7 Tips for Keeping Bugs out of Your Pantry Once and for All


Kacey BradleyYou’re lucky if you’ve never had a run-in with pantry pests, bugs and critters like beetles, ants and moths. They can crawl into your cabinets and hide between shelves. Or they might stow away in your store-bought goods, gaining entry to your pantries before you detect them. Luckily, these pests don’t pose any serious hazard to your or your family’s health. Plus, there are plenty of steps you can take to get rid of bugs and prevent them from coming back.


1. Use Proper Storage

Use airtight containers to store food in your pantry, with popular options including glass, plastic and metal storage. Instead of storing cereal or rolled oats in an open box, transfer the contents to a sealed plastic container with a convenient pouring lid. Some insects are small enough to can squeeze in through tiny spaces. Your best defense is a storage solution that features an airtight seal. Mason jars are a popular alternative to traditional plastic containers because they are durable, don’t absorb odors and infinitely reusable.

2. Clean Up Crumbs

Everyone feels lazy once in a while. But a little laziness now can lead to a big pest problem later. Wipe up crumbs and spills in your home right away, including in the pantry, on the floor and on countertops. The longer the food or drink stays out, the more chance it will attract unwelcome critters like ants, cockroaches and mice. Keep a sponge by your kitchen sink to quickly clean up spills and crumbs. And use soap or a nontoxic cleaner to disinfect areas you use to prepare food.

3. Avoid Damaged Goods

Regularly cleaning your home may not be enough to keep pests at bay. Some pests come directly into your home through store-bought products. Always examine packages of dried goods for any tears or broken seals before purchasing. Even a pinhole is enough to let in an annoying pest. Look for packaged foods with no signs of damage. If you already have damaged or open items in your pantry, be sure to check for signs of infestation.

4. Check the Dates

The food you store in your pantry will likely be a mixture of both perishable and nonperishable items. Check perishables regularly, including onions and potatoes, to ensure they’re still good. When food begins to spoil, it’s more likely to attract pests into your pantry. Inspect all self-canned jars to be sure the lids remain sealed. And while non-perishables won’t rot, insects can still make their way inside and cause an infestation.

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