Don’t Let Pantry Pests Spoil Your Holiday Feasts

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.

November 16-22 is Rodent Awareness Week

Temperatures are dropping and snow is already falling in some areas. There is no doubt that winter is on its way. As winter closes in, rodents are looking to move into homes and structures for warmth.

Rodent Awareness Week Logo

Rodents aren’t an easy pest to keep out (mice can squeeze through a dime-sized hole!), but taking quick and easy preventative actions can go a long way. Before winter puts its grasp on us again, perform a thorough inspection of your property, looking for cracks and holes in the foundation and holes in screens.

If you are suspicious of rodents in your home, here are signs to look for:

  1. Droppings: Droppings are typically found in kitchen cabinets and pantries, along walls, on top of wall studs or beams, and in boxes, bags and old furniture.
  2. Noises: Rodents often make scurrying sounds, especially at night, as they move about and nest.
  3. Gnaw marks: New gnaw marks tend to be rough to touch and are light colored.
  4. Burrows: Inside, rodents often nest in various materials such as insulation, and are drawn to dark and secluded areas.
  5. Damaged food packages: House mice prefer to feed on cereals and seeds, while Norway rats prefer meat, fish and dry dog food.

As winter and the busy holiday season approaches, don’t put off rodent prevention for the sake of your family’s health and peace of mind.