There is nothing worse than opening a bag of flour and seeing little dark critters amongst the snowy white drifts.
Oh no…you have pests in your pantry.
The pests in your pantry can be any number of insects. The coppery-winged Indianmeal moth and the dark brown, sawtoothed merchant grain beetle are the two most common species. But you can throw other types of beetles, cockroaches, ants, weevils, pill bugs and earwigs into the mix.
While these little guys and gals can infest your pantry any time of year, warm temperatures in late spring and early summer offer a prime opportunity for the pest population in your pantry to explode.
Trust us…you don’t want that.
In addition to the flour mentioned above and other common baking goods, these pesky pests will dig into all kinds of pantry staples like grain products, pasta, chocolate, dog food, nuts and seeds, candy and more.
In other words, if you see bugs in just about anything in your pantry, you need to investigate further.
But first, let’s look at where your pantry pests come from.
More often than not, these pests enter your home in an infested package of food. But even if you have stowaways in your groceries, there are ways you can help head off a total infestation. Store food items and seasonal décor like dried foliage, Indian corn and potpourri in glass or plastic containers with tight-fitting, secure lids; check out your groceries, especially those in plastic bags or cardboard, before putting them away; inspect food whose expiration date has come and gone, especially on baking ingredients; and seal any cracks or holes where bugs might be getting into your house.
You can even add a bay leaf to canisters and packages of items like rice, flour, cereals and other grains—the smell repels the little buggers.
The bright spot here is that, while gross, pantry pests and the larvae, eggs, droppings and silk webbing they leave behind won’t harm you. So, if you happen to bake cookies the whole family has enjoyed or you eat half a bag of dried prunes before you spot your little unwanted house guests, don’t panic—you might feel a little nauseous (because you ate bugs), but it will soon pass.
Then you need to get to work.
Inspect all food items stashed in your pantry and cabinets for actual bugs, bug babies (larvae) and silk webbing that causes grains of food to clump. When you find the culprit(s), immediately dispose of the infested foods in an outdoor garbage bin. Vacuum the pantry and wipe down the walls and shelves with soap and water. Store any un-infested foods, especially dry goods, in airtight containers. Put your dried foods in the freezer for three or four days to kill the eggs and bug babies. Clean up any food spills on shelves, under toasters and behind or under storage containers. And for Pete’s sake…call Pestop!
Seriously, if you find pests in your pantry, remain calm. All is not lost. Simply visit pestop.com to find your nearest Pestop store location, where you’ll find all your pantry-pest (and other pest-) control supplies. We will get you fixed up in a jiffy.