According to a survey from Acosta, a sales and marketing firm specializing in consumer-packaged goods, 55 percent of shoppers are eating at home more often since the pandemic began.
As a result, more Americans are binge-watching Cupcake Wars or Holiday Baking Championship on the Food Network in pursuit of creating that perfect holiday cookie, muffin, or pie.
To create these baking masterpieces, people are loading up on baking staples, including ,flour, sugar, cake mixes, sprinkles, dried fruit fillings, chocolate, nuts. and seeds. While those ingredients appeal to desert and bakery aficionados of all ages, they also appeal to a group of insects aptly named pantry pests.
Clark, your friendly pest, lawn care, termite, and rodent expert, would like to make you aware of the risks that pantry pests pose to ingredients found in virtually every pantry or kitchen cabinet.
These pests, also called stored product pests, can silently infest baking ingredients, quickly wreaking havoc and rendering those foodstuffs useless. In addition to baking items, pantry pests are also attracted to dried flowers and potpourri, which are commonly used in holiday decorations.
What are pantry pests? They include various species of beetles, ants, earwigs, weevils, and pillbugs, but the most-encountered pantry pest is the Indianmeal moth.
As you stock up on baking ingredients to make your favorite holiday treats, Clark would like to remind you to carefully inspect the items you bring home from the store to ensure they are pest free.
Here are five tips to keep your holiday baking free of pantry pests this year:
- Store ingredients properly: Use Tupperware-style containers with secure lids to store baking ingredients. This will protect your food from pantry pests and other pests that may be looking for an easy meal.
- Inspect grocery items: Pantry pests typically are introduced to your pantry or kitchen cabinet in infested packaged food, paper grocery bags, or cardboard packaging. If a package is opened or shows the slightest sign of damage, don’t purchase it or bring it into your home.
- Check dates: Check expiration dates on baking ingredients before use. Practice first-in/first-out usage, and periodically inventory your pantry and discard items that are past their expiration or best-buy date.
- Practice good sanitation: Immediately wipe up any crumbs or spills from countertops, tables, floors, and shelves, and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles.
- Store seasonal decorations appropriately: Dried foliage, potpourri, and Indian corn should be kept in airtight containers during the off season and unpacked outside prior to bringing them indoors.
If you see unusual pest activity – like Indianmeal moths that fly in zigzag or random patterns at night inside your pantry or kitchen – discard the infested foods in outdoor trash bins, vacuum the shelves, and clean them with soap and water.
Clark Pest Control remains committed to safeguarding your home from pests during these challenging times. Our service technicians use such personal protective equipment as gloves, masks, and respirators, they practice social distancing, they call ahead to notify you before a service, and they adhere strictly to all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when servicing inside or outside your home.
If pantry pests are spoiling your baking efforts, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home.
The Clark Pest Control family wishes you and your family and friends a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving!