Christmas is just days away and that means that many kitchens here in the St. Louis area are running in full swing. People are baking cookies, pies, and many other goodies in preparation for parties and family get-togethers. While you are doing your baking, be on the lookout for pantry pests. Common Missouri stored product pests include the Indian meal moth, cigarette beetles, red flour beetles, and sawtoothed grain beetles. These insects are often brought home in food they have infested in the grocery stores, and a single bug can contaminate an entire bag of flour, sugar, or other baking products. They are also commonly found in items that have not been used for long periods of time. When you begin to do your baking, keep these things in mind:
Carefully inspect before using – Before using any baking products, carefully inspect it for signs of pests, especially anything that has been in the cupboards unused for more than 2 or 3 months. Look things over before purchasing, and avoid anything that has been opened or has a hole in it.
Check expiration dates – Do not use any products that are past the “Use by” date. The older the product is, the better chance it has to be infested.
Keep the kitchen clean – Immediately clean any spills or crumbs. Loose food will attract more pests into your kitchen, and make it harder to get rid of what is already there.
Use airtight containers – Store flour, sugar, and spices in containers with tightly fitting lids. Glass and plastic both work just fine.
Add a bay leaf to dry goods – Putting a bay leaf in rice, cereals, or other dry goods will help prevent many pests, as the pungent smell repels them.
If you have noticed any pests in your kitchen, contact your local pest control professional immediately. Rottler is a family-owned and operated pest control company that has been providing quality and effective pest control service in St. Louis and surrounding areas since 1956. If you live in St. Louis, St. Charles, or elsewhere in Mid-Missouri, call Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions at 1.877.ROTTLER, or contact us online.