If you like to stock up on dry goods for your pantry, having a good pest-proofing plan is essential. A small insect or rodent problem can quickly leave your bulk nonperishable foods unfit for your family. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to pest-proof the pantry. Use the following guide to create your plan of action.
Elevate Your Foods
Keeping food stored on the floor, or even the bottom shelf of your pantry, can provide easy access for pests. Reserve storage space near the floor for non-food items, such as paper towels and napkins. If eliminating these shelves leaves you short on storage space, use some creative ideas to make the most out of the rest of your pantry. Soup can dispensers, wall-mounted racks, and tiered lazy Susans can help you maximize storage without using the floor and bottom shelves.
Line Your Shelves
Crumbs on your pantry shelves may be inevitable, but lining the shelving system with wax paper can make regular cleaning a bit easier. You can simply remove the paper, along with the crumbs it has collected to remove a convenient source of food for pests. You may want to do this on a weekly basis, but remember that you should take steps to remove crumbs whenever you see them. Follow up this task by using a handheld vacuum cleaner to remove any food debris you've missed.
Transfer Food Into Containers
You probably already use food storage containers for some items, but transferring all boxed and bagged goods can be a great way to keep pests at bay. If you buy in bulk, you may want to think about how you can best transfer the foods. Bulk packages of boxed dinners, for example, can be broken down into individual boxes, which can be stored in large containers. Bulk packages of flour and sugar can be separated between several 1-pound or 20-pound containers. This makes accessing your baking supplies easier and can also help prevent potential messes. You don't have to transfer canned goods, but you may want to cover the lids with plastic wrap to keep the surfaces food comes into contact with away from pests.
Even if you don't currently have a pest problem, adding traps can help prevent an infestation before it starts. Ant and mouse traps offer great preventative options, but you can also choose traps based on the pests that are most common to your area. If you do have a pest problem, you'll want to contact a pest control company before loading up your pantry. A residential pest control company can help you get rid of the problem and provide advice about which traps to use in the future.