Keep Pests Out of Your Pantry!
Thanksgiving is next week and preparations are in full swing! Families will be gathering to share wonderfully prepared meals and all they are thankful for but the one thing we don't want this year is an uninvited guest that can put a damper on all the festivities.
This time of year, we always encourage folks to conduct a thorough inventory of their pantries and cupboards. This is a great way to see what you have on hand before venturing to the grocery store and to make sure your pantry hasn't been invaded by Indian meal moths, grain and flour infesting beetles and weevils, ants and even mice.
We recommended starting with all your dry ingredients. Indian meal moths are small pests with tri-colored wings and are known to lurk in dried fruits, flour, powdered milk, dry dog food and corn meal. These pests can lay up to 200 eggs in a week and can quickly contaminate the entire food supply. If you suspect an infestation, discard all contaminated and open foods in outdoor trash bins and clean the infested area thoroughly with a vacuum, soap and water.
Next, you should 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 packaging and food. Like Indian meal moths, they can contaminate the entire pantry quickly, so be sure to discard any infested products.
Once the pantry is clean, it's time to head to the store to stock up! Be sure to examine all packaging carefully making sure seals are intact and that there are no signs of damage. This will prevent bringing unwanted pests back into your clean pantry.
Finally, we always want to make homeowners aware of the year-round threat of ants and mice. These pests seek food and shelter indoors in the winter and your cupboards or pantry might provide the perfect winter home! Be sure to keep all food sealed in airtight containers to eliminate food sources. Also, keep kitchen counters, sinks and floors clean at all times. Crumbs and spills will quickly attract both ants and mice.
We hope these tips will ensure you have a pleasant and pest-free holiday season!