How to Pest-Proof Your Pantry

Keep rodents and bugs out of your pantry with these simple tricks
How to Pest-Proof Your Pantry

Keep foods in airtight containers so that the scent doesn’t attract pests.

If you’ve ever gone to your pantry for a bag of sugar or a box of cereal only to find that the corner has been chewed open and its contents are spilling out everywhere, then you know already know that your pantry can easily become a magnet for rodents and insects. The smells of the food stored in your pantry, along with the easy-to-chew-through packaging in which most foods are contained, make your pantry the perfect place for pests to find a meal. Luckily, it’s easy to keep bugs and rodents from making their way into your supply of food — you just need to know a few simple tricks.

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The first issue that you need to address is enticing smells. You can contain the scents within your pantry (so that pests can’t detect the aroma of food), use smells that are adverse to pests in order to drive them away, or prevent smells that might attract pests altogether. Depending on the type of pest problem that you have, you may even choose a combination of techniques. Regardless of your approach, controlling enticing smells and utilizing aromas that are adverse to bugs and rodents will go a long way in keeping your pantry pest-free.

You’ll also need to consider the location of your pantry items and how accessible they are to pests. Pantry items that are stored close to the ground, for example, are easy for mice and rodents to reach, while boxes and bags that are stored a few feet off of the ground will be harder to access.

Whether you’ve seen signs that bugs or rodents have been in your pantry or whether you simply want to take preventative measures, you only need to follow a few easy steps to ensure a pest-free pantry.

Check Package for Signs of Pests


First, check through the items in your pantry for signs of damage or infestation. If the packaging is chewed through or if you spot bugs in bags of flour or sugar, toss them; these foods are unsafe to eat and may contain bugs and other pests that you don’t want in your pantry.

Patch Small Holes


Once you’ve tossed any unsafe food items, empty your pantry and check it (and the surrounding area) for small holes or cracks where pests can enter. Even mice can pass through holes as small as a dime, so be sure to patch up any openings in your pantry and the nearby floor and wall.

Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal's Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.

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