Three secret ingredients for pest-free holiday baking

Nov 21, 2017, 08:51 AM by Fred Speer

The Clark Man wants to help you keep your kitchen pantry and dining room table free of pests that can spoil your delectable cookies, cakes, and pies.

We know that pests, such as rodents and cockroaches, will consume and contaminate food. But did you know that they can also spread harmful bacteria on kitchen counters, tables, and other surfaces where you might be serving guests this holiday season?

We also know there are other pests that can throw a monkey wrench into your holiday baking plans – stored product pests. Stored product pests, which include various species of beetles and moths, will silently infest your flour, sugar, sprinkles, cake mixes, and other dry baking supplies. 

Two of the most common stored product pests – merchant grain beetles and Indian meal moths – will leave behind fecal pellets, cast skins, and egg shells, which will render your baking supplies unusable, making you and your guests unhappy.

Indian meal moths are the most commonly encountered stored product pest in the pantries and cabinets of homes. They are attracted to light, and are often spotted flying in a fluttering pattern indoors. They feed on whole grains, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, crackers, and dry dog food and bird seed. Merchant grain beetles enjoy feasting on flour, baking mixes, spices, and nuts.

The best way to keep your baking supplies and food safe, fresh, and ready to eat is to follow these three steps:

  1. Inspect your food: Many pests hitchhike into a house in grocery bags that have been placed in the car or on the ground while being transported. Be sure to inspect your grocery bags before bringing them inside for any signs of pests. It’s also a good idea to look over the packaging of all items before you purchase them at the store. If a package is opened or shows the slightest sign of damage, don’t purchase it.
  2. Store food properly: Purchasing sturdy containers with secure-fitting lids is a good investment for storing baking supplies and other food. They will protect your food from stored product pests, mice, and cockroaches looking for an extra meal. It’s also good practice to periodically sort through old items in the pantry, and toss out anything that has expired or been left open for a long time.
  3. Clean up your kitchen: Immediately wipe up any crumbs or spills from countertops, tables, floors, and shelves, and dispose of garbage regularly. This will remove pest-attracting sugars, grains, and food scraps.

If you think you have a problem with stored product pests, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or drop me an email at

Until next time I’m the Clark Man, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.

And in closing, from the entire family of Clark Pest Control experts, we wish you and your family a happy Thanksgiving!