As the holiday season quickly approaches, you’re probably dusting off your favorite dessert recipes. With cookies and pies on your mind, it’s hard to think about something less pleasant like bugs. Unfortunately, some pests hide in pantries nibbling on your favorite ingredients. We’ve gathered a few tips to help you keep your holiday baking pest-free.
Pantry Pests 101
The term pantry pests describes the bugs that hide in and eat the ingredients found in your pantry. Species of weevils, beetles, and the Indian meal moth are a few of the most common pantry pests. While some pests sneak into your home, many are often brought home on groceries. Each species has their food preferences, but grains, flour, dried fruit, chocolate, and even dog food are common targets. If they get inside packaging, they will contaminate the food. They also multiply quickly, which can lead to serious infestations.
Having proper storage is one of the best ways to keep pantry pests out of your food. Transfer packaged food, like grains, flour, and nuts, to containers with an airtight seal. You can use plastic, glass, or metal containers as long as they are sturdy.
Keep It Clean
Cleaning may not be your favorite way to pass the time, but it can help keep your home free of pests. Make sure to clean up spills and crumbs not only in your pantry but also in your kitchen. Don’t forget to regularly clean out of the way areas like under stoves and kitchen islands.
Pantry pests often end up in homes by travelling on your groceries. When you’re at the store, check packages for signs of pests. Avoid purchasing items that have holes, scratches, and dents. If there are many bugs hanging around the food, you probably should opt for something else. It’s always a good idea to check for pests before emptying your bags at home too.
Check Expiration Dates
You may not want to eat something past its expiration date, but pests don’t mind. In fact, spoiled products can attract bugs to your home. Before buying a product, make sure to check the expiration date. You’ll want to regularly check the items in your cabinets and pantry too. Remember to eat the older products first to avoid things going bad.
Add Bay Leaves
Some plants, like bay leaves, have a fragrance that naturally repels bugs. Placing a bay leaf in your containers can help keep pests away. You can also leave them on your counters or in your cabinets for an extra layer of protection.
Treat the Problem
Like bay leaves, other plants can effectively control pests. An insecticide spray with natural plant essential oils, like Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Home Bug Spray, not only kills pests on contact but also keeps other bugs from entering your home. Plus, they are more family and environmentally-friendly.
Baking should be a fun activity and not something that bugs interrupt. Thankfully, with a few adjustments, your holiday baking can be pest-free. If bugs are inviting themselves to your holiday festivities, we want to help! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Pest Control products.