It’s December and the annual Holiday Cookie Baking festival is underway at our South Jersey home. My wife and kids have already their first (of many) all-day baking days with friends and most of those cookies are already gone!
One thing that would ruin the whole experience is the appearance of pantry pests when getting ready to do all of this holiday baking.
Don’t know what a pantry pest is? They are insects that tend to gather around food often stored in pantries and cabinets such as flour, dry cereals, spices, candies and chocolate.
Not only are ants a problem in the kitchen - common pantry pests include several types of beetles, earwigs, Indian meal moths , pillbugs, stink bugs, silverfish, centipedes, millipedes and house crickets.
If you are not a regular baker, it is a good idea to check your flour canister BEFORE you start baking – dump the old flour and buy new. There is nothing worse than getting ready to bake and find unwanted pests in the main ingredient!
Here are 10 Simple Tips to keep your Holiday Baking a fun-filled Tradition:
- Immediately wipe up crumbs or spills from countertops, tables, floors and shelves.
- Periodically empty and completely clean cabinets 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 bay leaves to containers of dry goods like flour, rice and other grains - their scent repels many pantry pests.
- Make sure cookie tins and cookie cutters are clean and dry before storing.
- 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 suspect a pest infestation in your home contact a certified pest professional to inspect, identify and treat the problem.
If Pantry Pests are trying to "Guest Chef" at your Holiday Baking festivities - give us a call!
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