It’s that time of year… As residents of Palmer, Westfield, Southampton, Springfield, and Holyoke prepare their thanksgiving feasts, your pantry might be very appealing to another guest. There are very few pantry surprises worse than bugs found in flour or rice, so we’ve prepared a few tips to keep your holiday happy and healthy.

There are a number of invaders that qualify as “pantry pests”, including beetles, weevils, and moths. The most common of these is the Indian Meal Moth and Merchant Grain Beetle. Both of these pests can become a major nuisance to homeowners.

Tidy Up

  • It’s not uncommon to leave food on the counter, table, or stove for long stretches—especially throughout the whole holiday.
  • When not serving, put food away, preferably in the fridge where pests can’t reach. Be sure to properly wipe down countertops, stoves, and tables.
  • Even small crumbs can attract ants who are seeking refuge in your home from the cold weather.
  • Sticky residue from spills is just as appealing for some bugs as actual foodstuffs… wipe it up!
  • Be sure to take out your trash once the cooking and meal are over. Don’t leave leftover food in the trash for too long!

Store Properly

  • Finding bugs in flour means they managed to get through the current packaging.
  • Switch to storing your grains and loose ingredients in air-tight containers.
  • Not only does proper storage avoid pantry pests ruining your food, but it also keeps your food fresh for longer
  • It’s not just bugs found in flour or rice, make sure you also properly store cereal, oats, seeds (like sunflower), and crackers.
  • Use pantry items before the expiration date.
  • Clean up spilled items on shelving.  Use a vacuum to get food spills out of cracks.  A small amount can be a feast for a tiny grain beetle.

Here are a Few Tips to Help with Keeping Pantry and Other Pests Out of Your Home

  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens
  • Screen vents and openings to chimneys
  • Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the structure
  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles
  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows
  • Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes, clogged drains, and clear leaves from gutters
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and brush it off before bringing it indoors
  • After pulling decorations from storage, unpack them outdoors to check for signs of pests
  • If you suspect a pest infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest control professional to properly inspect, identify and treat the problem

Let the team at Graduate Pest Solutions keep your Thanksgiving happy and healthy. Call us at 413-566-8222 or contact us with any questions or if you are experiencing a pest problem. We have the knowledge and the services necessary to help keep your home pest-free!

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