With Thanksgiving behind us, the holiday season is officially in full swing. Many gatherings with loved ones this time of year center around food; from enormous holiday feasts to sweet treats and cookies. While outdoor pest activity tends to slow down during winter, pantry pests can quickly put a damper on holiday food preparation.
Indian meal moths and merchant grain beetles are just a couple of the pests that could be seeking harbor in your pantry. These pests even have the ability to tear through some packaging, making proper food storage essential.
To keep pantry pests out, the National Pest Management Association suggests the following tips:
- 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.
- Consult a licensed pest professional if an infestation has already taken root.