One thing many people enjoy during the holidays—as well as the winter season in general—is baking. Warm and delicious foods are enjoyed by most who seek comfort during chilly weather, and there is a general abundance of sweet treats available not only at home but also at offices and schools. The thing is, cookies, biscuits, cakes, gingerbread houses, and other holiday baking products can become targets for holiday pests as well.
Many food-oriented holiday baking items, when not immediately eaten, are often used as decorations. Gingerbread houses, garlands of cherries and popcorn, and bowls full of hard candy all act as beacons for pests seeking food and heat sources. Beyond the holiday baking and pests it can attract, the various baking ingredients found in the pantry can also lure pests into your home. Particular pests include Merchant Grain Beetles, Indian Meal Moths, ants, rodents, and weevils. Certain steps should be taken to ensure holiday baking and pests never mingle in your home or office.
Avoid Holiday Baking and Pest Attraction
1. Implement Proper Storage
When food is not being actively served and eaten, be sure to store it in air-tight containers—not only to prevent spoilage but so pests cannot get to it. The same is applicable to the various ingredients, such as flour, sugar, nuts, pasta, powdered milk, and other baking supplies. Keeping it all sealed when not in use is critical.
2. Clean Up Quickly
When baked treats have been set out for guests or holiday dinners, don’t let it sit out overnight or for days at a time. Clean up and pack away baked goods, wash dishes, and sweep or wipe down the area to eliminate crumbs. The longer baked remnants remain around the home, the likelier it is pests will be drawn to the food source.
3. Add a Bay Leaf
If you have dry baking goods in your pantry, like flour, sugar, rice and other grains, spices, or otherwise, add a single bay leaf to the containers and canisters where these ingredients are stored. The herb is known to repel a wide variety of pests without influencing the ingredient flavors when it comes time to do your holiday baking.
Beyond these pest prevention measures, be sure to regularly inspect your pantry and baking supply storage areas regular for any sign of pest infestations. It’s good to have a pest management professional also pay your home or office a visit both before and after the holidays to ensure no infestation has gained a foothold in the area during the festivities.
If you’re needing seasonal and ongoing pest management, see how OmniShield has helped numerous clients during 2014 alone:
Contact OmniShield today to speak to a pest control expert and keep your pantry pest-free.