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Pantry moths! Arrghh!
How do I get rid of them?


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27 replies to this topic

#1 Academic

Posted 05 February 2013 - 11:05 PM

We've got pantry moths - everywhere. Mostly in the pantry, but actually all over the house. I can see little egg clumps in the cornices, and weevils crawling around the ceiling sick.gif.

This afternoon I threw out half of our food - some unopened, but they got in there somehow. I washed every inch of the cupboards like a mad person, and rubbed eucalyptus oil on everything. Cleaned every single can and bottle before putting it back. Sterilised all of the big glass jars I store food in for this very reason (they got into some of those, even).

What do I do now? Are there any foolproof ways of getting rid of them for good? Should I get insect bombs to clear them out of the rest of the house, or is there a better way? I hate using poisons, but I don't want them to get straight back in all the food!

#2 namie

Posted 05 February 2013 - 11:14 PM

You've done everything right. As long as you've removed all you can see you're on the right track.
To help prevent them you can put dry ingredients, like bags of flour, in the fridge for 24 hours and this is supposed to kill of any eggs that may be inside.

Now is the time to invest in some airtight containers to store all your dry ingredients. All of them.
I went with Tupperware after we had a rather awful infestation of them, but any containers will do as long as they're airtight.
Mine came back again a year later, but I'd relaxed the storage of some flours and also bought in a large bag of bread flour which is potentially how they came back. I bought more containers for all the extra items I'd started keeping. You really need to keep things airtight.

One of the essential oils is good for helping keep pantry moths at bay and you can just wipe it over shelves but I can't remember which one. Google pantry moths and you should be able to find out easily enough.

Edited by namie, 05 February 2013 - 11:15 PM.


#3 Paddlepop

Posted 05 February 2013 - 11:18 PM

We had an infestation once. Had to throw out practically everything in those cupboards and clean really thoroughly. It turned out that our local supermarket was infested with them and we very carefully checked anything that we bought from there. Also, get some pantry moth traps from the supermarket. They seem to work well.

These past threads on EB should help:
Pantry Moth Invasion
It's War: Death to all pantry moths

#4 jakelab

Posted 05 February 2013 - 11:22 PM

Yuck, we have had these in our pantry on a few occasions and have found that the best thing to use are the moth traps. You can buy them at the supermarket and you just set them up and place them on the shelves in the pantry. The moths are attracted to them and they get trapped in the sticky stuff inside the trap. Very effective.

Edited by jakelab, 05 February 2013 - 11:23 PM.


#5 buttercup-bob

Posted 05 February 2013 - 11:24 PM

Omg we had them the other week as well. Found them the night before we went on holidays... Aggh. Few traps from the shop to start controlling them while we were away then when we got home DH and I went through every single packet and container and wiped out everything. Not fun.  
Looks like they are gone now but still was a nasty experience.  I think mine came in from something on a supermarket I don't normally shop at.

Good luck!

#6 SeaPrincess

Posted 05 February 2013 - 11:41 PM

Pantry Moth traps.

Airtight containers for everything.

The main thing I've noticed them in is bread crumbs, but I've seen them in unopened rice and pasta, and they absolutely LOVE breakfast cereals.

#7 wenchwitch

Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:09 AM

We had the problem for a few months and tried everything. I caved and tried a weird solution but it worked.

Elastic bands. Lots of them. I sealers all of the bags with them and left lots lying around in the cupboard. No idea why as the little frickers could get in jars and completely sealed containers. For some reason they hate elastic and they all died never to be seen again. That was about seven years ago and I still don't jar of close flour bags I loselt put an elastic NAND around. Twice  since I have opened flour or oats and found a couple of dead ones within but these are new ones and the bands kill them. Old wives tale but man bands did what moth traps etc totally failed at.  original.gif

It's ok you can thank me later original.gif


#8 watching the clock

Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:12 AM

The larvae is already in the flour well before we get it given the right conditions they change into weevils.

When weevils appear in flour after only a few weeks after purchase means it was milled at least half a year ago and is old stock.

After a few invasions I keep my flour, rice and some dry goods in the freezer and use pantry moth traps and this has worked well.

Leaving flour in the pantry too long will encourage pest infestation. The faster it is used, the fresher it is, and the fewer the chances for infestation. Purchase only the amounts of flour that you'll use within a month or two.

Bay leaves are another good item to sprinkle round your shelves

Don't  throw contaminated food away in the kitchen. Throw it outside, or else your problem may come back.

Also try not to store dry pet food in the same cupboard/place as human food as dry pet food carries a huge amount of weevils.

Goodluck

#9 Kitty Fantastico

Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:43 AM

QUOTE (wenchwitch @ 06/02/2013, 01:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We had the problem for a few months and tried everything. I caved and tried a weird solution but it worked.

Elastic bands. Lots of them. I sealers all of the bags with them and left lots lying around in the cupboard. No idea why as the little frickers could get in jars and completely sealed containers. For some reason they hate elastic and they all died never to be seen again. That was about seven years ago and I still don't jar of close flour bags I loselt put an elastic NAND around. Twice since I have opened flour or oats and found a couple of dead ones within but these are new ones and the bands kill them. Old wives tale but man bands did what moth traps etc totally failed at. original.gif

It's ok you can thank me later original.gif


Elastic bands like rubber bands? That's interesting because I seal most of my packets with rubber bands and haven't really had any bug problems. Maybe there is some truth to it?

#10 hell kitty

Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:04 AM

Moths/weevils etc are often in the food you buy from the supermarket. I once had a pack of unopened baby rusks (bought them but DD didn't like them), just left them in the cupboard, a few months later noticed there were things crawling inside the sealed packages. sick.gif

#11 ~sydblue~

Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:10 AM

Bird seed is a huge weevil carrier, so we freeze it before putting it in the airtight container. So is rice.
I have found when we shop at coles we tend to get more than when we shop at woolies or aldi.
Funny, because the shop that sells the best pantry moth traps, is coles.

Edited by ~sydblue~, 06 February 2013 - 06:11 AM.


#12 tiggy2

Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:26 AM

We use the moth traps too, they seem to work really well.

#13 lozoodle

Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:29 AM

You need to get some decent storage containers and start fresh.

We have had an ongoing problem with the kitchen at work due to some people not storing their food correctly.

Even things in plastic bags need to go in properly sealed containers, they will eat through the bag! My muesli copped it, I found out the hard way  sick.gif

Most people here keep their stuff in those sistema containers with the blue clips and they do the job.

My mum recently had an issue at home and did the same and it seems to have solved the problem.

They will fly around, and lay eggs where they land and you will see the little grub things looking for food, don't fret, they will die if there is no food source (but I know how gross it is to see them, I had two crawling up the wall next to my desk!)

#14 2girlsraising2boys

Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:31 AM

Dried bay leaves.

Just pop them on the shelves and if you choose you can also pop them in flour etc.

They break the breeding cycle. Apparently there is something in the leaf!

#15 2girlsraising2boys

Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:31 AM

Dried bay leaves.

Just pop them on the shelves and if you choose you can also pop them in flour etc.

They break the breeding cycle. Apparently there is something in the leaf!

#16 LifesGood

Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:50 AM

Be prepared for an ongoing campaign against them, you are unlikely to get rid of the problem in one go. All of the PP suggestions are valid, try them all and may the force be with you.

#17 ~Sorceress~

Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:50 AM

I had a huge infestation a couple of years ago, but since I've had some natural deterrents (bags of herbs I bought from a craft shop) they haven't returned original.gif . If you have a bay tree, keep putting the leaves in your pantry as it apparently makes the moth sterile so you'll break the cycle original.gif .

#18 Leha

Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:55 AM

Great timing. I just threw half the food out of my cupboard on the weekend. They were in everything. I cannot believe the things they managed to get into. I've never had weevils but will try some of this advise and hopefully they won come back.

Where can you buy moth traps?

#19 ~Supernova~

Posted 06 February 2013 - 07:00 AM

I friggin hate pantry moth! I put all my stuff in sealed containers and use the traps. We have had one or two since, but they go straight to the traps.

I might have to give the rubber bands a shot too, much cheaper original.gif

We got our moth traps from Bunnings I believe.

#20 qak

Posted 06 February 2013 - 07:00 AM

QUOTE (~sydblue~ @ 06/02/2013, 07:10 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have found when we shop at coles we tend to get more than when we shop at woolies or aldi.


I found that too!

#21 FeralFemboside

Posted 06 February 2013 - 07:03 AM

QUOTE (sweetcookies @ 06/02/2013, 12:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The larvae is already in the flour well before we get it given the right conditions they change into weevils.

When weevils appear in flour after only a few weeks after purchase means it was milled at least half a year ago and is old stock.

After a few invasions I keep my flour, rice and some dry goods in the freezer and use pantry moth traps and this has worked well.

Leaving flour in the pantry too long will encourage pest infestation. The faster it is used, the fresher it is, and the fewer the chances for infestation. Purchase only the amounts of flour that you'll use within a month or two.

Bay leaves are another good item to sprinkle round your shelves

Don't  throw contaminated food away in the kitchen. Throw it outside, or else your problem may come back.

Also try not to store dry pet food in the same cupboard/place as human food as dry pet food carries a huge amount of weevils.

Goodluck

This is all excellent info, although we stopped using the moth traps and just kept on with the Bay Leaves (also cheaper!) We had one of those disasterous infestations that saw a lot of food thrown out. Now everything starchy is quarrantined for 48 hours minimum in the freezer and we've not had a recurrence. Some things aren't ok to freeze though like some cake mixes, so check.

#22 anotherlogin

Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:30 AM

I also had an infestation a few years ago, I used the moth traps and they were great, but I also taped up every holein the pantry cu[board and sealed the edge between the shlef/wall with electrical tape (so there was no space for the moths to lay their eggs).

#23 Academic

Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:57 PM

Thanks all! Glad to know I'm not alone in this war.

I will try the bay leaves and traps, thank you! I have a lot of glass jars (the kind with the rubber seal at the top, then the metal clip) and they were in some of them - but they may have been in the food when I put them in the jars.

Might have to make some room in the freezer to store some flour and rice (not that I have any after throwing it all away yesterday, but will have to restock soon).

Since they are all around the house, should I bite the bullet and bomb them to kill the larvae and moths, and then go for preventative measures?

#24 Georgie83

Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:05 PM

QUOTE (2girlsraising2boys @ 06/02/2013, 07:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Dried bay leaves.

Just pop them on the shelves and if you choose you can also pop them in flour etc.

They break the breeding cycle. Apparently there is something in the leaf!



I also use bay leaves....the only time i've ever had issues is when I have moved and forgotten to put bay leaves in the pantry....they work a treat and are cheap (and natural). The traps probably have 'bay leaf essence' or something original.gif

#25 niggles

Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:48 PM

I used to rely on bay leaves and traps and they were only ever partly effective.

Then I read this a few years ago on EB:

QUOTE (Rawr @ 05/02/2013, 09:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You can freeze flour, rice etc for 48 hours before storing them in the cupboard, apparently that kills everything off. Haven't tried it, but read it on down to earth blog and am meaning to try it soon


I had a big clean out and wipe down. From that point on all flour I buy goes straight into the freezer. I then store it in the fridge in a screw top canister. I have not had a single pantry moth since.




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