Pantries are places to store dry food, dishes, utensils, spices, and other kitchen items. It certainly isn’t a place for ants, but these common pests often find their way inside in search of food, warmth, and shelter. Ants are a big problem for New Jersey homeowners, but help is just around the corner if you discover insects in this part of your home.
Here’s an overview of what attracts ants to pantries, how to prevent ants from eating your food, and how to get rid of ants in a pantry.
Why Ants Get Into Pantries
Like all creatures, ants are steadily searching for food and will do whatever it takes to fuel their bodies. Ants also need water and can often find moisture in pantries due to product leaks and spills. If you do not properly close and seal the containers in your pantry, ants can find their way in and access your food. Another cause of ants in a pantry is crumbs left behind from messy snacking. If you store a kitchen trash can in your pantry, ensure it is tightly sealed with a lid and not overflowing to prevent ants.
The Problem of Ants in Pantry and Cupboard Spaces
The idea of ants living among the food you eat is unsettling and may lead you to throw away everything in your pantry, resulting in lots of wasted food and money on those groceries. Ants are not known to spread disease like other pests, such as mosquitoes. However, they can cause cross-contamination by spreading bacteria from one place of your home to another. For example, ants can move from dirty parts of your home, such as the kitchen sink or trash can, to the pantry and bring bacteria into your food supply. It is also possible for ants to cause allergic reactions and bite or sting humans.
Preventing Pantry Ants
The best way to prevent pantry ants is to keep a clean pantry and eliminate open food sources. Promptly clean up any spills or crumbs, and wipe down pantry shelves with a non-toxic disinfectant to keep them away. If open bags of food do not reseal well, place them into containers with lids or Ziploc bags to reduce your ant risk. Another idea to consider is using natural deterring scents that ants dislike in your pantry, such as lemon, peppermint, and cinnamon. You can dilute these types of essential oils with water and spray them in your pantry for a non-toxic, natural solution.
Getting Rid of Ants in a Pantry
The process of how to get rid of ants in a pantry can be tricky because of the risk of contaminating your food supply with toxic products. Never spray pantry shelves with traditional ant-killer spray because you may accidentally ingest the chemicals and poison yourself when later eating the food inside your pantry. However, you can try using ant traps to kill pantry ants and also place the traps around other high-risk kitchen areas.
When to Call a Professional
Unfortunately, if you find ants in your pantry, chances are they can access other parts of your home as well. It is difficult to comprehend the extent of an ant infestation, which is why Northern New Jersey residents trust us with their ant control needs.
The exterminators at Precise Termite & Pest Control know the most effective ways of ridding a pantry of ants and can help you feel safer and more comfortable in your kitchen. Contact us for a free inspection at the first sign of ant activity!