Sawtooth Grain Beetle

How Do I Get Rid of Bugs in My Pantry?

close up photo of sawtooth grain beetles
Don’t let pantry pests ruin your holiday meals!

Wait, what?!  Bugs in my fruitcake…yikes!  Yes, someone or some “thing” might actually like your fruitcake :-). There is a whole group of bugs that cause mischief and problems in pantry cupboard across New England.  

 

How Do Pantry Pests Get Inside? It’s Not What You Think

Over the next few weeks, families across Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut will gather in the kitchen to prepare holiday meals. Between all the turkey and pies, it might be good to keep a little pest control in mind. After all, nobody wants to allow some pesky pantry pests to spoil all the holiday fun!

But many of you might be wondering… “where are these pantry pests coming from?” And “how do I get rid of bugs in my pantry?”

 

How Do Pantry Pests Get Inside? The Answer May Surprise You

Pantry pests, such as indian meal moths and merchant or sawtooth grain beetles, are known for camping out in your cabinets and snacking on baking ingredients, dry goods, and other foodstuffs. Many people believe these pests come from outside, or other hiding places around the house, and end up invading your pantry. In reality, many of these pests infest the food while it’s being packaged, and therefore arrive in your pantry via the grocery store. Once they’ve gotten into the pantry, they spread to other food items such as flour, chocolate, dried fruit, nuts and spices. So how can you keep your pantry free of pests this holiday season?

 

How Do I Get Rid of Bugs in My Pantry?

If you suspect you have pantry pests, first, find the source of the problem. Immediately remove it from the kitchen and throw it away outside (do not throw it away in your indoor trash can– the pests could crawl out!). Discard any other food items that show signs of being infested.

Now, focus on prevention. To keep pantry pests out, the National Pest Management Association suggests the following:

  • Keep counters, floors, pantry shelves, cabinets and sinks clean, as crumbs and spills are obvious pest attractants.
  • Add a bay leaf to canisters of dry goods. The herb’s pungent scent repels many pantry pests.
  • Only purchase food in sealed packages that show no sign of damage.
  • Once packages are opened, move ingredients into sealed glass or Tupperware-type containers with secure lids before storing them in the pantry or cabinet.
  • Check expiration dates on baking ingredients before use and visually inspect previously opened items before adding them to a recipe.
  • Dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles.
  • Seal cracks or holes around the stovepipes and water pipes.
  • Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.

If you can’t seem to get rid of bugs in your pantry, feel free to give Graduate a call. We’ll keep the pests out and the holiday cheer in!

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