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Problems Food-Infesting Insects Bring to Pennsylvania Pantries

We hope you've never had the unsavory pleasure of finding pantry pests in your food, but if you have, then you probably know what we’re talking about. There is not much that can ruin a fun time in the kitchen like the discovery of food-infesting insects. And, as you would probably assume from their name, the infestation of food items is the most significant problem pantry pests present when they find their way into our Pennsylvania homes.

Food infestation by pantry pests is multi-faceted. It isn't just about a single product being ruined. Instead, it is often a problem that spreads. Pantry pests typically move from food item to food item within your pantry, resulting in a much larger problem. To prevent this, it is a good idea to store pantry items that come in paper, cardboard, or thin plastic packaging in sealed plastic containers. These containers prevent smells from attracting pantry pests and keep the foods inside fresher, which pantry pests don't prefer. And those sealed containers also prevent pantry pests from getting in or moving from one stored item to the next.

One problem with pantry pests that we often don’t think about is that when they invade, it isn't always noticeable. You may grab a piece of bread or some crackers and not even realize there are insect eggs on those items. That will be an unpleasant surprise, that’s for sure! Pantry pests commonly target candy, cereal, grains, flour, dried fruit, pasta, nuts, and more. And when they do, the warning signs of their presence will most likely be the moths, beetles, or weevils crawling around in your pantry, not the larvae or eggs in your food. If you’re lucky, you may also notice webbing in your food. If you do, we recommend that you throw out that food immediately.

Fortunately, pantry pests are a low risk for harmful diseases. They aren't going to present the same threat level as cockroaches, mice, rats, or other unsanitary pests. Even house flies present a far greater health threat than a pantry pest. In fact, house flies are strongly suspected of transmitting more than 65 diseases to humans, but that's beside the point. What we’re trying to say is, pantry pests don’t present much of a threat for disease. They do cause a variety of other problems, though.

What To Do About Pantry Pests

There are several ways you can help to keep your pantry free of pantry pests. Here are some of the best practices when it comes to eliminating pantry pests:

  • Be careful to inspect food items before purchasing them at the grocery store; pantry pests often get into homes by hitchhiking inside food packages, so if you see any damage or even the tiniest of openings in food packaging, avoid purchasing those items.

  • Do an inspection of the food items that are already in your home. If you see damage or openings, sift through those items and make sure they're pest-free.

  • Check the dates on your food packages and if you find any expired items, throw them out. Also, place items that are newer to the back and older items to the front; pantry pests are more attracted to older food items, so using those items first can help deter pantry pest problems.

  • Keep your pantry and kitchen areas as clean as possible. Good sanitation is the foundation of good pest control! To maintain good sanitation, wipe up spills and crumbs immediately, dispose of garbage regularly and keep your receptacles clean, and periodically empty cupboards and do a quick clean of your cupboards with soapy water.

  • Consider applying bay leaf to canisters and packages of dry goods such as flour, rice, and other grains. The smell of bay leaves is repellent to many pests that enter our pantries.

  • One way to keep pantry pests out has nothing to do with your pantry at all. Long before those pests get into your pantry, they have to get into your home. Therefore, sealing gaps and cracks in your exterior walls can keep your pantry from being invaded by food-infesting pests. To eliminate entry points, perform a detailed inspection of your foundation wall and seal any cracks you find, fix door and window screens to keep them in good repair, inspect around the outside frames of doors and windows and seal any gaps or holes you find, and inspect weather stripping and door sweeps on doors. These are the most common entry points for invading insect species.

When pantry pests infest your pantry, it may be difficult to completely eliminate them. If you need assistance with proper pest control to target and eliminate those pests, reach out to Moyer Pest Control. Our team of highly-trained service professionals is licensed and certified to tackle a wide range of pest problems, including pantry pest infestations. Moyer Pest Control is also QualityPro-Certified by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), which means you'll get the highest level of pest control service available in the industry, every time!

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