With the colder weather upon us there’s nothing more comforting than knowing your pantry is stocked with goodies and ingredients to sustain all those great wintry meals. Unfortunately, there is a certain unsavory element that is just as excited about your kitchen being full of yummy goodness as you are. It’s those disgusting, sordid, uninvited pantry pests.
You know the ones…the silverfish who deftly scoot between the baseboards and floors, the grain beetles who love nothing more than getting comfortable in a bin of rice, the meal moths who set up shop in a bag of flour, and of course, worst of all, roaches! Those filthy freeloaders feast on just about anything they find. (Roaches definitely aren’t picky.)
It’s a myth that you have to worry about pantry pests only in the summer when the weather is warmer. On the contrary pantry pests love to move into your cozy kitchen cupboards when it turns cold outside.Not only do your cupboards provide shelter, they also offer a smorgasbord of meal choices for bugs and insects that are more than happy to mooch off the goodies you’ve squirreled away for the winter.
How to Avoid Pantry Pests in the First Place
The best way to keep pantry pests out of your kitchen is to set up an uninviting environment.
Choose Containers Wisely
Just about any pantry pest can chew through paper or cardboard. Therefore, as soon as you bring home grains, cereal, cookies, crackers, etc., immediately remove the items from their paper or cardboard packaging and place them in plastic or glass airtight containers. This protects you on two fronts: a) If the pantry pest came in with the item you bought, it can’t spread to the rest of the food in your cupboards, and b) Any pantry pests that figure out a way into your kitchen later can’t get into the food you’ve sealed in airtight containers.
Use It, Don’t Save It
Although it feels wasteful to throw out food, consumables that have been hanging out in your cupboards for weeks, months, or even years, have got to go. The longer food has been in the cupboard untouched, the more enticing it is to pantry pests. Therefore, always throw out old food, especially if it’s long past its expiration date. Even old grains lose their nutritional benefits after so long. Best to use up food when you
buy it, or throw it away after it gets old.
Avoid Broken Packaging
Pantry pests can just as easily get into your food at the processing plant, distribution center, or grocery store as they can in your cupboard. Therefore, don’t buy any food item that has a broken seal in the packing. If you find the package is broken after you get it home, take it back to the store.
Don’t Mix Old With New
Even if your grains, cookies, crackers, etc. are already in airtight containers in your pantry, don’t mix them with newly purchased food items. Why? Because pest-free items at home can become contaminated by new food, or vice-versa. Better to have multiple containers for the same types of food and rotate the containers accordingly. And always wash your containers in the dishwasher before refilling them with newly-bought items.
Clean Your Cupboards Occasionally
It’s easy to let your cupboards go year after year without a good scrub-down. But if you do pantry pests can hide way in the back, out of sight, FOREVER. Get into the routine of cleaning your cupboards at least twice a year, preferably during the change of seasons in the spring and fall. A good cleaning involves taking everything out of your cupboards, wiping down the shelves and walls, and then replacing the shelf paper and/or linings.
Of course, even the cleanest homes can still get pantry pests by bringing in factory-tainted food. If you do find pantry pests, take everything out of the cupboard, throw away all the food items (they’re probably contaminated even if you can’t see the pests), scrub down the cupboards, wash the containers in the dishwasher, and replace the food you threw away with new stuff.
If the problem persists, call the professionals at Admiral Pest Control for assistance. They’ll know the quickest, safest, and least invasive way to get rid of those pantry pests. Plus, the folks at Admiral can counsel you further on how to keep pantry pests out of your home PERMANENTLY. Because there’s nothing worse than footing the food bill for unwanted guests…especially the kind with six or more legs!