Important Prevention Tips to Keep Your Pantry Pest-Free
The easiest control is prevention. Halting pantry pests before they invade, settle in, and raise their families in our foods is a lot easier than trying to evict them.
- Before putting any packaged foods into your supermarket cart, inspect them carefully. If package flaps are loose of the cardboard is punctured – especially if the holes are tiny – don’t take the item. Be especially focused on all cereals, pasta, pastry, cake, biscuit mixes, dried fruits, legumes, and powdered milk. Be especially suspicious of birdseed and pet food. Pet food bags are often thrown about leaving them with rips and holes giving easy access to awaiting pests. If you find a damaged package when you get home, take it back immediately before any possible infestation has a chance to spread.
- Purchasing large quantities of these products that sit for long periods of time is an invitation for trouble. Rotate your food stocks and don’t buy more grain foods, especially during the summer, than you’ll consume in a short time. The reproductive cycle of some of these insects can be less than a week when temperatures are high. Opened, forgotten packages are often the major harborage for pantry pests. Store all non-refrigerated foods in a tightly closed container and be especially careful about pet food a favorite with many pantry pests. Do not just roll up the unused bag of pet food; store the remaining food in an enclosed pet food container.
- Make sure your home is in good condition to minimize invasions of pantry pests from the outside. Good screening is critical as is caulking around windows and doorframes. Gaps under exterior doors should be eliminated. The kitchen walls, ceiling, and floor should be free of cracks and holes where insects can hide and lay their eggs.
- Adequate ventilation in storage areas to minimize mold and mildew growth is important. Keep your kitchen cool and dry and, if possible, ventilate your cupboards. Many pantry pests require a humid environment. Packets of silica gel on pantry shelves can help hold moisture down.
- Store susceptible foods in tight containers – especially foods that will sit for long periods of time without being disturbed. Immediately remove spilled food products from storage areas and replace torn or damaged storage containers immediately. Vacuum the insides of your cupboards at regular intervals to pick up crumbs. Don’t overlook the undersides of shelves; they are often the site of hanging cocoons.
For help with pantry pests, rely on the pest control professionals at Cowleys Pest Services. Our services are available in Edison, Somerset, Lakewood, Millstone Township, Colts Neck, Little Silver, Sayreville, Howell and nearby New Jersey.