Before you know it, the holidays will be approaching, and it'll be time to do some baking. This year you're going to wow them with your grandmother's Boston cream pie recipe. You head into the pantry and pull out the ingredients you'll need. The recipe calls for flour. You claw around on the shelf and find half a bag in the back. Will it be enough? If not, you're going to have to make a run to the store. You curl it open and look inside, and what you see stops you dead in your tracks. Right on the top of the soft puffy flour are four little brown wiggly bugs! How did you get bugs? You keep a clean pantry.
Sadly, it doesn't matter how clean you keep your pantry, you can still get bugs. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't clean your pantry. Keeping a clean pantry does give bugs less of a reason to stay, if they are wandering around. Mice, rats, beetles, weevils, pillbugs, Indian meal moths, earwigs, ants, roaches, and more, will make a home if they can find food and liquid laying around.
So, how did the bugs get in my pantry?
If you have bugs in your pantry, you probably brought them in yourself. Gasp! I know it's shocking, but sadly, most pantries get contaminated when food, boxes, or bags are brought in from a store. Bugs climb into bags and boxes, especially moist boxes, and ride their way right into your home. You should always check boxes and bags when you get home from the grocery store. Use a flashlight, and shake them out after food has been removed.
Bugs also take a ride inside food packages. In the case of the flour example above, the little weevils crawling around inside the flour were not there when the package came home from the store--at least we hope not--because the bag was half used. When shopping for pantry products like grain, wheat, sugar, flour, etc, make sure you check for any holes or gaps where bugs can get in. And if you find bugs in a bag that came straight from the store, put it in a larger plastic bag, and bring it back to the store. I think it goes without saying, don't put it in your pantry.
So how do I protect myself from bugs in my kitchen and pantry?
Bugs and rodents love your pantry, because that is where the food and liquid is. Don't let them find what they're looking for.
Keep all your food in sealed plastic or glass containers. Bugs and rodents can burrow through paper and plastic.
If you have any spills, clean them up. Don't leave any standing liquid. Remember, even a few drops can be a pond to a bug.
Clean floors and shelves regularly, to get any fallen crumbs.
Check your expiration dates periodically. Bugs--especially cockroaches--love rotting food.
If you keep finding bugs and rodents, you may have a more complicated issue. A rodent or bug could have carried food into your wall voids, and now they are no longer living in the pantry, but inside your walls of your home. A pest control specialist from American Pest can help you determine what pests you have, and seal your pantry from those bugs. And, they'll help you seal it up, so bugs stay out for good.
Visit our Preferred Care program page to learn more about our home pest control services in Montgomery County or simply give us a call to discuss your pest problem.
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