There’s much to consider when storing survival food. Temperature, packaging, shelf-life, and sunlight exposure are just a few. However, many people don’t think about the insects and small critters that can find their way into an emergency food supply.
So how should you store dry foods to prevent pest infestation? Ensure that insects and rodents don’t compromise your supply by following these storage tips.
1. Ensure That Your Storage Area and Containers Are Clean
Before storing survival food, clean and disinfect all shelves, cupboards, pantries, and containers. Stored product pests, like mites and weevils, often burrow deep into dry food products, feeding, reproducing, and contaminating your supply.
By disinfecting the area and storage containers first, you can help prevent pests before they ever become an issue. Vacuum and wipe down all surfaces with soap and warm water. Then, repeat this cleaning process about every month or so to keep them from breeding and feeding over time.
2. Protect Against Rodents
One of the biggest threats to dry food storage is rodents. These critters have been known to chew through hard plastics and even metal. This makes it difficult to find sufficient containers. Add rodent traps and bait to your storage area to avoid this problem.
For added bug prevention, you might also want to use insect repellants like diatomaceous earth. Just be sure to keep these items out of the reach of children and pets!
3. Where Possible, Store Your Dry Food Off the Ground
Try to keep dried goods off the ground. Instead, store them on higher surfaces like shelves and pantries to make pest infestation difficult.
But how high off the floor should dry food be stored? The general rule of thumb is about 6 inches off the ground. Doing so can help prevent contamination and ease of access for hungry critters.
4. Store Food in Airtight Containers
Moths, weevils, mites, earwigs, and beetles pose a great threat to dry food storage. These pests thrive on common dried goods like flour, oatmeal, grains, and spices. Store your emergency food in containers with airtight locking lids to keep these creatures out of your supply.
5. Monitor Your Storage Area for Moisture
Look out for wet or damp spots when storing your dried goods. And stockpile your food in dry storage areas with low humidity or air conditioning. Not only will this help prevent things like mold, but it can also help keep certain pests from thriving in your storage area.
6. Keep Your Dried Goods Out of Pest Territory
Rodents and insects often live in garages and sheds. So, you’ll want to keep your dried food out of places like these when possible. If storing your food out of these areas isn’t an option, use pest-resistant totes, bags, and bins to keep critters out. 4 Patriots Small Storage Totes are perfect for keeping your food out of reach from pests. Their 7-inch height can easily be stowed on closet shelves or under beds instead of pest-ridden territory like garages.
7. Refrigerate or Freeze Your Dry Supply
Keeping your dry food stocked in a refrigerator might not always be possible with limited storage space. But if you’re able to, this could be the best way to prevent pest infestations — with the exception of sugar or salt. Rats, insects, larvae, and eggs aren’t typically able to survive in these cooler environments, keeping your stash safe.
8. Build Your Dry Food Stash with 4Patriots
4Patriots is here to help make building your survival food supply and storing it easy. Shop our selection of delicious survival food kits, many of which come with our durable storage totes. Add a few extra storage totes to your order to store any other dry foods you might have on hand.