When it comes to stocking the pantry, many of us have heard the advice to rotate our food using the “first in, first out” (FIFO) concept. However, a lot of folks don’t realize how vital this practice is when it comes to preventing an infestation of pantry pests in our food supplies.
Did you know that the bulk of insect infestations can simply be addressed through prevention, including having an eye on your pantry and keeping things moving through it? While it’s very easy – and common – to go purchase cases of canned goods, some boxes of pasta, and our favorite cake mixes and just let them sit on the shelf until a time of need, it’s actually the worst thing to do if we want to be able to eat that food before the critters do.
Common pantry pests to look out for
There are a variety of pantry pests that are common across North America, including the following:
- Dermestid beetle
- Indian meal moth
- Sawtoothed grain beetle
- Confused flour beetle
- Rice weevil
- Maize weevil
- Red flour beetle.
Other beetles and moths may also infest stored food products, so check with your local agricultural extension for pests most common in your region.
How do pantry pests get in your food?
While some of these insects may work their way into our kitchens from the great outdoors, the bulk of them are already in the food products we bring home.
An infestation may originate in a processing plant, a warehouse where the products were stored, delivery vehicles, or in a retail store. The longer a food item is stored in one place, the more its chances of infestation increase. Insects may be present in any form of development, from egg to adult, but the tiny eggs are seldom seen.
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