Summer heat tends to bring many pantry pests out of hibernation. You stop by and find her kitchen is teeming with those tiny ants that invade anything sweet. Weevils, mealworms, moths, and larder beetles are other pantry pests you may see infiltrating her flour, rice, cornmeal, pasta, and bread crumbs.
You don’t want to use traditional chemicals around food. How do you get rid of pantry pests without putting your mom’s safety at risk?
Throw Out Infested Foods
The first step is to find any infested food and throw it away. Bag it up and get it out of the house ASAP. You can move those foods to the compost or recycle them with your city or town as required.
Some of the areas you want to triple check are bags of flour, cornmeal, and other grains or flours that are in paper rather than plastic bags. You may need to closely look at the contents for the movements of tiny larvae.
If you find larvae or insects in one bag, look at neighboring bags. Are they open or have any small holes? If so, chances are they’re also infested. It’s best to get rid of them too. When you’re done, wipe down all shelving with white vinegar to keep them from returning.
Move Kitchen Appliances and Furnishings
Any crumbs under a kitchen appliance or furnishing may have drawn the attention of insects. Move them and sweep all crumbs. When you’re done, run a mop to get any residual crumbs. This helps keep them from remaining in the kitchen when you’ve cleaned out the cupboards.
Set Up a Safe Bug Trap
Some pantry pests, such as fruit flies, are easy to get rid of using a mixture of apple cider vinegar and orange peel. Set bowls of that mixture in areas where the flies are numerous. They’ll get trapped in the liquid.
For ants, cucumber peels or baby powder can help drive them away. Place them in areas you see the ants coming in. This takes a little close observation. Follow the line of ants back from the kitchen until you find where they’re coming from. Place the safe bug trap there.
Keep Her Kitchen Clean
It’s important to keep food items in storage containers that pantry pests cannot access. Freezer bags with tightly sealing strips or zippers also keep the bugs out. If your mom can’t remember to move items to plastic bags or storage containers, hire caregivers to help her manage her groceries.
Caregivers are happy to take your mom shopping and put away groceries after the trip. They’ll also keep your mom’s kitchen clean to prevent infestations from returning. Call a home care agency to talk about prices and the services that will help your mom keep a clean, bug-free kitchen.