We use pesticides, insecticides, baits and traps to prevent and control pests around our homes. However, when it comes to our stored goods, the last thing you want to do is use chemicals in your pantries. Many of our food contains a number of pantry pests when we bring it home from the store. Most commonly flour, sugar and grain products often already have eggs of common pantry pests. The big question is how do we protect our food from pests and contamination? A-Tex Pest Management will help you learn how to protect and prevent your home goodies and what to do in the event you get infested with pantry pests.
Prevention Tips for Pantry Bugs, Beetles & Pests
Air-Tight Containers – When storing your food, use air-tight containers—especially for foods such as dried fruit, nuts, flour, sugar, pasta, cereals, and pet food. Make sure to use air-tight containers, either glass or heavy plastic. This will help keep pests out and your food preserved.
Rotate Food – Make sure to rotate your food and eat the oldest food first. The longer food sits in the pantry, the higher risk for pest contamination it becomes.
Bulk Foods – Generally you should avoid buying food in bulk unless it has been treated. Especially starches. These foods have the greatest potential of harboring eggs, and if not consumed in time, the eggs will hatch and your pantry will become infested.
Pre-treat Food – To prevent an infestation, you can pre-treat food that is prone to pantry pests in the event some eggs were inside your store-bought goods. Depending on the nature of the food, you can freeze it for 4 to 7 days at 32 degrees or lower temperatures. Some food you can place in the oven for 30 to 60 minutes at 130 to 160 degrees to kill any potential eggs that may already be in your food. If you buy flour and other starches in bulk, it is highly recommended to pre-treating them before storage.
Discard Infested Food – If any of the food in your pantry tastes funny or has an odd smell, it most likely is infested and you should discard it immediately.
Check Food Before Purchase – Examine the food before buying. Check the packaging and see if it is sealed properly. Never buy food with questionable packaging or if the seal has been broken.
Keep Pantry Clean – If starches or grain food products have spilled in your pantry or cupboards, clean the mess immediately or it can attract pantry pests and other pests such as rodents, cockroaches, and ants. Additionally, the cleaner the entire kitchen is, the less likely you are to be invaded by pests.
Don’t Leave Food Out – Many people like to leave fruit, nuts, and other snacks out on countertops, or easily accessed areas. As you may feel you’re being a good host or you’re trying to promote healthier eating habits, if you’re leaving your food exposed to potential pests, you might have an unwanted problem.
Seal & Protect Pantry – Make sure your pantry is secured from pests. You may need to use caulking glue to seal edges or cracks in your pantry. Another way to help deter pests is to store a Bay Leaf inside the container of dried goods. The odor from a bay leaf repels most pantry pests.
Dehumidifier – You may want to use a dehumidifier in or around your pantry. Most pests are drawn to moist areas.
Pantry Bug & Pest Inspections, Control & More in Austin, Round Rock, Leander, Pflugerville & Cedar Park, Texas
If you have suffered from a recent pantry pest infestation you may want to consider disposing of all pantry items and cleaning the pantry thoroughly. For extended help in protecting your pantry, contact a professional pest control company and see what options are available to help protect your pantry from pests. For your entire pest control needs contact A-Tex Pest Management today!