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Keeping Insects Out of Your Food

Pantry pests can be a nuisance. There are few foods in your pantry that are immune to these pesky little critters. Ice cream, cereal, flour, rice and spices are all vulnerable.  Pantry pests such as flour beetles, granary weevils, rice weevils and Indian meal moths can hitch a ride from one location to another via the food they infested. Examples of such places could be convenience stores, grocery stores or flea markets.

If you notice insects in your food pantry, there are several things you can do.  First, you want to find out where they are coming from. Infested foods can simply be thrown out. Next, use a vacuum to pick up any insects that are wandering around and follow up using a warm soapy water to clean surfaces. It also may be helpful to identify the pest. This is especially true if you must use a pesticide. Place the specimen in a vial of 70% rubbing alcohol and bring it to your local county extension office. Florida has at least one office in all 67 counties. When using pesticides, make sure to read and follow the label completely. Visit this link for more information: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ig095

Exclusion is without a doubt one of the best tools to prevent infestations. Seal all food in plastic containers are Ziploc bags. Do not ignore food that are not for human consumption. Dog food can attract pests along with bird food. Be sure to place these items in sealed containers as well.

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