As we start January looking outside at an ice covered and frozen landscape, it can be difficult to imagine the myriad of commensal rodents and insects living in and around our homes and businesses. Right now, the key pest problems in residential homes are rodents, like the house mouse and deer mouse, and the indoor moths, such as the Indian meal moth, and webbing clothes moth. This time of year, the new year, might be a great time to go through your cabinets and make sure that no forgotten boxes of corn bread mix lie hidden behind other items in the pantry. Making sure that you use products and refresh your stored items a great way to spot infested materials early, before you have the telltale signs of worm like moth larvae climbing on the ceiling.
If you open or look into a package and notice holes, webs, larvae, then you may have found a source of a stored product pest. If you have seen moths inside your kitchen or pantry and suspect an infestation, start with the oldest products and work out. Trust me, I’ve had them in my pantry and hate to get out the step stool and start searching through all the products, so you won’t be alone in feeling disgust at this project.
If you suspect you’ve found the source, discard the product, or freeze the product for more than 3 days (or heat to 150 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours) if you want to continue to use it. Freezing (or heating) and continuing to use product is usually done with pet food. After removing the source, clean the cabinet, pantry or storage area the product was located in, and use your vacuum’s crack and crevice tip to vacuum the cabinet, and the top interior corners and edges of the cabinet. Finish by vacuuming or dusting the corners of the room and the edge where the ceiling and wall meet. If all else fails, call a professional to come inspect the situation.
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
Effective organic & low impact solutions for environmentally conscious people.
Green Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton, and Metro Boston, and Eastern Massachusetts.