Pantry pests are able to tear through flimsy packaging and settle right into food supplies, and can contaminate common baking ingredients, such as flour, chocolate, dried fruit and nuts. To keep pantry pests out, NPMA experts suggest the following tips:
- Keep counters, floors, pantry shelves, cabinets and sinks clean, as crumbs and spills are obvious pest attractants.
- Add a bay leaf to canisters of dry goods. The herb's pungent scent repels many pantry pests.
- Only purchase food in sealed packages that show no sign of damage.
- Once packages are opened, move ingredients into sealed glass or Tupperware-type containers with secure lids before storing them in the pantry or cabinet.
- Check expiration dates on baking ingredients before use and visually inspect previously opened items before adding them to a recipe.
- Dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles.
- Seal cracks or holes around the stovepipes and water pipes.
- Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
- Consult a licensed pest professional if an infestation has already taken root.