The thought of Thanksgiving conjures images of succulent turkey, endless plates of tasty side dishes, and the most incredible pies imaginable. It is the one day a year you bring out your grandmother’s recipe, and dazzle your family with your culinary brilliance. But it isn’t easy making those tasty treats, and creating that world class ambiance. It can even be stressful. The last thing you need is a rodent or bug infestation adding to that stress. Don’t worry. I have some common-sense ways you can keep those pests out of your pantry and kitchen this Thanksgiving.
Inspect before you buy
Prevention begins at the grocery store. Make sure to check flour and grain bags for even the tiniest of holes. Weevils, grain moths, beetles, cockroaches, and other pests, are notorious for hitching a ride into pantries. Inspect packaging, especially grain based products, flour, and seed. If you find holes, don’t purchase the product.
Bugs also hitch a ride in boxes. If you get a box of food given to you, or get food in bulk, make sure to check boxes and bags thoroughly before you bring them into your pantry. Contamination usually begins with a hitchhiking bug.
Seal products in hard plastic
Bugs and rodents that get into your pantry will be frustrated by hard sealed plastic containers. If they can’t smell the food, and if they don’t have access to it, they won’t stick around. Cardboard boxes, and paper containers, are horrible protection against bugs and rodents. Not only will sealed plastic containers keep the bugs out, they will also preserve the freshness of your grains, seeds, and flowers.
Keep things clean
Bugs and rodents love bacteria and moisture. Make sure all spills are cleaned up. Wash the shelves annually. And clean the floor with disinfectant. Keeping your pantry dry and clean, will provide an environment that is unsavory to pests.
Check your expiration dates
Rotting food draws bugs in. They will crawl through your walls to get at something decaying in your pantry. It is like a supper bell.
Seal up the cracks
Inspect the walls inside your pantry for any holes or cracks. A caulking gun can help you seal these up, so bugs and rodents can’t squeeze in. It is also a good idea to go around your home and seal any cracks you find.
Windows and doors
While you’re outside searching for cracks, make sure all your window and door screens are in good working order, and that your weather stripping and doors sweeps are seated properly. If bugs can get into your wall voids, they’ll have access to your pantry and kitchen.
Clean your kitchen
Keep your floors and counters clean in the kitchen, and make sure your trash is always covered. Bugs that are drawn into your kitchen, will end up in your cupboards and the pantry, where the food is.
Make your Thanksgiving less stressful, by carefully protecting yourself from bugs and rodents. This should be a time of celebration and feasting–for you, not for the pests. Let the bugs and rodents get their own holiday.
Peter Scala is a board-certified entomologist; he is also the Technical Supervisor as well as the President of Parkway Pest Services (http://www.parkwaypestservices.com). Peter has extensive experience in many aspects of the pest control industry and is uniquely qualified to consult in every aspect of pest control. Contact Peter to learn more about controlling stubborn pests through comprehensive package programs that are available at Parkway Pest Services. These programs can help eliminate pests through every season, including the holidays, so that you don’t need to worry about the pest problems that are bound to pop up.