We expect our homes to be reasonably pest free – the occasional incursion of ants or flies is to be expected, but we hope that these are the exceptions, rather than the rule. That goes double for some specific areas within our homes – our bedrooms, for instance. It also applies to the pantry, the food-storage center of the family. Pantries are more than just storage areas where you put up your canned goods, boxed cereals, bags of rice and more. They’re essential components of our families, and the go-to place for comfort.
Most of us don’t think much about pests in the pantry, particularly if there’s nothing in evidence when we open the door and light floods in. The problem is that most pests duck out of sight the instant humans appear – there’s a very good chance that not only are you storing pests in your pantry, but that they’re helping themselves to your edibles, as well.
The Dangers of Pests in the Pantry
Before we talk about the various pests that might be lurking behind sacks of potatoes and boxes of cereal, let’s talk a bit about the many dangers involved here. You’ll find that mice can spread everything from salmonella to Hantavirus. They also carry fleas, which harbor even more diseases. Roaches, ants and other insects carry other threats, all of which can affect you and your family through food contamination. Others are less obvious threats but just as dangerous – hairs from beetles can cause mouth, throat and stomach irritation.
Signs of Pantry Invasion
How do you tell if your pantry is home to pests? While there’s no surefire way to say yes or no short of a professional exterminator conducting an inspection, there are a few things homeowners can do to help determine if there are pests present. These include the following:
- Look for mouse droppings, tracks and urine in your pantry
- The presence of moths in your pantry is a sure sign you have an infestation
- Beetle carapaces present in your pantry are another sign you have an infestation
- Webbing might not be from spiders – it could be from Indianmeal moth larvae
How to Safeguard Your Pantry
Eradication of pantry pests often requires professional help. However, there are several things you as a homeowner can do to help prevent pests from thriving in your pantry in the first place. Follow these simple tips to help ensure that you’re not bringing any unwanted visitors home, and that if they do make it in, they’re not going to find a welcoming environment.
- Inspect all items before storing them in your pantry. Check for live moths, beetles and other insects.
- Inspect all packaging for signs of damage BEFORE placing it in your pantry.
- Use airtight plastic, glass or metal storage containers rather than leaving open packaging in your pantry. This applies to everything from rice to cereal to dried vegetables and more.
- Keep your pantry organized and clean it regularly. A disorganized pantry, or one that is rarely cleaned, is a haven for many pests.
What to Do If You Have an Infestation
So, what should you do if you find that you’ve already started harboring pests in your pantry? All is not lost. First, remove any food items that have been damaged by pests and dispose of them. Second, clean the pantry thoroughly. Sweep or wipe up any spilled foods. Clean all shelving and mop the pantry floor. Finally, contact an experienced exterminator to ensure that your pests are gone for good. Dugas Pest Control can help ensure that your food and family stay safe and sound. Call today for more information about our pest control treatment and prevention options.
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Are You Storing Pests in Your Pantry? in Louisiana
Serving the Baton Rouge and Acadiana LA area since 1957