The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) offered the following tips to prevent common insects from invading your kitchen, especially while doing your holiday baking.

Beware of the “pantry pests!” Those pesky little creatures can take the sweetness out of holiday baking if you don’t guard against them.

What exactly are pantry pests? They are insects that tend to gather around food often stored in pantries and cabinets such as flour, dry cereals, spices, candies and chocolate. Common pantry pests include several types of beetles, earwigs, Indian meal moths, pillbugs, stink bugs, silverfish, centipedes, millipedes, and house crickets.

“People love making fresh baked treats during the winter and the appearance of even a single pest could put a damper on that tradition,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “Taking some relatively simple steps and preventative measures against pantry pests can make all the difference in making sure families enjoy their holiday baking all season long.”

How can you prevent these unwanted guests from crashing your holiday cookie exchanges and baking marathons? The NPMA suggests the following tips:

  • Immediately wipe up any crumbs or spills from countertops, tables, floors and shelves
  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles
  • Only purchase food in sealed packages that show no sign of damage
  • Add a bay leaf to canisters and packages of dry goods like flour, rice and other grains- their pungent scent repels many pantry pests
  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens
  • Check expiration dates on baking ingredients before use
  • Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains

If you’re concerned that you have Pantry Pests in your home or place of business, give Dave a call at 1-800-400-6009.