Pantry Bugs to Watch This Thanksgiving

As the holiday season ramps up, families will soon be spending more time in the kitchen, cooking turkey dinners and baking pumpkin pies. However, we want to remind everyone to check their cabinets and seldom-used ingredients for pantry bugs that can become a hassle during this joyous time of year. (You might want to check expiration dates as well, a family tradition of the children at my parents home each year)

Indian Meal Moth

Indian Meal Moth

Merchant grain beetles and Indian meal moths are among the most common pantry pests found in kitchens. They contaminate stored ingredients that are typically used to bake delicious holiday treats, such as flour, dried fruit, nuts and chocolate.

Pantry bugs don’t pose serious health or property threats, but because they can infest an area in a short amount of time, it’s important to stop a problem before it begins. One of the easiest ways to prevent an infestation is to routinely clean out pantries and cabinets, and sift through common stored products like flour and spices.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends some additional tips to keep pantries pest-free during the busy holiday baking season:

  • Store food in Tupperware-type containers with secure lids.
  • Add a bay leaf to canisters of dry goods. The herb’s pungent scent repels many pantry pests.
  • Make it a habit while grocery shopping to carefully inspect food products in cardboard packages for signs of damage prior to placing it in the cart.
  • Only purchase items that show no sign of damage.
  • Check expiration dates on baking ingredients before use.
  • Keep kitchen counters, floors and sinks clean because crumbs and spills quickly attract pests.
  • Dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles.
  • Seal cracks or holes around the stovepipes and water pipes.
  • Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.

If you discover any pests in the pantry, then thoroughly clean the shelves with a vacuum and discard the infested food in an outdoor trash bin. It’s important to consult a licensed pest professional, like us, if an infestation has already taken root.

If you have any questions about a particular bug then feel free to contact us over the phone. We are happy to talk through your problem and visit if needed.

From our family at Johnson Pest Control to your family, have a great Thanksgiving holiday this week.

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