Don’t we all look forward to visitors over the holidays?
Setting out decorations and preparing food gets us in the mood for the upcoming holiday season.
Unfortunately there are a few guests that could end up in our homes uninvited. Stored product pests such as the Mediterranean Meal Moth, Indian Meal Moth and granary and rice weevils can infest packages stored in our kitchens and pantries.
Unknowingly we can bring these bugs into our homes through many products. Cereal products, grain and flour products, seasonings, spices, birdseed and dry pet foods are just a few. You may even find moths in dried flower arrangements that you may have kept in a closet.
Most of the time you won’t know if you have brought these pests into your home until you start to see evidence of flying moths, crawling larvae, or the webbing in foodstuffs from the larvae of the moth. You will notice that the larvae are what do the most damage to the food products.
Once you have discovered any of these pests in your food, cabinets or pantry you will need to discard the infested product. Carefully check all other packages in your cabinets and pantry for signs of live moths, larvae or webbing.
Once all infested products are discarded, clean your cabinets thoroughly. Wipe down all the shelves in the cabinets, making sure to vacuum all cracks and crevices. Remember that it doesn’t take much of a particle of food for these bugs to survive.
To keep these pests contained, it is usually recommended that you store packages in tightly sealed plastic bags, plastic containers or in the refrigerator. That way if you do bring any bugs into your home you will keep the contamination of other packages to a minimum.
The best way to keep these bugs out of your cabinets and pantry is to keep the area clean. If you spill anything clean it up to avoid giving these pests a place to feed. Setting out bay leaves and cloves at various spots in your cabinets and pantries does seem to be a deterrent to moths and weevils.
If you end up with a bad infestation, you may end up calling a professional.
Hopefully by taking a few extra measures you can keep these unwanted guests from invading your kitchen.
Have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy being with friends and family!