The holiday season is here. Families and friends across the country will be spending quality time together, with the kitchen often serving as a favorite gathering place. However, nothing ruins a day of holiday baking fun quite like discovering that creepy-crawlies have taken over your pantry ingredients.
The Clark Man wants to help you keeping your pantry free from two of the most common stored product pests: merchant grain beetles and Indian meal moths. These unwanted pests invade and spoil the baking ingredients in your pantry when they leave behind fecal pellets, cast skins and eggshells.
Indian meal moths are the most commonly encountered stored product pest in homes. Adult Indian meal moths are reddish to yellowish brown in color, with reddish-brown wings that have a copper sheen. They are approximately ½ inch in length, with a ½-inch wingspan.
Indian meal moths are attracted to light, and are often spotted flying in a fluttering pattern indoors. They will feed on whole grains, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, crackers, dry dog food, and birdseed.
Another important stored product pest is the merchant grain beetle, which enjoys feasting on flour, baking mixes, spices, and nuts – all staples of holiday cooking.
When these nuisance pests gain access to your pantry, they not only can leave a bad odor and taste behind, but they also render baking and cooking foodstuffs useless. This can put a real damper on your holiday food plans.
The Clark Man recommends that aspiring pastry chefs follow these tips to keep pantry pests from ruining the ingredients for holiday pies, cookies and cakes:
- Keep counters, floors, pantry shelves, cabinets, and sinks clean, as crumbs and spills are obvious pest attractants
- 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
- Rotate the baking supplies in your pantry and discard of any old or expired items
- Seal cracks or holes around stovepipes and water pipes
- Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains
If you think you have a problem with pantry pests, call or text Clark Pest Control at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time I’m the Clark Man, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.