As we work on having a well-stocked and organized pantry it is also important to have a pest free pantry. The last thing you want to find is a bug in your oats! Finding bugs isn’t unusual because bugs like what we eat. Stored foods commonly infested include flour, cereals, cracked grains, baking mixes and processed foods, macaroni, powdered milk, dried fruits, nuts, popcorn and spices.
Common insect pests you might find are: Indian Meal Moths,
Sawtooth Grain Beetles,
Rice and Maize Weevils,
Bean Weevils and Spider Beetles.
The first indication of an infestation is often the presence of small brown beetles, moths or worms in your cupboards or on counters. Looking closer you may find them in opened packages or containers of food and in the cracks and crevices of cupboards. You want to get rid of them as soon as possible because they can multiply and spread to other stored food.
If you do notice bugs in your pantry you want to find all the potential food sources. Locate and discard all infested items. Do not overlook intact boxes or containers because many insects can chew their way into cardboard and foil.
Infested items can be thrown away or salvaged by freezing three to four days. Do not use insecticide for controlling insects in pantry areas. Removing infested items and thoroughly cleaning with a vacuum is usually sufficient. As a precaution against re-infestation, store susceptible foods in tightly sealed glass, metal or heavy plastic containers or in the refrigerator or freezer.
To prevent pantry pests when you purchase food be certain containers are not damaged and seals are intact. Store dried food in insect proof containers such as screw-top glass, heavy plastic or metal containers. This will prevent entry of insects. Keep your pantry areas clean and do not allow crumbs or food particles to accumulate, as exposed food will attract insects.