Preserving food through drying, milling, canning and other dry storage methods helped us take the bounty of our farms and extend them over the times of year when nourishment was scarce. Since the first bag of flour was tucked away in a pantry, insects and rodents have been desperately trying to find a way to get to the tantalizing buffet. That's why you should consider the pantry when examining for pests and having pest control performed on your property.
What Sorts of Animals Sneak into the Pantry?
Aside from hungry housemates and children, the animals that find their way into your pantry are mostly small scavengers, such as insects and rodents. The most notorious scavenger to live alongside humans is the cockroach, a durable crawler that breeds incessantly.
The dry goods in the pantry aren't the best source of food for cockroaches, though, as they lack the ability to get through sturdier packaging. However, weevils and beetles are skilled at finding ways to sneak into supplies of flour and plant their eggs. The young hatch, feed on the flour and then make their way slowly out into the world.
The other most common pest is the Indian meal moth, a half-inch long flying pest that is known to feed on all sorts of dried grains, cereals, seeds, fruits and even some spices. Spiders may be lurking in the corners, but they rarely are hunting for your grains. Instead, they are an indicator that other insects like the meal moths are lurking nearby, providing them meals. If the spiders sit high and build webs, you may have containers with open air access that flying bugs have located.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Stored Food?
When you bring home food from the store, examine the container for any damage. If you don't expect the bag or box to last, then transfer the goods to a more durable bin. Containers made from thicker plastic can last for years, will tightly seal with the right lid, and are difficult for the typical pantry pests to break through and invade. '
Be sure to make a note of when the goods were purchased and the expected shelf life in a visible place on the bin. Scotch tape and a marker will work as a makeshift label.
You'll also want to perform a thorough cleaning of every cabinet on a regular schedule, typically every six months to a year. Spring is an excellent time to schedule the inspection. Take out all of your food containers, scrub down the shelves and walls and then recheck all of the goods for expiration dates, mold, mildew, feces and other indicators of spoiling.
Removing a Pantry Infestation
There may come a time when a bag of flour isn't sealed just right or a persistent colony of bugs finds a way into your pantry, and normal cleaning may not remove them from the cracks in the wall. If you suspect you have a pantry infestation, call Snowball Pest Control today for a complete inspection and removal of any insects and rodents hunting for your food.