Eliminate Pesky Pests From Your Pantry

Quick and easy tips to avoid insects from contaminating holiday treats 

FAIRFAX, VA (November 21, 2017) – The holidays are almost here, and that means families will be baking in full force. As many are making their shopping lists – and checking them twice – the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is reminding busy bakers to take extra precautions when it comes to pantry pests. Because, no one wants a buggy surprise in holiday cookies, cakes or pies! 

“Pantry pests, otherwise known as stored product pests such as Indian meal moths, weevils and merchant grain beetles, have the ability to quickly infest food in our cupboards,” said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “Holiday preparations should also include the proper handling and storage of ingredients to ensure baked goods remain delicious — and most importantly — free of bugs.”

Mannes recommends protecting pantry goods from hungry pests this holiday season with these simple tips: 

Inspect Items at the Store

Many pantry pests are brought home within items that are already infested, such as food in compromised paper packaging and unsealed bags. At the store, inspect all items carefully and always pass over any that show even the slightest signs of damage. If ordering groceries online, it’s also important to inspect deliveries and packages before bringing them indoors as this can help reduce the risk of bringing in other bugs, such as cockroaches.

Seal Everything

Proper food storage can go a long way in preventing a pantry pest infestation. Once packages are opened, move ingredients into sealed glass or Tupperware-type containers with secure lids before storing them in the pantry or cabinet. Label the expiration dates somewhere on the containers so you know when they are past their time.

Check Dates

Remember to check expiration dates on ingredients before use. Most pantry pests prefer grains, flour, cereals, chocolate, and even dried fruits and nuts. Periodically sort through old items in the pantry, and toss out anything that has been stored for a long time. And don’t forget to check Fido’s food, too. While you would never use it for baking, dry pet food can also attract stored product pests. 

Clean Often

Immediately wipe up any crumbs or spills from countertops, tables, floors and shelves, and dispose of garbage regularly. Periodically empty the cupboards and clean them with soap and water to get rid of residue and anything that may be hiding inside.  

For more advice on how to keep pests out of your home or to find a pest control professional to help with an existing problem, visit PestWorld.org. Follow @PestWorld on Facebook for more helpful tips.

About the National Pest Management Association

The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 6,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property from the diseases and dangers of pests. For more information, visit PestWorld.org or follow @PestWorld on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.