As the weather gets colder and winter approaches, some pests start looking for warm spaces to escape the cold. This often means that these pests are likely to try and come into your home, specifically your pantry, in search of an easily accessible food source. Putting pests in their place is what we do at Orkin Canada, so here are a few tips to ensure your pantry is pest proofed for the winter (and the rest of the year as well).
Store Food In Tight Fitting Containers
When it comes to your pantry, it is important to always store any food in tight-fitting, sealed pest proof containers. Many pests can easily chew their way out through paper and cardboard to access other food, or simply enter containers that are not tightly sealed. Using lidded containers made from glass, metal or plastic provide easy protection for your food and ensures that your pantry is less attractive to pests.
Aeration and Spacing
Maintain space between items in your pantry. This will allow for proper light and air circulation to dry out the pantry therefore preventing grain and mold mites or psocids that are common in pantries. It will also allow for space to do a proper cleaning and provide quick monitoring for pest activity in all items.
Remove Any Evidence Of Old Food
A clean environment ensures that pests have a harder time finding the right conditions to thrive. By cleaning your pantry shelves regularly and removing the small bits of food in your pantry, you are eliminating a food source, and potentially pests as well. Pay attention to the back of the shelve where food particles can infiltrate and build-up.
Never Combine Old And New Food Products
When stocking up, store new products at the back while old ones at front so that they are accessed and used first. Old stocks are more vulnerable to pest infestations. You can go an extra mile and label the containers with purchase date or expiry date, this way you can track your product shelf life easily.
When dealing with old food products, it is best to avoid combining old and new dry food products; they have different expiry dates and pest vulnerability, besides that you could be providing pests with a newer food source to thrive on. For the sake of caution, keep these products stored in separate containers.
When In Doubt, Test It
If you are questioning whether pests may have infested something in your pantry, there is an easy way to test it. Simply place the product in a clear plastic bag. If it is infested you will see the pest accumulate in the bag. To ensure the product is pest-free, keep it in the bag for at least a month this will make it easier to see if there have been any changes to the product.
Alternatively you can also test the product in question by putting it in an oven pan and heating it in the oven at a low temperature setting for a minute or so. The heat will drive the insect out of the product to the surface as they try to escape the heat. When doing this test, care must be taken to avoid damaging the product.
Clean Old Containers Prior To Refilling
Sanitation is key when it comes to preventing pests, which is why it is important to clean old containers before filling them with fresh food. This prevents any existing pests from contaminating the new products and posing a potential health risk. For walk-in or large pantry spaces, it is a good idea to place out insect monitors such as pheromone traps or glue boards to monitor for potential activities. These traps are effective in detecting pest activities in pantries.
These are just a few simple ways to pest proof and defend your pantry against pests. If you believe that you may have a pest issue, Orkin Canada is there to help. Our team of expert technicians provide you with quality pest control services in your area.
Reviewed by Alice Sinia, Ph.D., MSc on October 25 2020.
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