant grain beetles, ants and mice are common intruders this time of the year, invading pantries everywhere just as homeowners are stocking up for one of the biggest feasts of the year - Thanksgiving. To avoid an infestation of unwanted guests this holiday season, Arrow Exterminators is educating homeowners on what to keep an eye out for and proactive steps they can take to protect their homes.

"We always recommend homeowners to thoroughly clean and conduct a complete inventory of their pantries this time of year, closely inspecting dry goods, such as flour, corn meal and sugar for pests," said Arrow Pest Expert Shay Runion. "We also encourage homeowners to carefully scrutinize packaging at the grocery store making sure they are completely sealed to avoid bringing these pests into the home."

The most common type of pantry pest is the Indian meal moth, which are small and reddish-brown in color. Their lifecycle can be as short as 25 days; however, they multiply rapidly - female moths can lay up to 200 eggs in one week. Indian meal moths can quickly contaminate the entire pantry and are most often found lurking in dried fruits, flour, powdered milk, dry dog food and corn meal.

Another common pantry pest is the merchant grain beetle. These small, dark brown insects are attracted to cereals, cake mix, chocolate and macaroni and use their saw-like teeth to chew through packaging and food.

Additionally, mice and rats can be found foraging for food in pantries this time of year. While common invaders year-round, Arrow Exterminators notices an increase in rodent-related calls during the colder months as these pests seek food and shelter indoors.

To keep pests from sharing in the feast this holiday season, Arrow Exterminators recommends the following pantry protection tips:

• When shopping in grocery stores, only purchase sealed packages that show no signs of damage;
• Before baking, inspect all food for potential infestations and check expiration dates;
• Keep all dry goods in sealed, airtight containers;
• Keep kitchen counters, sinks and floors clean at all times, as crumbs and spills can quickly attract pests; and
• If an infestation is suspected, discard all contaminated foods and other open dry goods in outdoor trash bins and clean the infested area thoroughly with a vacuum and soap and water. In the event mice are detected, a pest professional should be contacted immediately.