One aspect of pest management we tend to forget about until we’re dealing with it are pests that like to live and feed in our food. We often hear them referred to as “flour moths,” but in reality, these insects love to get into just about anything in the pantry that has any nutritional value, and once they’re in there, it can be really tough to get them out. Pantry pest control in Roseville includes not only moths, but also weevils, ants, pillbugs, beetles, and earwigs. Today we’ll discuss how to prevent these insects from getting comfy in the first place…and what to do if an infestation does occur.
Pantry Pest Proofing
There are some things you might consider doing to prevent pests in your pantry:
- Store everything properly: This means investing in glass or fully sealed Tupperware-style containers with lids. For those who find lids difficult to negotiate, something like OXO Pop Containers may be a good choice instead. The packaging that food comes in or storage that doesn’t seal otherwise is insufficient to keep pantry pests at bay.
- Check your groceries. Especially if you are fond of purchasing from bulk bins, make sure that anything that you are bringing into your home isn’t already host to an infestation. Bulk items (and all items, but especially bulk items) need to be in sealed containers after bringing them home.
- Put decorations away, especially if they might harbor insects. If your holiday decor is not trimming your home it should be put away in storage, not languishing in the kitchen for some insect family to decide it looks like a cozy place for them to shack up for the foreseeable future. Especially if your decor has natural elements to it such as Indian corn, potpourri, or dried foliage, please store it well away from your kitchen.
- Explore natural options. Bay leaves are like insect napalm. Or gasoline. If you bury bay leaves in your flour and rice and bean canisters, it repels insects because it skews the flavor of those grains. As far as they’re concerned, you might as well douse it in napalm or gasoline, it tastes so bad. Of course, we don’t taste anything different about it at all. You can also put bay leaves up in your cabinets and storage closets to repel bugs with the smell. They won’t make their homes in those items.
While we are fond of the saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, we really mean it when it comes to pantry pests. These destructive creatures wreak havoc on your food supply and your wallet too, turning many food stores inedible with their infestations.
When They Have Already Invaded
If you do end up with beetles in your beans, weevils in your oats, or moths in your flour and rice, there are some things you can try to combat the pests and decontaminate your home:
- Throw everything they might have touched away. These little buggers get through layers of plastic wrap easily, so unless it is in a sealed glass or Tupperware-style container or factory-sealed can, throw it away.
- The only food that is safe is refrigerated or frozen food. All pantry supplies must be discarded. Pantry pests infest all kinds of dry goods, from flour to cookies to sugar to rice and beyond. If there is even one (microscopic) egg case lying around, the whole house can become contaminated again.
- Wash all kitchen surfaces with hot soapy water. If you’ve seen them anywhere else in the house, that area needs to be decontaminated as well
- Wipe everything with a 50/50 solution of warm water to vinegar to kill any remaining eggs or cases. Once you’ve discarded everything, take your trash outside immediately. This will keep new moths from heading right back to your pantry.
- Practice preventative measures like those listed above to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
Pest Control in Roseville
Most of the time pantry pests can be managed with some elbow grease and vigilance. A pretty big infestation can actually be dealt with pretty quickly with a can-do attitude and some perseverance. That being said, contact your pest control company in Roseville if you’re ever concerned it’s too big of a problem to take on by yourself. We’re always here for you.