The pantry is a mainstay of many homes. It offers the perfect spot to keep food as it enjoys fresh air and can maintain an even temperature regardless of what the weather is doing outside. Of course, a well-stocked pantry also gives you a cushion against inflation and other issues which can increase the cost of your shopping.
But, storing all your food in one place is not without risks. It makes it the ideal place for pests to raid and they can quickly damage your reserve stocks. There are an array of pantry pests you should be aware of:
- Indian Meal Moth
These pests are found across the globe and will feed on almost anything. They are particularly keen on grains, cereals, spices, and flour. They can fly and, if you see them in your pantry, they are likely to be flying in a zig-zag pattern.
- Red Flour Beetle
These pests will eat any whole grains in your pantry, provided the grains have been damaged by other pests. They are happy to eat flour, cakes, dried nuts, and even pet food.
Other beetles to watch include the cigarette beetle, spider beetle, and even the warehouse beetle.
The weevil is small, growing to just 2mm. but, it can multiply quickly and loves oats, barley, and even corn. They’ll be in the middle of your food, meaning it’s safest to get rid of the food as you don’t know how they’ve contaminated it.
You can’t mention pests without talking about rodents. Rats and mice can get in almost anywhere and they bring a variety of diseases with them. It’s not pleasant seeing one in your pantry. But, where there is one there is likely to be more.
If you see any pests in your pantry or the rest of your home, call the pest control experts. They can find the route of the issue and eliminate it.
The good news is that it’s possible to keep pantry pests out of the pantry, you just need to know how.
1.Check For Gaps In The Walls
The first thing to do is look for entry points. Pests are small and can be brought in with your food. But, they can also get through holes in the doors, windows, or any window tint or mesh you have.
Take a good look around the pantry and fill any gaps you find. It will prevent pests from getting in.
2.Add A Brush To The Door
The pantry door is internal which means there is probably a gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. This is normal to allow the door to open smoothly. Unfortunately, this gap is also the perfect way for pests to get into your pantry.
To prevent this, put a door brush on the bottom of the door. It effectively sweeps the floor as you open and close the door and, most importantly, it is impossible for pests to get by it.
3.Seal Food In Containers
One of the reasons pests are drawn to your pantry is that you have plenty of great food to eat. You need to reduce the appeal of your pantry. The most effective way to do this is to put all your food, whether opened or not, in sealed containers. Plastic can be used or, if you prefer, metal is a good option. Just make sure they are airtight to preserve the food.
4.Keep Food Separate
You should never mix new and old food. This is creating a contamination risk. Instead, store the older food and use it first before switching to the newer products.
They should both be stored in plastic containers.
5.Open Containers In The Kitchen
It’s not just the packets of food that attract pests, it’s also the food that drops to the floor when collecting your food. To protect the pantry you should avoid opening the containers while in it. Instead, carry the plastic containers into the kitchen and take what you need. You can then return the sealed container to the pantry, reducing the risk of food crumbs appearing on the pantry floor.
6.Avoid Damaged Foods
If you’re shopping for food and you see a damaged item for significantly less than normal, you should avoid it. Damaged food can be contaminated or prematurely aged. This makes it a bad idea for you and for your pantry.
After all, food that is starting to go off is very attractive to flies and similar pests. You don’t want to be inviting them into your pantry. As damaged food can also be dangerous to your health, it’s best to avoid purchasing it.
As well as avoiding damaged foods be careful in buying foods in bulk buy stores. That amount of grain attracts pests. You need to be vigilant to make sure you’re not taking home food with pantry pests already in it.
Despite your best efforts, there will be some dirt and debris that finds its way to the floor of your pantry. Fortunately, this is easy to resolve. Simply vacuum the pantry daily to remove any food debris. You can also mop it using warm water and a suitable food-friendly disinfectant. It will help to ensure pests don’t want to visit your pantry and, if they do, they won’t find anything of any interest.
The fact that the pantry is clean is also a nice bonus when you visit to get food.
Even if there are no signs of pests in your pantry, you should contact a pest control expert and get them to check your house once a year. This helps to detect any pests, even if they are not in your pantry, and allow you to deal with them before they cause a much bigger issue.
Remember, not all pests will head for your pantry, others, such as the termite, enjoy eating the wood in your home, potentially causing structural issues.