How to prevent pests in your pantry

Dealing with pantry pests – or any pest for that matter – can often be a pain for everyone. There are even times when they seem to just reappear a couple of days after you have cleaned your pantry. The truth is, pests will always find their way back to your food storage.

Infestation can begin anywhere – it may come from the processing plant, the food warehouse, the delivery truck, or in the grocery or retail store where you purchased the item. Chances of pests crawling into your food storage increase the longer you store food inside the cupboard. What’s more frustrating is how hard it is to spot them when they’re still in their larval stage which makes disposal harder. (h/t to

Getting rid of pantry pests

No matter how stubborn these pests are, there are still some preventive ways you can do at home.

Don’t overstock – As ideal as it is to have an emergency supply, you’re only inviting pests to come crawling into your storage. At times, even unopened boxes may house pests and they thrive by chewing through papers, foils, and cardboard. Moreover, the lesser the food, the more often you shop which allows you to regularly check on your pantry and also look out for the little critters.

First in, first out – Practice this by placing the newly bought items at the back part of the pantry. This way, you’ll be able to consume first those which you bought from your second-to-the-last store trip. Again, foods stored for a long time are more prone to infestation.

Have a cleaning schedule – Make sure that you clean your pantry regularly to remove dirt from it. Remove all items and use a vacuum or you can also use soap and water to sanitize everything. However, refrain from using bleaches, ammonia or pesticides. These agents don’t kill pests effectively and can contaminate your food.

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Proper disposal – Every after cleaning session, immediately dispose of trash bags and empty your vacuum canister. If you leave these inside the house for an extended period, the pests you have caught may just crawl out and infest your pantry again.

Always check for cracks – Look out for cracks and crevices in your cupboard. Spilled food often gets stuck in these places and eventually attracts pests. Moreover, these spaces also serve as hiding spots for pests.

Use traps – You can also make use of sticky traps. While they may not completely exterminate the pests, they can help in catching some, and give you an idea just what kind of pest you are dealing with.

Containers – It’s unavoidable to have leftovers. So in case the packaging is not resealable, it’s best to transfer the food in air-tight or resealable containers.

Common pantry pests

There are hundreds of types of pests which can be found in pantries, but here’s a list of some of the most common ones to look out for:

  • Dermestid beetle (Dermestidae)
  • Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella)
  • Sawtoothed grain beetle (Oryzaephilus surinamensis)
  • Confused flour beetle (Tribolium confusum)
  • Rice weevil (Sitophilus oryzae)
  • Maize weevil (Sitophilus zeamais)
  • Red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum)

Don’t wait until your pantry has already been infested. Start practicing the preventive measures listed above and rid yourself of the worry of a possible infestation. (Related: Home Pest Control without the Toxic Chemicals.)

Moreover, getting help from professional exterminators may cost you a lot, so it’s best not to let the situation go out of hand.

Learn more pest control tips by visiting today.

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