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How to Prevent & Treat a Pantry Pest Infestation

Your pantry is the starting point for your favorite meals. Unfortunately, some pests like to invite themselves over for dinner. Pantry pests are often brought into homes on or in groceries and they find lodging and food in your pantry. We’ve gathered information to help you prevent and treat a pantry pest infestation.


How to Treat a Pantry Pest Infestation infographic


Seal Entry Points

Sealing crack with caulk gun

One of the best ways to keep pests out of your home is to eliminate entry points. Check the interior and exterior of your home for cracks and crevices. If you find any, you can seal them with caulk. Repair screens with tears or damaged weather-stripping.  

Examine Groceries

Bag of groceries

Most pantry pests sneak into homes by hitching a ride in or on your groceries. Check packaging at the store and at home for signs of pests. If you spot any holes, dents, or scratches, it’s best to choose a different item.

Use Proper Storage

Pantry storage

Using proper storage containers can keep pests from contaminating your food. Place cereal, pasta, flour, crackers, and other pantry items in glass, metal, or plastic containers with an airtight seal.

Clean Regularly

Cleaning kitchen counters

Giving your home, including your pantry, a good scrub can help keep your home pest-free. Clean up spills and crumbs and don’t forget about hard to reach places like under your stove and furniture.

Use Old Items First

Canned food expiration dates

When food sits in your pantry for a long time, there is a higher chance of an infestation. Make sure you check the expiration dates and use older items first. 

Use Bay Leaves

Jar of bay leaves

Certain plants, like bay leaves, repel bugs naturally because insects don’t like their scent. Place bay leaves in your pantry and containers to help keep pantry pests at bay.



Inspect Food

Cleaning beans

If you think pantry pests have invaded your pantry, you’ll want to inspect your food. If any packages are infested, discard the food in a sealed bag. Don’t forget to check your pet’s food too. If you’re not sure about an item, place the food in a clear bag. Pests will begin to accumulate in it if infested.

Clean Containers

Washing dishes

After removing infested items, you’ll need to clean your containers with soap and water. This will help ensure no bugs were left behind and prepare your containers to be reused.

Transfer Food

Pantry storage containers

If you have any uncontaminated ingredients, transfer them to a clean container with an airtight seal. Any new goods brought home should be placed into containers to avoid another infestation.

Clean Pantry

Cleaning cabinet

Before returning any items to your pantry, you’ll want to give it a good cleaning. Vacuum inside the pantry to remove any bugs you may have missed. It’s also a good idea to wipe down the shelves with soap and water.

Treat Pantry & Home

Spider & Insect Dust

Like bay leaves, other plants can help control pantry pests. Using plant-based insecticide sprays and dusts are a more environmentally and family-friendly way to keep your home pest-free.

Use an insecticide dust, like Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Spider & Insect Dust, in the cracks and crevices of your pantry.

Treat your home with an insecticide spray, like Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Home Bug Spray, making sure to apply near entry points. Not only will this kill on contact, it also creates a barrier that will help keep pests from returning.  

Keeping uninvited pests out of your pantry begins with a few preventative measures. Setting yourself up for success can help keep invading pest armies away from your home and your tasty treats. If bugs are giving you a fit, we want to help! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Pest Control products.

1 comment

  • Great tips !!!

    LaVon Hartrich

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