Pantry pests, also known as 'Stored Product Pests” represent a group of pests with an appetite for dried and processed food products that are stored in your home. Products can include: flour, cereal, dry pasta, dry pet food, powdered milk, corn starch, crackers, spices, breads, bird seed, dried nuts, fruit and more.
A pantry pest is another term for what is known as stored product pests. These pests have an appetite that is similar to yours and, therefore, can often be found in your pantry. Some of the food products they like are cereal, flour, crackers, breads, nuts, fruit, dog food, powdered milk, pasta, cornstarch, bird-seed and a variety of spices.
Many of today’s pests belong in the category of pantry pests. A few of the more common pests are:
Indian meal moths
Saw-toothed grain beetles
The growth processes of pantry pests include eggs, larva, pupa, and adult stages. Any combination of these stages of growth can be found in your home at the same time. These pests will continue to reproduce throughout the year as long as food is available and the temperatures are comfortable.
However, the Thanksgiving holiday is a prime time to see or even attract pantry pests to your kitchen. During the Thanksgiving season, your families and friends come together and begin cooking their favorite breads, pies, side dishes and stuffing. You begin getting out all the food products necessary to make your thanksgiving dinner. Many of these products are not used on a regular basis and, when opened, you discover your unwanted pests.
Begin your preparations now for the holiday season by inspecting these products and replace any food item that has been contaminated by pantry pests. The following prevention techniques will greatly reduce the risk of pantry pests invading your kitchen.
All rice, pasta, flour and grains should be stored in plastic or glass containers with pest proof lids.
Consider placing a bay leaf in the containers of these products as the scent of the bay leaf will help repel pantry pests.
Inspect your cupboards, pantries and food storage areas for any signs of pantry pests. Remove any food items that have been damaged or left open.
A well-sanitized kitchen will drastically reduce the chance of infestation. Keep all spills cleaned up and make sure cabinets and pantries are wiped free of any crumbs.
Check expiration dates and discard upon expiration. The longer it is on your shelf untouched and not being used, the greater the chance of becoming infested with pantry pests.
Following these guidelines will help you stay free of pantry pests and give you a happy, pest-free Thanksgiving.