Keeping Holiday Treats Pest-FreeNPMA Staff
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
‘Tis the season to prevent pantry pests from ruining holiday
FAIRFAX, Va. – Throughout the holidays, families spend more time
in the kitchen cooking for dinners and baking for parties. The
National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reminds people to be
wary of the uninvited guests that could be hiding in the cupboards,
especially in those baking ingredients that haven’t been touched in
awhile. Ants, earwigs and mice can be occasional pantry invaders,
but the most common are Indian meal moths and merchant grain
beetles. Once inside, these pests can quickly find homes in close
proximity to human food.
“Pantry pests tend to gather around food such as flour, cereals,
spices and chocolate stored in cabinets,” says Missy Henriksen,
vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “They can easily
contaminate stored food and become a serious problem if left
unchecked. Following a few easy tips can help you protect and enjoy
pest-free ingredients all season long.”
The NPMA recommends the following steps to keep stored food free
from pantry pests:
- Purchase proper
storage: Heavy plastic or glass containers with airtight,
secure lids keep pantries looking nice and will help protect
- Use a bay
leaf: Add one leaf to canisters and packages of dry goods –
the herb’s pungent scent repels many pests.
- Inspect groceries at
the store: Most pantry pests are brought into homes from
items that are already infested. Check packages for any holes or
broken seals before placing them in the cart.
- Check the
date: Remember to check expiration dates on baking
ingredients before use. Visually inspect items that have been left
untouched in the pantry for signs of pests.
- Practice good
sanitation: Wipe up crumbs and spills as soon as possible.
Also, periodically clean cupboards with soap and water to
remove any food residue that may accumulate over time.
- Seal cracks:
Look for any cracks or holes where pests might be coming into your
home and seal them shut.
If you suspect an infestation, contact a licensed pest
professional to inspect, identify and treat the problem. For
more pest-proofing tips and information about common household
pests, visit www.pestworld.org.
The NPMA, a non-profit organization
with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support
the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of
public health, food and property.