When it comes time to plan your holiday guest list, your invitees generally fall into one of two groups: those you want to invite, and those you feel you must. There is a third group, however, that's never intentionally included on any guest list: pests. Whether by box or by bag, pantry pests such as Indian meal moths, merchant grain beetles, cockroaches and ants can invade your home without your knowledge and wreak havoc on your holiday cheer.
Suddenly, your “must-invite” list doesn’t look too bad.
Pantry pests can infest common baking ingredients such as flour, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate and more. They flock to secluded food sources like your pantry and can become major nuisances to homeowners due to their quick ability to infest an area in a short amount of time. To protect your goods and the rest of your home from pests this holiday season and beyond, apply these tips from the National Pest Management Association today.
* Make it a total kitchen effort. Your work to protect the cleanliness of your pantry will be more successful if you are vigilant about your entire kitchen. This means routinely emptying trash receptacles, clearing crumbs from countertops, scrubbing the floors and running the dishwasher. The more uninviting to pests you can make your entire kitchen, the less interested they will be in your pantry.
* Inspect your packages closely. Sometimes pests enter your home before you can even take steps to prevent it. This can often be the case when the food you purchase is already infested. You can protect yourself from rolling out the red carpet for these pests by closely inspecting your food packages before tossing them in your cart. Avoid purchasing any package that shows a hint of damage, and once home, be sure to toss anything that’s expired.
* Store things properly. Plastic containers with secure lids are affordable and invaluable when it comes to protecting your pantry goods from pests. Look for plastic or glass solutions instead of other materials, and always try the lid before you buy. A poorly fitting lid can jeopardize all of your pest-proofing efforts.
* Work with a professional. If pantry pests are spotted in the kitchen, discard the infested foods in outdoor trash bins and clean all of the shelves in the cupboards with a vacuum. Be sure to also partner with a licensed pest control professional to properly handle the infestation to keep pests from multiplying and contaminating other foods in your home.
To find more tips on how you can make your home — and your pantry — pest-free for the holidays, visit www.pestworld.org.