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Who doesn’t like a lovely tin of holiday cookies? If you’re planning to do your holiday baking this week, or even this weekend, you know that first you must see what you have in your cupboards so you can decide if it’s going to be the sugar cookies or the snickerdoodles. Butter? Check. Sugar? Check. Flour? Check. But wait a minute; what is that little bug sitting in the flour? It’s probably a pantry pest, and if you have them in your cupboards, you’d better take action fast! Pantry pests can include Indian meal moths, dermestid beetles, cigarette beetles, drugstore beetles, sawtoothed grain beetles and confused flour beetles, among others. Because you keep your home warm, these pests can happily survive in your cupboards, especially with a source of food like flour, cereals or baking mixes. These pests can also reproduce continually, if left alone, which could pose a real problem for your cupboards, your pantry and the food inside them. These insects can be brought into the home on food you purchase at the store and then they can settle in your cupboard, destroying food that is already open, as well as food packaged in thin plastic, paper or foil. If you find you have these pests in your cupboards, Plunkett’s Pest Control wants to help! Here are our tips to help prevent pantry pests in your home this holiday season:

  • When you buy food at the store, purchase packages in sizes that can be used up quickly, especially items in the cupboard. Don’t store products for longer than 3 or 4 months, and always use up older packages of food before opening new packages.
  • Examine packages of food before purchasing. Is the packaging damaged? Are all seals intact?
  • Use glass containers with screw tops for storage of pantry foods like flour and cereals. If you can’t find these, you can use metal containers with tight fitting lids, or heavy plastic containers. This will prevent insects from entering or exiting your cupboard staples.
  • Although it may seem logical, we can’t emphasize enough how important it is to keep food storage areas clean. Keeping crumbs and food particles cleaned up will help avoid attracting insects, especially in areas where pet foods are stored.
If you have followed all of these prevention tips and you still find little beetles running rampant in your cupboards, there are a few things you can do. If you have an infested item, you can either throw it away in an outside garbage can, or you can try to salvage it by putting it in the freezer for a few days. You could also heat food in a 140ºF oven for an hour, which should kill any bugs present. It would also be a good idea to completely empty your cupboards and pantry and do a full clean, getting rid of spills, sticky spots and crumbs. If you use a vacuum cleaner to do this, you should empty the vacuum cleaner into an outside garbage can as well, in case you’ve sucked up any insects while cleaning. If you have done all these things and you are still finding bugs in your cupboards, give us a call at Plunkett’s Pest Control. In Minnesota, Iowa, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and throughout the rest of our service area, we are the best choice for all your holiday pest control needs! Contact us today for an inspection and we can help give you some peace of mind this holiday season!

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