Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rodents, Insects, and Other Pests

Rodents and insects need to eat, too. They'll chew right through dry-pack pouches and other thin materials, so these items need further protection. Once they find a way into where food storage is, no stopping them; they can crawl through the tiniest cracks.

I had a friend with a rodent problem. She had purchased those heavy plastic 55-gallon storage containers to store her wheat in. The rats chewed holes in the lids. Again, with PETE plastic buckets, they'd chew holes right through the lids and crawl on in. Then what? Throw the whole bucket out? I suggested she get metal bins, instead, not that I've ever seen any, and she said rats chew through metal, too. Did you know they can chew right through a number 10 can? Disgusting.

So, solution? Rat poison.

Insects, I believe, can be avoided merely by rotating your food supply so its fresh, and by taking out the maximum amount of oxygen when you dry pack. Bay leaves are also minimally reliable.

Next, there seems to be a consensus that in the case of an emergency, there will be violent attempts to get peoples' food storage. Some fixes are: disguise where the food is, guns, who knows. Don't want to think about that. Rats will be more violent and starved, too, so I guess a supply of rat poison would be good.

My kids normally don't empty out my food like this, but food storage is one of their top favorite toys. They'll put it in their trike trunk, purses, shopping bags ("I'm grocery shopping" :)) or just take it all out and stack it. Once a can is dented, though, that's it; bacteria can grow in the can. Hopefully someday it will be safely locked away.

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