Even the cleanest kitchens with a cupboard or pantry to store dry foods are likely to be infested with pantry pests. Pantry pests include weevils, moths and bugs. They can sneak into your pantry without you knowing it. And before long, your kitchen could already be full of them. Thankfully, there are several natural ways you can use to get rid of pantry pests.
Pantry moths which include their larvae are among the big nuisances in many pantries. Here are some tips on how to get rid of them:
- Empty your pantry and check each item for moth infestation. Moth feeds on dry food with high sugar or starch content so be sure to check on your flour, cake mixes, cereals, and others.
- Throw away infested food products.
- Clean the pantry thoroughly with soap and water to kill microscopic larvae.
- Use a pheromone trap which is one of the effective and non-toxic traps for killing moths.
- To repel moths, you can use eucalyptus leaves, cloves or bay leaves. Just hang them around the pantry and they will keep the moths away.
- It is best to store rice, flour, cake mixes and grains in a metal container or glass jars with tight cover as moths can easily eat through the original paper or plastic packaging.
Weevils belong to the beetle family. These pantry pests are very small but they can make a big mess in your pantry-stored food products. Below are some tips on how to prevent and get rid of weevils in your pantry:
- Empty your pantry and throw away products that are already infested. If in doubt, put the items in the freezer and leave for at least four days. This should kill both adult weevils and larvae.
- Vacuum your pantry and clean the vacuum bag immediately when done to avoid weevils from coming back.
- Wash pantry cupboards thoroughly with soapy water then rinse them with hot water. Let the cabinet dry before putting back everything.
- Make sure that all food products such as flour and cake mixes are stored in a jar or closed container to avoid infestation. Do the same with all food products you have stored in the freezer after four days.
- As an extra precaution, store staples first in the freezer for at least four days after buying them from the grocery. The cold temperature inside the freezer will kill the larvae and prevents weevils from hatching.
- Black pepper can effectively repel weevils so keeping an open box of black pepper inside your pantry can repel these pantry pests.
Mites are also very common in pantries. They feed on different foods such as cereals, cheese, dried fruits and grains. They can be a nuisance because they will feed on your pantry products. The earlier you can get rid of them, the better. Here’s how:
- Once you detect mites crawling in your pantry, identify their food source. It could be any packaged product in your pantry. If found, throw away the package immediately.
- Empty your pantry and wash it with hot soapy water. Let it dry then vacuum especially the crevices inside your pantry. Mites are very small so they can find their way through the tiny spaces in your pantry or cupboard.
- Return all canned goods and other food products that are already in sealed containers. For other items that are still in plastic packages, transfer them to food canisters that can be tightly sealed before storing them back.
- As a precaution, after buying from the grocery products that are prone to mite infestation, store them first in the freezer overnight before transferring to food canisters for storage.
Pantry pests are a total headache especially if you are already dealing with infestation. Early prevention is always better. However, if your pantry is already infested, the abovementioned tips can greatly help you get rid of those pantry pests naturally.