Keep Pantry Pests Out Of Your Plans This Holiday SeasonNPMA Staff
Thursday, November 26, 2009
By NPMA Staff
When the holidays arrive, they bring with it many favorite tastes
and sights of the season. Before putting the next pumpkin pie in
the oven, though, homeowners should be on the lookout for uninvited
pests that can cause unexpected problems with holiday meals and
According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA),
Indian meal moths, part of a group of insects referred to as
"pantry pests," can infest common kitchen pantry items such as
flour, dry cereal, spices, candies and chocolate. These insects are
also attracted to dried flowers and potpourri, which make holiday
decorations another susceptible breeding ground for home
Bats and rodents can also pose real threats to the health of a
homeowner and his or her family. The accumulation of their feces
can spread bacteria and viruses. Once this accumulated mass becomes
dry, it can be hazardous to those who breathe it in.
"Indian meal moths are the most common type of pantry pest found
in stored food products," says Missy Henriksen, vice president of
public affairs for NPMA. "Although these pests may not directly
cause disease or damage homes, Indian meal moths can contaminate
food and quickly infest homes."
Female Indian meal moths are able to lay up to 200 eggs in or near
a food source in one week, leading to severe infestations in a
short amount of time. NPMA offers the following tips to help
homeowners keep holiday plans running smoothly:
• When shopping, purchase sealed packages that
have no signs of damage.
• Use pantry items before the expiration
• Keep cabinets, pantries and counters clean
and free of crumbs.
• Store food in plastic or glass containers
with secure lids.
• Store seasonal decor including dried
foliage, potpourri and Indian corn in airtight containers during
off seasons and unpack these decorations outside prior to
displaying them inside the home.
• If you suspect you have an infestation,
contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the