How’s your pantry looking? Is it one of those that has foodstuffs from last year hidden out of sight behind newer products? With chocolate, rice, dried fruit and pasta there’s a whole lot here for pantry pests to feast on and the perfect conditions for them to breed.
In fact from the pest’s perspective, discovering the goodies in your pantry is probably equivalent to winning the Lotto. As the Gold Coast pest control specialists, the team at Pegasus Environmental explain how you can make your pantry a pest free no-go zone.
WHICH PESTS ARE IN THE PANTRY?
The pantry has the potential to be ideal for most household pests, but the four biggest culprits with the potential for the big infestations are:
• The Indian Meal Moth – Small moth up to 10mm, with wing markings that are cream coloured close the body and reddish brown at the ends.
• Mediterranean Flour Moth
• Cigarette Beetle
• Drugstore Beetle
These pests can be initially hard to identify before taking their adult form and will undertake their complete life cycle in the pantry. Before many people notice a problem they will lay eggs and an initial sign of an infestation can be minuscule powder on grains of rice, cereal or pasta. Wriggling caterpillar-like larvae or small cocoons inside packaging is another bad sign that the damage has already been done.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
If the moths and beetles situation in your pantry has already gotten out of hand, you’ll most likely have to replace all the packet food in the pantry. DO NOT spray inspect sprays inside the pantry and around your food – even though this might be the natural reaction to swarms of small moths.
INSPECT AND SEAL FOOD
To inspect for eggs and larvae, take everything out from the pantry one shelf at a time and inspect food. – Anything that has become stale should be thrown. Before returning unaffected food items, wipe down the shelves thoroughly including the underside and between any cracks.
As you would expect, it’s also extremely important to seal food in jars or containers and make sure there are no spills on shelves or over the pantry floor of pests of any type. Re-sealing packets is often not effective enough as tiny moths can still get into very small holes It’s also important to regularly inspect the food in your pantry and throw out any food that has spoiled or is close to spoiling early. Keeping a clean, organised pantry is the single biggest thing you can do to prevent pantry pests.
Sometimes however your pest problems in the pantry are a symptom of a larger pest problem throughout the home, and this includes rodents and roaches.