4 Tips for a Pest-Free Pantry

The holiday season is coming quickly.  The arrival of the holidays means extra baking, cooking, and more food in our pantries and kitchens.  Storing food properly can help prevent bug attraction. This year, let’s skip the common mistakes in food storage that attract insects. They’re just not welcome guests at the Christmas party. 

At May Exterminating, we enjoy holiday cooking.  We know food pretty well, but we know bugs even better! We’ve put together a few tips and tricks to make sure your pantry stays pest-free for the holiday season.

Add an Ounce of Prevention 

Clean out the pantry, remove items and clean every inch.  This will give you a clear view of any pest issues.   Wipe down the walls, the floorboards, the shelving, and any other surfaces that may have food residue.  While you’re at it, this is a great time to purge unnecessary items to make room for holiday cooking supplies.

Declutter the Shelves

Organize your pantry staples and food products in a way that helps you see everything.  This helps you be more efficient in the kitchen, but it also helps you see any signs of insects or pests.  Put items in bags – like flour and sugar – into airtight plastic or glass containers.  They block tempting odors and keep insects from getting into your food.  

Separate fruits and veggies into their own baskets or bins so you can see what’s fresh and what’s ready to go.  Produce that is allowed to stay too long and spoil is like a neon welcome sign at a hotel for pests.  

Keep Tabs on Everything

One of the main attractions of pantry bugs is decaying food.   Keep a keen eye on the items in your pantry, knowing their shelf life, and rotating them out when it is time.  This will help prevent pest issues. 

Know Your Adversaries:

Ants- The most common kitchen pests, ants can sneak through the tiniest crack in doorways, window sills, and holes in baseboards.  Spraying kills any intruders, but natural deterrents for ants include bay leaves, talcum powder, or pepper around the suspected areas.

Grain Weevils-These pantry pests prefer grains, beans, and seed products more than anything.  They’re why we recommend keeping all items like rice or flour in a sealed, airtight container instead of just ‘rolled up’ in a bag.

Cockroaches- The scourge of the pest world!  No one wants to open any kitchen door to find cockroaches running amok!  This is especially true for the pantry where your food is stored.  Roaches love foods that are easy to access.  

A little prevention this fall can mean a holiday season with friends, family and NO insects.   If you’ve seen pests or signs of pests in your home, call us and we’ll help you get rid of the intruders quickly.