Baltimore, MD - Oct. 14, 2016 - Stored improperly, schach can become a target and breeding ground for insects (and mold). These insects could then drop onto the table and into your food. Many people have reported this occurrence happening to them.
When schach is stored wet or even dry but wrapped in plastic or any similar non-breathing material, ambient temperature changes may lead to development of condensate inside the wrapper. This can create a moist environment ideal for breeding insects.
People tend to keep schach mats in their original bags and then store it in areas that are not climate-controlled (e.g., basement storage rooms, garages, sheds). These types of conditions often lead to infestation.
While we do not have statistics to show how often schach is infested, it would seem prudent to prevent schach infestation by taking the following precautions before you put your schach away this year.
1. Make sure your schach is completely dry before you put it away. Leaving it unrolled and out in the sun will accomplish this effectively.
2. Do not store it in plastic. If you must wrap it, use paper, or leave the plastic open so it can vent. Under dry conditions - whether temperatures are cool or hot - insects won't thrive.