Taking Stock For a Pest Free PantryNPMA Staff
Friday, November 19, 2010
By NPMA Staff
When the holiday season kicks into full swing each year, family
and friends gather in kitchens across the country to enjoy their
favorite holiday treats. But some uninvited guests may also come to
the table. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA)
encourages homeowners to thoroughly inspect their kitchens and
pantries to avoid pantry pests from spoiling their holiday cheer-
or at least their baked goods.
"Pantry pests" are insects known for infesting items often found
in pantries, from flour, cereal, nuts, spices and other dry goods
to candies and chocolate. These pests can also be found in holiday
decorations containing dried flowers or potpourri. The most common
pantry pest is the Indian meal moth, although beetles and ants are
"When the holidays approach, many families dig out baking
ingredients from the back of their pantry that haven't been used
since the previous year," says Jim Fredericks, technical services
director for NPMA. "Over time, these food sources may have
attracted pests and food contamination becomes a concern. It's
important to thoroughly examine all food products before using
them, and discard of any that may have been infested."
NPMA recommends that families follow these tips to ensure a
pest-free holiday season:
- Store food in tightly sealed plastic or glass containers.
- Pay special attention to pet food, which is a frequent source
of pantry pest contamination.
- Always discard any food past the expiration date on the package
or that show signs of pest infestation.
- Sift through flour, sugar and other ingredients carefully
before adding to your recipe.
- Keep kitchen counters, floors and sinks clean as crumbs and
spills quickly attract pests.
- Routinely clean out pantries and cabinets, checking in corners
for signs of pests including fecal droppings.
- To remediate pest infestations, contact a licensed pest
professional to inspect, identify and control the problem.