Pests in the Pantry!
Just because the holiday season has ended, doesn’t mean all the food is gone! People still may find themselves with cupboards full of sweets and treats leftover from their holiday feasts. And while you might be enjoying all the good food, there could be some pesky moochers stealing it out from under you! Pantry pests can be a major hassle for homeowners across Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut this time of year. Here are some frequently-asked questions about pantry pests, as well as some advice on how you can keep these pests from eating you out of house and home!
What Are Pantry Pests?
Pantry pests, or stored product pests, tend to gather around food stored in pantries and cupboards. They breed quickly, which can allow small infestations to grow out of control in short periods of time. These pests can be particularly pesky during and after the holidays, when people tend to leave an excess of food (leftover baking ingredients from Christmas or a box of Valentine’s Day chocolates, for instance) on their countertops or inside the cupboards and pantry.
What Types of Insects are Pantry Pests?
A variety of pests fit into the category of pantry pests, including beetles, weevils and moths. The most common of these however, are the Indian Meal Moth and Merchant Grain Beetle. While neither of these pests pose serious health or property threats, they can become a major nuisance to homeowners.
What Foods Are these Pests Attracted to?
Merchant Grain Beetles are typically not found in whole grain products, but will instead attack milled grain products like cereals, cake mixes, macaroni, cookies and chocolate. Indian meal moths like to feed on dried fruits, grains, seeds, nuts, chocolate, candies, bird seed, dog food, powdered milk, dried red peppers and candy.
How do I Keep Pantry Pests Out of My Home?
- When shopping, purchase sealed packages with no signs of damage.
- Use pantry items before the expiration date.
- Practice good sanitation by keeping cabinets, countertops and pantries free of crumbs, spills, or open food containers.
- Store food in durable plastic or glass containers with secure, tight-fitting lids.
- Store seasonal decor–such as potpourri, dried flowers or Indian corn– in airtight containers during the off season, and unpack them outdoors before use.
- Look for any cracks or holes where pests might be coming into your home, especially around the stovepipes and water pipes.
What Should I Do if I Notice Pantry Pests Inside?
If you notice food in your home that has been contaminated by pantry pests, promptly dispose of it in an outdoor trash bin. Next, clean and vacuum your shelves and cupboards. If an infestation has already taken hold, consider calling your local pest control professional, as these infestations can be difficult to control on your own.
The team at Graduate Pest Solutions are passionate about keeping your home pest free. Call us 413-566-8222 or contact us with any questions or if you are experiencing a pest problem. We have the knowledge and service necessary to help keep your home pest-free!