It is no fun finding bugs in your food. Yuck! Unfortunately, there is no foolproof way to prevent pantry pests from getting into your foods. These pests can get in long before the products come into your home. Beetles, weevils, and Indian meal moths lay their eggs in stored foods. Given the opportunity, they'll do it anywhere along the route your food takes to get to your table. This can happen at the farm, on the truck, at the processing plant, in storage, in transit to a store, and even at the grocery store. What can you do about that? Well, there are a few things you can do. This is what the Nashville pest control experts here at All-American Pest Control have to say about managing the threat of pantry pests.
It isn't common for pantry pests to get in from the outside yard, but it does happen. The first step in protecting your pantry or kitchen from an infestation is to apply the following steps:
Seal any cracks, gaps, or holes in your exterior.
Repair door and window screens.
Make sure your exterior doors have a good seal all the way around.
Seal gaps in your pantry walls and baseboards.
Consider marking your products with bold due dates, and remove items that are past due. Food that is past due has a strong odor, and the odor can attract pests.
Put newly purchased food to the back and older food to the front of shelves.
Grocery Store Tips
When you purchase items at the store, there could be eggs inside them. If there are, you'll bring an infestation home with you. The eggs will hatch in your home and itty bitty larvae will start crawling around in your food. Some larvae look like rice and take on the appearance of the foods they are eating. Larvae in brown rice will be brown. Larvae in white rice will be white. It's okay if you let out a little bit of a gasp. We understand. It is super gross. Use these tips to avoid bringing pantry pests home with you.
Inspect the products you purchase. Look for tears, chew holes, or openings insects could use to get inside.
Check the dates on the products. If an item is past due, don't buy it.
Keep an eye out for tiny brownish-orange moths with a tan band in the center. When we say tiny, we mean it. An Indian meal moth is only about ⅝ of an inch long. If you see a moth on a shelf, it is probably best to avoid purchasing the products in the area.
When You Get Home
Once you've purchased your stored food products and brought them home, there is still something you can do to reduce your chances of eating contaminated food. If you put the items in sealed containers, it will provide a few benefits.
Containers allow you to examine the product. If there is webbing, tiny eggs, tiny larvae, or full-grown insects crawling around, you'll be able to see them.
Containers prevent an infestation from spreading. If you do see signs of an infestation, you can take comfort in the fact that it is contained. Some pantry pests are able to chew through cardboard and paper as they spread, but they're not able to chew through hard plastic or glass.
Containers hold the smell of food inside. If a pantry pest finds its way into your home, it is less likely to zero in on your pantry if all your food is stored in sealed containers.
What To Do About An Infestation
If you find an infestation, and you have invested in sealed containers, simply throw the product out and clean the container. If you don't have containers, the process is more difficult. You need to throw the infested item out and begin a process of examining and bagging your foods to see if the infestation has spread. You also need to clean your shelves, walls, and floors. Vacuum cracks and crevices as well. Some pantry pests lay eggs near food sources.
Have you found pantry pests in your Nashville home? Remember that All-American Pest Control is standing by to assist you with all of your residential and commercial pest control needs in Nashville. Connect with us today and schedule to meet with one of our licensed service team members. We're here to help.
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