How to Make Pantry Pests Get Out and Stay Out
Pantry Pests – out of all the places in your house where you can find pests, one of the worst is in your pantry. Clothes can be washed, carpets can be vacuumed, and floors can be scrubbed, but once your food gets contaminated, it’s usually unsalvageable.
It’s also especially dangerous, because if you eat food that’s been contaminated by mice and other untidy visitors, you can catch a variety of painful or even deadly illnesses.
In this blog post, we’ll tell you how to detect and get rid of some of the most common pantry pests, and how to keep them from coming back.
How to get rid of pantry pests:
Step 1: Notice the signs.
Different methods work on different pantry pests, so your first step is to know what you’re dealing with.
If you have bugs like beetles, weevils and moths, you’ll often find them in opened packages and containers, and in cracks and crevices in the walls or cupboards. Some species will chew into cardboard and foil packaging in order to get food, so even unopened goods can get infested.
You might also find tiny droppings, shed skins, larvae, eggs, or webbing in the areas where insects eat, hide or travel.
Mice leave trails of quarter-inch-long droppings with longitudinal ridges and squared ends, usually along runways, in feeding areas, and near the mouse’s shelters.
Other signs of a mouse infestation include half-eaten food that they nibble and discard, smudge marks, footprints, urine stains, a musky odor, sounds of running and squeaking, and gnaw marks and holes in things like doors, ledges, walls, stored materials, and corners.
Step 2: Locate the source.
Grain and seed-based products, like flour, cereals, baking mixes, crackers and macaroni are popular targets for bugs, as are powdered milk and dried meats and fruits. Pet foods, birdseed, ornamental corn and dried flower arrangements can also get infested, so these are good places to check if you think you might have an insect problem but aren’t sure.
If you suspect that you might have a mouse infestation, but you aren’t certain, try sprinkling baby powder around the area where you think they travel so they’ll leave tracks. This can help you to see where they’re coming from and where they’re going.
If you’re having trouble finding the source of the infestation, check for holes or spilled food behind hard-to-move appliances and in other hidden or difficult-to-reach places. Mice sometimes collect dry pet food and seeds and hide them in walls and under cupboards and appliances
Step 3: Set traps.
If you have a mouse problem, scattering a few traps here and there probably won’t get rid of it. Instead, set the traps strategically in areas where you frequently see droppings or footprints. This usually means setting them along walls, behind large objects like appliances, and in dark corners.
Since mice sometimes try to jump over traps, setting two traps an inch apart will increase your odds of catching your unwanted guests.
Insects can be caught with sticky flypaper, pheromone traps, and jars with a mix of heated apple cider vinegar and soap in the bottom and a funnel set narrow side-down in the top.
Different traps work on different pests, to be sure to identify which type of insect or rodent you’re dealing with before you spend money or time on traps.
Step 4: Seal off or destroy their nests.
Seal any cracks in your walls, furniture or other items in or near your pantry, and remove any clutter that pantry pests might be hiding in. If you find an item with a lot of bugs in it, remove it from the pantry, and check the surrounding items thoroughly.
If you don’t see any bugs in them, but you want to be sure, freeze them for at least four days before putting them back in the pantry.
How to keep pantry pests from coming back:
Your first step is to check your food carefully before you buy it. If you see any holes or rotten spots, it might have some unpleasant passengers inside.
When you bring your food home, wash the fruit and vegetables promptly and thoroughly, and transfer bug-prone foods from their foil or cardboard containers to vessels made of more bug-resistant materials like plastic, metal and glass.
It’s also important to seal any cracks in your walls and foundations, and to repair any holes in your screens, especially now that colder weather is driving mice, insects, spiders and other small animals inside.
These steps will help you to reduce or remove your pantry pest population, but sometimes the infestation is just too large or established, it’s in a hard-to-reach place, or you aren’t sure what kind of pests you’re dealing with.
If you’ve found yourself in that position, we’re here for you.
We can get rid of your pantry pests and make sure they don’t come back.
If you want to cook your meals with confidence that they haven’t been contaminated by vermin, and buy your groceries without worrying that something else will eat them before you can, visit this page and contact our pest control experts today!
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