Holiday Baking: Don't be Caught by Surprise
As the holidays rapidly approach, many of us get the bug to bake (pun intended)! Thanksgiving pies and biscuits, Christmas cookies and pastries, for many of us this is the best part of the holiday season. Many of us don't bake very often throughout the rest of the year, so we have those carefully sealed bags of flour, cornmeal, baking powder, dried fruits, and chocolate chips shoved to the back of our pantry. While we were ignoring them all year, pantry pests like Indian meal months and saw-toothed grain beetles were making our baking ingredients their own little holiday meal!
Pantry Pests? Gross!
You may not think you know what we are talking about, but you've probably seen a pantry pest or two in your day. Most often we see the adult pests – that beetle like insect crawling on the pantry shelf, or that flying little moth that's up in the corner of the pantry. We tend to ignore them as they seem pretty harmless – like a spider, or lady bug, or fly that sneaks in sometimes. What we don't realize is that they are using our baking staples as their own personal breeding ground.
Indian meal moths prefer chocolate, dried fruits, and seeds, and some herbs to get into, while saw-toothed grain beetles like the flour, cereal (oatmeal cookies anyone?), and other dry grains. We don't tend to notice when they lay their eggs in our ingredients because they are so small and blend in. We do sometimes notice the larva, crawling around in our dry goods. Whenever we discover the pantry pests, our only objective becomes getting rid of them and avoiding them in the future.
Getting rid of Pantry Pests
The best way to get rid of pantry pests is to prevent them from existing at all. Keep all dry goods stored in air-tight plastic containers. You know those perfect Pinterest pantries? While annoying, those are exactly what you want your pantry to look like to avoid these pests! Wipe up any spilled dry goods, including pet foods, and vacuum out the pantry often.
If you do already have an infestation, you'll need to throw away all contaminated food, and again wash down the pantry, vacuum and remove all sources of places to lay eggs for the adult pests. If you are struggling to rid your pantry of these unwanted pests, it may be time to call on the professionals like Schendel Pest Services, you may want to consider a pest control plan that can keep your home pest-free throughout the entire year.