Here in Arizona, we love our pets. We love our dogs, cats, bunnies, birds, and whatever other creatures we choose to share our life with. Whether your dog is a purebred with a big pedigree or a mutt who picked you out at the pound… whether you have a guinea pig or a parakeet … or whether you have one cat or five, all animal companions share a common magnet for unwanted pests: pet food.
Pet food, be it dry kibble or canned mystery meat, attracts all kinds of unhealthy pests to the table. Here are four tips to help keep pests away from pet food:
- Understand the pest-pet food problem
It’s a matter of animal attraction. Flies, roaches, packrats, mice, and other insects and critters are attracted to any readily available food. They come into our houses and garages looking for water, food, and safe places to breed. Pests are not picky about food for people or pets: it is all equally tasty and nourishing for them – and their future generations!
We generally take good care of our own food, keeping it sealed or refrigerated. We have canisters for flour and sugar, sealed bags for bread and snacks, and good old Tupperware for left-overs. We keep clean kitchens, washing our plates, and scrubbing our countertops every day. However, we don’t always treat pet food storage and pet dishes the same way. Open or torn pet food bags, messy meal areas, and dirty pet bowls are an open invitation to pests to settle in and chow down.
- Schedule new cleaning duties
Have you ever watched hungry puppies at dinnertime? Like babies tossing Cheerios from high chairs, pups can leave their meal area looking like the remains of a successful food fight. Finicky cats leave crusty cat food chunks in their bowls and pet birds scatter seeds as though they are planting sunflowers on your kitchen floor. All these pet food scraps on the floor, down to the tiniest crumbs in the corner, become an open buffet to bugs.
Until our pets learn better table manners, it’s our responsibility – and it is to our own benefit – to wash pet dishes often and keep their eating areas spotless. Your pets will be happier and healthier as members of the clean-plate club as they enjoy their food and water from clean bowls. Schedule their dish-washing daily or every few days. Vacuum, sweep, mop, or scrub the floor around their bowls frequently as well. Stop the pests’ source of food and stop the pests.
- Get serious about pet food storage
Let’s talk about those giant bags of dog food that you lean against the garage wall or stash on the porch. Or let’s talk about that box of cat food or rabbit pellets stored under the sink. Face it: often people leave pet food in whatever packaging it came in. The problem is that bags and cardboard aren’t enough to deter pests on the lookout for easy pickings. Bags tear and spill out – or smart rodents chew a hole in the bag and open a cafeteria for their friends.
Storing food under the sink is never a good idea. Dampness attracts pests – remember, they are looking not only for food, but water, too. Just a little bit of moisture and your pet’s food can get moldy and will have to be thrown away to protect your pet’s health. Put your pet food in an airtight container and keep the lid tightly closed. Store it is a dry area where it is convenient to you at mealtime but safe from pests at the same time. The food will stay fresher and you and your pets will be happier.
- Call a top-ranked pest control professional
If pests persist in invading your space, it’s time to take quick action. Most of us consider our pets part of the family and we want all our family to be safe from pests. A reliable and well-established pest control expert is well-trained in the best practices for safely ridding your home of unwanted insects or rodents. Safety is key around both people and pets. Think about it: if you found ants in your toddler’s bedroom, you would not start spraying some random store-bought insecticide around the room. Those insecticides could be dangerous to your pet, too.
Our experts know the pests we have in Arizona and they bring proven techniques and equipment to tackling the pest-pet food problem and any other challenges you may have with unwanted pests. Contact us soon and gain peace of mind fast. Whatever the level of infestation you may have in your home, you can rely on our professional service and proven methods. Keep all the members of your family, whether they are two-legged or not, safe and healthy.