One of the best things about the holiday season is all the home-baked cookies, pastries, cakes and other assorted treats that are served in a seemingly never-ending supply. There always seems to be room for just one more chocolate chip or gingerbread cookie!
Thanksgiving typically kicks off the holiday baking season and cookie and cake aficionados should keep one eye on the oven timer and another making sure unwanted pests don’t play scrooge when it comes to their baking efforts.
The pests that can threaten your holiday baking include various species of beetles and moths that invade and spoil the grain products in your pantry when they leave behind fecal pellets, cast skins and egg shells.
Indian meal moths are the most commonly encountered stored product pest in homes. Adult Indian meal moths are reddish to yellowish brown in color with reddish-brown wings that have a copper sheen to them. They are approximately ½ inch in length with a ½ inch wing span.
Indian meal moths are attracted to light and are often spotted flying in a fluttering pattern indoors. They will feed on whole grains, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, crackers, and dry dog food and bird seed.
Other important stored product pests include the merchant grain beetle and red flour beetle both of which enjoy feasting on flour, baking mixes, spices and nuts – all staples of holiday cooking, and the confused flour beetle likes spices.
When these nuisance pests gain access to your pantry they not only leave a bad odor and taste behind but they also render the baking and cooking food stuffs useless which can put a real damper on your holiday food plans.
Griffin Pest Solutions recommends aspiring pastry chefs follow these tips to prevent pantry pests from ruining the ingredients for their holiday pies, cookies and cakes:
- Store your sugar, flour, spices, chocolate, coconut and other baking staples in tight-fitting plastic containers.
- Check for signs of pest infestation such as torn/opened bags or a bad odor before you leave the grocery store.
- When unloading your purchases make sure pests did not hitch a ride home in your shopping bag or container of cake or brownie mix.
- Clean up food spills on kitchen shelves and counters immediately.
- Rotate the baking supplies in your pantry and discard of any old or expired items.
If you have a problem with or have questions about pests in your home, call or e-mail Griffin Pest Solutions at 888/547-4334 or callcenter@http://www.griffinpest.com/