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I am getting pantry moths and those little bugs that burrow into pasta. Maybe the same bug at different stages? I have resorted to cleaning the pantry every two weeks and I try to put everything in plastic containers. Clearly they are not sealing properly since some of them are STILL being infested.
When you seal them in jars make SURE to pop them into the freezer overnight. This kills any moth eggs that are in your grain products. That should ultimately take care of your problem.
Also, when you buy cereal, flours, or grains like rice or oats, pop THEM in the freezer overnight as well for the same reason.
I put bay leaves around my cereal boxes, pasta boxes, and flour bags. I'm certainly not a good housekeeper and I'm sure I don't get the "bugs" because I use the bay leaves. Good luck.
I know this sounds gross but have you considered that some of the product you buy has already been infested? I have heard of people often freezing their foods as soon as they get home for a couple days to a week and that will ensure that any bugs or eggs that were in there are dead.
If you can store your stuff in the freezer that would be ideal but if not, I would invest in good glass jars with an airtight seal.
You need to find the source of the infestation. One or possibly a few of your foods are infested. Find them and throw them out. Check your other pantry items carefully. Then buy some "pantry pest" containers (find at your local hardware store) to prevent further trouble. They are triangular cardboard containers you place in your cupboard. The problem are those small moths. Be wary if you see them flying about!
For years I have stored flour, cake mixes, rice, oats, etc in my big freezer. No insects! I've lived miles from any grocery store all of my 79 years so I try to keep staples on hand to be ready for feeding visitors, grandkids, etc whenever they pop in. My mother used bay leaves and spearmint gum sticks on the shelves of her cabinets. That works too.
The bayleaves do not go into the jar, they go on the shelves and drawers. Make sure little fingers and pets do not access to them. Not poisonous, but the sharpness of them make them not swallowable. They can perforate inside the body.
I have a large cedar lined closet which is so deep that there was a lot of wasted space so I moved the clothes rod toward the door and built shelves behind to use as a pantry. I have had NO bugs in anything since I started using this to store flour, rice, pasta, etc. in there. (I have been using the closet now for a couple of years.) I was thinking if you had a piece of cedar you could put on your cupboard shelves this might solve your problem.
I have an elderly friend who has a set of shelves and the whole thing is made of cedar. I thought she was crazy until I read your letters. She did have the right idea.
You people are talking of storing the kind of things that get bugs in the freezer for days. I just made a place in the freezer for permanent storage. Also you don't have to dig through the cupboard to find these things.
When I moved to the house we are in now I suddenly was faced with bugs in my pantry. I use the freezer method freezing everything possible - rice, oatmeal, pasta, flour, sugar, etc.
Every couple of months I take everything out of my pantry wipe it down well with vinegar water and then scatter bay leaves on my pantry shelves and also cotton balls dipped in peppermint go in each corner (I read that somewhere else on Thrifty fun) have not had a problem since.
I also for some thing that I don't think has a real good seal I place a coffee filter over the top before placing the lid on. Not sure if that helps but it doesn't hurt.
I so appreciate all the feedback. I have already moved things around so I have 1 whole shelf in the big freezer that will be dedicated to "temp freezing" anything I buy for the pantry.
As for the bayleaves? why not inside the jar? I was going to hotglue a bay leave right to the inside of the lid of the jars? Is that not good or not safe or something?