Preventing Pantry Pests
Pests such as stored product pests and rodents can be a big nuisance in your home. They seek out food sources such as pet food, rice, flour, cereal, crackers, bird seed, nuts, fruit, or anything else that they can get into. Sometimes, they are brought into your home right from the store, or they might gain access to your home from an adjacent property. Even if you keep your home spotless, pantry pests can be lurking.
Pantry Moths and Beetles
Indian Meal Moth, Copyright © 2005, Bob Patterson, Creative Commons License.
Stored product pests, such as Indian Meal Moths or Flour Beetles, are usually brought into your home, already living in the products when you purchase them. Be sure to inspect items at the store before you purchase them – make sure they are completely sealed, without any holes, tears, or openings that could allow pests to get into them. When buying grain products, do not overbuy. The longer these products are stored, the more likely it is for them to become infested. Also, you should store your grain products in airtight-sealed containers to prevent infestation, or keep them in the refrigerator. Keep your pantry and cabinets clean – any spills or food mess should be cleaned up immediately, and do a deep cleaning at least once a year to catch anything that may have been overlooked. During your deep clean, inspect your food items for insect webs or pieces, holes, or openings and throw anything away that looks damaged or infested. Wipe down shelves and vacuum all the cracks and crevices.
Rodents can gain entry to your home through small holes. A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime! Do a thorough inspection for any possible entry points, especially in your food storage areas. Again, it is important to keep any potential food sources (pet food, bird seed, nuts, fruit, grains, etc.) in airtight, chew-resistant packaging, and to keep these items off the floor, if possible. By putting these items up on shelves, you make it harder for rodents to gain access to them, and airtight containers will prevent pests from being attracted by the scent of the products.
If you follow these simple guidelines, your pantry and cabinets should be pest free, but sometimes these pests can still slip through the cracks (literally!) If you have a problem with these pests that you cannot eliminate on your own, call Preferred Pest Control at (912) 236-5135 and we would be happy to help you out.