It’s never fun to open up your pantry and find bugs in your food. It may seem gross and even make you a bit squeamish, but pantry pests are a surprisingly common occurrence. Luckily there are great ways to prevent and get rid of them.
Granary Weevils (Attribution: CSIRO; wikimedia CC3.0)
Pantry pests include a variety of moths, beetles, and weevils. Unfortunately, you may not even notice there is a problem until you find adult bugs crawling on your shelves or in your food. Be assured, where there are adults, you will also find eggs, larva, and pupa, thus making for a big nuisance and a time-consuming chore.
Indian meal moth (Attribution: Wikimedia Commons)
Like most humans, pantry pests enjoy grains of all kinds. Flour, noodles, crackers, and cereals are common places to find bugs in your cupboards or pantry. They may also go for things like dried fruits, nuts, baking mixes, and spices. Since houses are kept warm, these pests are common all year round, so it’s best to learn how to deal with them now. Here are the steps you can take to solve the problem.
If you find bugs in your pantry:
- Try to locate the source of the infestation. If the population size is still relatively small, this may not be difficult, but once they have expanded, it may be impossible to isolate the source. In this case, you will have to do a massive clean out.
- Empty out cupboards and discard any food items that have been affected.
- Vacuum out your shelves or drawers, paying special attention to get any crumbs that may be in cracks or in the corners.
- Wipe down your shelves thoroughly, but avoid using pesticides since there is so much food present. Simply removing the pests is the best way to handle the problem.
How to prevent future pantry pests:
- Store your ingredients (flour, cereal, rice, etc.) in sealed, airtight containers. Some pests can chew through packaging, so to be extra cautious, you can use glass, heavy plastic, or metal containers.
- Inspect packages before you buy them at the store to ensure that they are sealed. Many infestations actually start from packaged food that was affected before it was brought into your home.
- After purchasing flour or other grains, you can put them in a sealed ziplock bag and stick them in the freezer for a week. This will kill any existing eggs and greatly decrease your chances of an infestation.
- Purchase food in sizes that you can use in a relatively short amount of time (2-4 months). If you are buying for long-term storage, make sure that they are properly sealed and stored.
- Keep your food storage areas clean. It is nearly impossible to always have a spotless house, but the cleaner your pantry and food prep surfaces are, the less likely you will attract pests. Wipe down kitchen surfaces regularly, sweep or vacuum up crumbs, and regularly rotate and throw out old food.
Once you have experienced a pantry infestation, it becomes clear that prevention is the way to go. Using these tips, we hope that you can eliminate those pesky pantry pests from your home for good. If you are in the market for Tulsa pest control, we hope that you will give Midwest Pest Control a chance to earn your business. We are a family owned and operated company that offers excellent customer service, highly trained technicians, and uses only the best products. Give us a call today.