Planning on doing some holiday baking this week?
If this is one of the few times each year you use some of the items in your pantry or cupboards, be prepared if you come across some “ingredients” that don’t belong there.
Bugs in your food are the LAST thing you want to see when you’re just trying to bake some goodies to bring to your family get-together for the holidays.
Talk about losing your appetite!
So what do you do if you encounter any of the following stored product pests?
- moths in the pantry
- tiny beetles in your flour
- maggot-looking things in your oatmeal
Though the answer should be a natural reaction, I’ll say it anyways.
DISCARD INFESTED PRODUCTS AT ONCE!
Why can’t you just pick them out and use the flour in your recipe anyways? Well, the scientifically logic reason is that some stored product pests emit toxins from their bodies, which can cause a foul odor or taste in the foods they’ve infested.
“Toxin chocolate chip cookies” just doesn’t sound appealing at all!!
So how do you get rid of pantry pests??
Find and eliminate the source.
That’s the short answer.
The thorough answer involves the following steps:
- Carefully remove all items from cupboards or pantry (cake mixes, flour, sugar, cereals, grains, seeds, nuts, spices, etc.) and place on the kitchen table.
- Inspect each item to detect insect presence or activity, looking for wormy creatures, beetles, or spider web-looking material in each product.
- Discard any questionable item into a trash bag and remove promptly from interior of house.
- Wipe all shelves and walls down with any household cleaner.
- Vaccuum food debris from cracks and crevices. (Don’t forget under the stove!)
- Place remaining untampered products in sealed plastic containers or zipped bags and place back on shelves.
Eliminating the pest’s access to food sources will prevent them from thriving and breeding. This is a good integrated pest management practice to turn into a habit each and every time you bring groceries home from the store. It will save you money and frustration in the end!
For more tips this holiday and winter season, download our free gazette!