Pantry pests is a general title that can be applied to any pest attracted to the items stored in your pantry. In practice, this means pests that like grains, such as the Indian meal moth, a variety of beetles, and even weevils.
The first step in keeping them away is talking to your local pest control experts. Not only will they inspect your home and pantry for pests, but they will also help you eliminate any issue and can ensure you are aware of the most common pests in your area. This includes knowing what they look like and what you should do if you see one.
Seal your Pantry
Knowing that your pantry is pest freer will allow you to pull everything out and inspect all the walls. There should be no cracks or gaps in the walls. If there are any you need to fill them with sealant immediately. This prevents pests from getting in.
Of course, there will be a vent for your pantry. This is fine but you need to make sure it has a fine wire mesh across it. You’ll still be allowing air circulation but the wire mesh will keep all the pests out.
Don’t forget to fit a sweeper to the bottom of the pantry door.
Keep It Clean
You can now clean your pantry from top to bottom. Wipe all the shelves with warm water and soap. It’s not advisable to use pesticides as they could contaminate your food.
Once you have washed everything down and made sure it is dry you can bring the food back in.
Contain Your Food
Before you take the food in make sure everything is in either a plastic or metal container. It doesn’t matter if the packet is open or not, it needs to go into a container. This stops the pests from being able to smell the food and prevents them from getting into it.
On top of this, you should only open and close food containers in your kitchen, not the pantry. This effectively eliminates the possibility of food debris arriving on the floor of your pantry and attracting pests.
Although many foods can still be used after their best before date, you do need to keep an eye on the dates and get rid of anything that is past its date or looks like it has damaged packaging.
Of course, if you have sealed everything in containers this is more of a judgment call depending on your personal attitude to food, best before dates, and the purpose of storing your food.
It can also help to use pest deterrents in your pantry, just in case any pests do make it in there. The best things to use are small bags of black pepper, bay leaves, and even talcum powder. This won’t attract pests and will deter any that are looking. It also doesn’t risk harming the food which could happen if you use pesticides or chemical detergents.