This falls under the heading of, "Glad this happened now, and not when I needed it."
I recently had occasion to review all of my food storage. The vast majority of it is held in the large, 66 quart clear plastic lidded tubs. The tubs are then on a bunch of shelving.
The food is either in its original cans, or if it's from a larger package (sack of beans, for instance), 2 or 3 pound portions are vacuum sealed, dated and placed in the tubs.
Every now and then I'll get a bit ahead of myself. I'll find a great deal, buy the bulk item and put the whole sack on the shelf. When I get time, I'll portion it out and get it in the tubs. Also, on occasion, I'll have the stuff portioned and vacuum sealed, and put in a cardboard box labeled, "to be sorted".
I was going through the "to be sorted box" and damned near screamed. I noticed mouse droppings just outside of the cardboard box. I opened the box and that little SOB had bit through EVERY SINGLE VACUUM SEALED bag. Took one bite, and in most cases, decided he didn't like the contents. The one exception was a bag of red beans.
Oh, and apparently he doesn't like malted barley either. He bit into the 50 pound sack, ate a bit, and moved on. Also kind of interesting was with spices. I had (yes, also past tense) a bunch of 1 pound +/- vacuum sealed bags of red pepper, black pepper, chile powder, garlic and onion powder, dehydrated chopped garlic and onion, oregano, thyme, blah, blah, blah. One bite and done.
Obviously, it all had to be thrown out. Thirty plus pounds of rice, lentils and beans, the fifty pounds of malted barley and fifteen pounds or so of spices. Ouch.
Let it be noted that nothing in the lidded plastic tubs was touched. Now, this could have been because it was so easy to get to the other stuff, or maybe the lidded tubs work. They've got a semi-locking mechanism on them. Maybe it's enough to keep the rodents out. My guess is it had more to do with the easy pickins' being so easy. If they were hungry enough, they'd make it into the tubs, I'm sure.
Accept The Challenge
Regularly check your stored goods. If things had gotten ugly a week earlier, losing 95 pounds of food and spices would have been painful. As it turns out, it was just a painfully expensive lesson.
If you have items that are only to be used for long-term storage - the malted barley and spices in my case - give them a looksee on a regular basis as well.
A bit of an interesting side note: The sack of barley was part of a bigger stack. I had a 25lb sack of white sugar on top of the barley, and a 25 pound sack of salt on top of that. Neither of them were touched.
Is white sugar really that unhealthy that a mouse wouldn't eat it?!
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