Pantry pests can infest common baking ingredients such as flour, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate and more. In some cases, they are also attracted to dried flowers and potpourri, which make decorations another susceptible breeding ground for home infestations.
Common Pantry Pests
There are many varieties of pantry pests, including various species of:
Fortunately, many of these pests do not pose a serious health risk. However, they can become a serious nuisance to homeowners due to their ability to infest an area quickly. To learn more about common pantry pests, be sure to visit our Pest Guide.
There are several small steps that you can take to prevent an infestation of pantry pests. They are:
Store baking and cooking ingredients properly to help prevent pests from entering your pantry. Invest in airtight, sealed plastic or glass storage containers. Make sure that the lids are secure to prevent unwanted taste testers.
Avoid Damaged Products
Many times, pantry pests are brought into the home via products that were infested before purchase. Closely inspect all food packaging before buying. If a product is damaged, choose another box or bag.
The longer a product sits in your pantry, the more likely it is to become infested. While it may be tempting to buy ingredients in bulk, buy smaller packages that can be used in two to four months.
Many pantry pests are repelled by the strong smell of bay leaves. Add one to containers holding flour, rice and other grains to deter the pests.
Be sure to clean up any spills or crumbs as soon as they occur. These food spills can act as flashing neon signs to pests, signaling that your kitchen is an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Regularly check expiration dates for your stored products, and dispose of any that have expired.
Dried foliage, potpourri and Indian corn should be kept in airtight containers during off seasons and unpacked outside prior to displaying them inside the home for the holidays.
Look for any cracks or holes where pests might be coming into your home—especially around the stovepipes and water pipes. Also, eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains with a dehumidifier.
If you suspect that you have pantry pests, follow these steps:
- Inspect and identify any food that has been contaminated and dispose of it in outdoor trash bins.
- Thoroughly vacuum cupboards or shelves holding infested items, paying particular attention to cracks and corners.
- Make sure you empty the vacuum cleaner or discard the vacuum cleaner bag after use to prevent re-infestation or spreading the problem to other areas of your home.
If this does not eliminate the issue, you may have another underlying issue. If the infestation persists, contact a pest professional at Dodson Brothers. Our technicians are trained to analyze a pest problem, discover any underlying causes and create a plan of action that eliminates any unwanted pests.