How to Store Food to Keep Pests Out

January 25, 2021


You open up your cupboard or pantry to grab a snack and BOOM: a big cockroach staring you right in the eyes; a mischievous mouse skittering away with your favorite chips; a trail of ants retreats with bits of your crackers. It’s a nightmare scenario, but one that’s all too common; pests, after all, love your favorite chips at least as much as you do. So, what can you do to store your precious salt & vinegars from an all-out pest assault? We have a few food storage pointers that can help.


Use Resealable Containers


It might seem obvious but putting your food into a resealable container instead of keeping it in its original bag or box makes it much harder for pests to get access. Remember, many insects can slip into even the tiniest opening, so airtight seals are important. Plus, keeping your food tightly sealed will not only help to keep pests out but will also keep the food fresher for longer! 


Be a Picky Shopper

Cockroach, a bug you might find in your pantry

("American Cockroach" by Gary Alpert is licensed under CC BY 2.5)


It might seem like no big deal to buy something at the grocery store that is slightly damaged; there’s no reason to be overly picky, right? There’s just one problem: when the food you buy already has packaging that is compromised, there’s a much larger chance that some sort of pest has already gotten into it. These pests might even use your food to hitch a ride into your home, where they’ll have access to your entire pantry. 


Try Storing Some Things in the Fridge/Freezer


If going the route of air-tight resealable containers isn’t for you, try utilizing your refrigerator and freezer a little bit more. Items that you might typically view as pantry staples like flour and sugar can be stored totally safely in the fridge, and you can even store flour, coffee, rice, nuts and garlic in the freezer without having to defrost. The tight seal of a fridge and freezer make it much less likely that a bug or critter will ever get in there, plus your items will last longer in a super-cold environment -- a total win-win. 


Keep up On Expiration Dates


Pests are a lot more likely to take a run at your grub when food starts to go bad. The solution? Keep a careful eye on your food’s expiration date, and don’t let fruits and veggies go even worse while they sit in the trash. Toss things that expire, and then get them to your outdoor trash before they start to smell and attract more pests. Also, remember to keep a tight lid on ALL trash cans: the easy access of an open trash can will attract pests!


Keep Your Shelves Clean 


Keeping a clean storage space is an important part of keeping pests away. Let’s be honest, a lot of pests can thrive in dirty spaces. Try to clean your pantry thoroughly at least a few times a year to keep things clean and clear, and if you find any foods contaminated with pests be sure to do a deep clean of your storage space to make sure any potential pest problems hiding around the area are wiped out of the space. 


Contact the Professionals


If you’re currently dealing with a pest problem that’s terrorizing your pantry, it might be too late for all of these steps to make a difference. That’s where we come in. At A-1 Pest Control, we’re the absolute experts at getting rid of any of those pesky pantry pests whether it’s rodents, roaches, or some other nuisance. Just get in touch with us and we’ll leave you with a pristine, protected pantry in no time!

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