Get Rid of Pantry Pests with This Simple Trick

We’d all love to imagine that pantry pests don’t exist. Spotless grocery stores and clean, sterile kitchens in advertisements make it easy to pretend for a while. But at home, no matter how hard we try, things creep in that we’d rather not have there—especially when we’re storing natural foods that aren’t heavily processed and packaged.

Although it can be tempting to reach for a bottle of poison out of sheer frustration, there are natural ways to repel those kitchen pests. One of the best tried-and-true methods is to use bay leaves. Pantry moths (my personal bane of existence) as well as weevils, ants, flies, beetles—you name it—are repelled by the scent of bay.

For best results, make sure your pantry is clean before you start, and keep everything well sealed. Repellents work best if you’re starting with a relatively pest-free environment. Many bugs can eat through bags and boxes, so reach for sturdier storage options like glass jars (they’ll also make your cupboard look fancy!).

To maximize effectiveness, I recommend both putting a leaf or two in any container that might attract pests (like flour) as well as taping a few up around the inside of your shelves and cupboards. Don’t stress about finding fresh bay leaves—dried whole leaves will work fine. But the leaves will lose effectiveness as they get stale, so replace them every couple of months.

Bugs are a part of life, as anyone who’s spent a lot of time in the kitchen can tell you. But it can still be uncomfortable, creepy, and even embarrassing to find pests in your pantry. However, the response doesn’t have to be to use toxic chemicals that are unhealthy for these little critters as well as for your family. So take back control, with this natural method!

Have you ever tried bay leaves or other natural repellents in the kitchen? Post a comment and let us know!