What can be worse than to open up your stockpile, only to find that all of your food supplies have been eaten by something else?
Stockpiling supplies isn’t enough. You need to protect all of them from the pests that could leave your family hungry in a time when food will be scarce.
Venezuelans were eating dogs, cats and pigeons in 2016 because they couldn’t find any food. The Spanish and the Portuguese had to resort to food banks after the economic collapse of 2008. Incredibly, 1 in 7 Americans is on food stamps.
Unless you want to throw money away on food, I recommend you know what the biggest enemies of your stockpile are, and then take these easy steps to protect your food from all of them.
1. Rats and mice
The first things everyone thinks of when they hear the word “pests” are mice and rats. They can wreak havoc in your pantry, particularly if the only thing protecting your Mylar bags is 5-gallon plastic buckets. They will chew away plastic without a problem.
Now, there are various types of mice traps out there, including a few that are really, really cheap. But that doesn’t guarantee that your stockpile will be safe. The first thing you should do is put those plastic buckets into larger, metal buckets.
The only thing about metal buckets is that they’re pretty pricey. A 6-gallon metal bucket with a lid is more than $20 on Amazon … so you’ll probably only put some of your foods in them at first, while you also focus on the other ways to keep mice out of your pantry. (Figuring out the entry point and isolating the room, setting up mice traps, etc.)
A better solution is to get one or more of those galvanized trash cans. They’re about $35 each, but they can fit more buckets. Keep in mind that metal containers are more fire-resistant than plastic ones, meaning that in case of a house fire, your stockpile could get away unharmed.
2. Pantry moths
The good news is that moths have a harder time getting inside containers than do mice. So, if you have #10 cans or glass jars, so long as they are properly sealed, they should be enough.
Nevertheless, having them in your pantry requires to always be careful not to keep containers open. There are plenty of tricks known by pest control folks on how to take care of them. For example, one gentleman I read on a survivalist board suggested using pheromone traps and a portable steamer to make sure not only the moths but also their eggs are removed from your pantry. Sounds like good advice.
Out of all the pests we talk about in this article, you’re probably going to hate the sugar ant the most. That’s because it’s attracted to comfort foods (such as honey) as well as sugar. Some of the things you can do to get rid of ants include:
- Block as many entryways as you can. Yes, I realize they are really small and can come in through many different places, but this will decrease the chances of them being successful.
- Ants hate vinegar and lemon juice, so mix a 50-50 solution with water when you clean your pantry. They help clear those trails that they leave to attract other ants.
- Sprinkle cinnamon, mint or black pepper throughout your pantry; ants do not like them.
Of course, it isn’t just comfort foods that ants like. Pretty much any type of food will attract them. I realize you know how to keep your 5-gallon plastic buckets safe but don’t forget the extra items you bring to your pantry, such as pemmican or seeds. Literally everything should be kept in airtight containers.
Spending a few extra dollars on ways to keep pests at bay could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the long run.
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