Finding pantry pests while preparing a holiday meal can immediately curb any appetite. There are various varieties of pests that can invade food products, but the most common in Wisconsin are the Indian-meal moth, the Saw-toothed grain beetle, the Red flour beetle and the Cigarette beetle.
Although these pests are for the most part harmless, they are the last thing we want to see when we open a package of food.
Pantry pests are typically found in dry goods such as flour, pancake mix, cake mix, macaroni, cereals, dried fruit, spices, crackers and pet and bird food and surprisingly, even potpourri. Stored food insects will most likely infest opened products, but are capable of chewing their way inside or finding a way inside via a seam or fold in the packaging.
Food of any age can become infested, although food items that have been stored on shelves for long periods of time are most susceptible to infestation. Infestation can occur anywhere from the production process to storage on shelving in your home, but most infestations happen in store or in home.
Preventing Pantry Pests
- Inspect packages for damage at the store before bringing them into your home. Look for any tears or openings on the packaging. Also check the freshness date.
- Use oldest items in your pantry first. Rid your pantry of old, unused items.
- Store items in airtight containers, especially if you buy in bulk.
- Keep birdseed and pet food in closed containers and inspect those containers regularly.
- Keep food storage areas clean. Vacuum any loose food remnants in cracks and corners.
- Add a bay leaf to stored containers of dry goods such as flour and rice, the pungent smell repels many pantry pests.*
- Call a licensed pest management company if you find a pantry infestation.
The pest specialists at Safeway Pest Management are knowledgeable and ready to help with your pantry pest problem or any other insect problem that you may be dealing with. Give us a call at 262-679-4422 in Muskego, 262-354-3444 in Oconomowoc or toll free at 800-956-0800 or visit us on the web at www.safewaypest.net.
*Tip Source: NPMA