Once you have your food store, or as your food store grows (because what sensible prepper would stop storing food?) you have to learn to protect it from scavengers.
And I don’t mean just Mad Max-type marauding bands of criminals, but from tiny little enemies as well. Rodents and insects can ruin your food supply. What they don’t steal they will foul with their urine and feces. Keeping them out may be the difference between eating and
Storage is the first line of defense. Canned food is not going to be a problem, but freeze dried food, dried food like rice and beans, or food stored in plastic like peanut butter is still vulnerable. Food grade 5-gallon buckets are some of the cheapest effective protections against every pest. Flour should also be sealed air tight and placed in buckets as well to keep out weevils. Prepacked food that comes in plastic bags or even cans that is then packaged in cardboard should be removed from the cardboard. Cardboard is a home for pests such as cockroaches.
Repellent is the second line of defense. Cleaning the area that your food is stored in with essential oils like cedar, clove, cinnamon, and lavender will help repel pests from your supply. Cleaning regularly will also allow you to quickly notice pest waste and droppings so that you can take further action to protect your food.
Offensive action may also be needed. If pests have made their way in, then cleaning may not be enough to convince them to leave, and you might want to risk waiting to see if your food gets pilfered. Rodents are one of the biggest threats, because even if you do effectively keep them away from your food, simply having them in your living space puts you at risk of illness. Electronic traps may cost more than the old fashion “snap traps”, but you get what you pay for. A smart mouse or rat can work around even a properly set “snap trap” and eat all the bait without setting off the trap. A less smart, but still tough rodent may set off the trap and still make a get-away. Glue traps don’t work on rodents with wet feet, and when they do work, they need to be thrown away and replaced. Electronic traps can kill tens of rodents before the batteries need to be changed. Just make sure you keep them dry.
Defend your food from all threats, big and small, it’s yours and you are going to need it to survive.