Kitchen Moths (Pantry Moths)

How on earth do I rid my cupboards of kitchen moths? I live in a rather humid climate and in summer we have no AC and so flies, moths, and critters find their way into my house, as well as others. I do not like using harsh chemicals, like Raid and those aerosol things as they are highly toxic. Are there home tips for this? I know yes, I clean the place often, it has nothing to do with that. It is the climate and the humidity. Also silverfish, the little buggers keep coming back, I have even replaced all carpets and put in Pergo flooring, yet I have still spotted a few. Help.



Kitchen Moths

I use Hot Shot Kitchen Bug Killer, once a month. It is especially made for food preparation areas. Follow the directions on the can for different types of insects. Works for me! Get it at your local Wal-mart store. (04/27/2005)

By Antique Lady

Kitchen Moths (aka Pantry Moths)

Hate to break this to you but Pantry Moths are really extremely hard to get rid of. I also use and swear by Hot Shot Flying Insect Killer (blue top can) from WalMart. It is cheap and it works. In the beginning you will have to get rid of anything that isn't well covered and that has larva in it. The larva can even get into bags of cereal so check everything! Put everything good in tight One Zip bags or Tupperware containers.

Spray your cabinets well on the inside and shut the doors. Spray your entire kitchen and keep doors and windows closed for an hour or so. Pay extra attention to the woodwork and trim of cabinets. They like to lay eggs there. The smell from Hot Shot dissipates quickly.

Do this once a week until you see no more moths, or for at least 2 months. Then spray every 2 weeks or every month. My sister was so infested with these nasty and persistent moths that they were all through the house. It took 6 months of weekly spraying to kill them all and they have not been back for a year.

Check out "pantry moth" in any Search Engine for more info. Unfortunately spraying chemicals is the only way to get rid of them. Lehmans has Pantry Moth sex lure traps, but they really don't work well enough if you have an infestation. The moths hatch like every 2 weeks and if you aren't spraying every week you will miss some, and they will lay more eggs and multiply like crazy. I speak from experience. The best thing about Hot Shot spray is that the odor does not linger. It is about the best I have found and it is not as expensive as the name brand bug sprays. Best of luck to you---just remember to spray consistently every week until they are gone. (04/27/2005)


By Peach

Kitchen Moths (Pantry Moths)

I have just read that insects and mice do not like bay leaf, so put a few in the cupboard and in your flour and cereal and it should keep them away. (04/27/2005)

By Susan from Hamilton

Kitchen Moths (Pantry Moths)

There is a moth trap that they sell at hardware stores, like Big R or Home Depot, its a small cardboard box that you fold out (it comes packaged flat). It has a glue inside that attracts the moth. Its a lot better than spraying stinky bug spray around. I hope this helps! (04/27/2005)

By pakjc

Kitchen Moths (Pantry Moths)

Well, you have enough advice on moths.The herbal way to get rid of silverfish is to put costmary (herb) around your linen and paper areas, especially books. Silverfish like moist areas, so just having a fan circulating the air is a bonus. I once bought a bag of dog bones and it was infested with moths, check everything that is has grain in it, pasta, cereal, and flour. Clean down surface with lavender cleaner, that should help. (04/27/2005)

By Diamondee

Kitchen Moths (Pantry Moths)

The product Pakjc mentioned is called Pantry Pest and it does work in an enclosed area like a pantry. But I've had them flying all over the house for the past few months. Think I brought them in with birdseed. (04/28/2005)

By Deb

Kitchen Moths (Pantry Moths)

Try Lysol Disinfectant Spray! It isn't toxic to you but will kill all kinds of buggers (like 'flies' in-flight!). Try it, you'll never use poisons again! (04/28/2005)

By darween

Kitchen Moths (Pantry Moths)

I was wondering where to get those foggers, Walmart, huh. I need to get some replacements, as we are moving again. Hope Walmart in Canada carries them. As for moths, I freeze all nuts so that the oils in the nuts don't go rancid. Anything that has cereal grains in it, I freeze for 3 days. This prevents any eggs from being able to hatch. I do this with all flour coming into my home and I don't get any moths, beetles or whatever hatching later. Often these little bugs may crawl in at the warehouse or anytime during the trip from field to your cupboard.

As a Home Economics teacher I teach my students this method to help keep their homes bug-free. There are usually a few "uuugghhhs!" about unhatched eggs. I also store any left-over cereal products in the freezer over the summer to prevent critters in September. I learned these things my second year of teaching because of tiny beetles in some pasta that was lurking in an undiscovered cupboard. (06/20/2005)

By Rivka

Kitchen Moths (Pantry Moths)

I have used the Pantry Pest for my kitchen with great success in the past. They were in everything flour, pasta, rice, cereal, even unopened boxes/bags. I got the Pantry Pest and put everything in plastic sealed containers and in no time they were gone. Its not expensive and works wonders. (01/05/2006)

By Shelly

Kitchen Moths (Pantry Moths)

I am battling these again myself. One thing that was successful for me before was to paint the pantry completely, remove shelves and paint all surfaces with a fairly thick coat. That was after throwing out everything and washing the surfaces down. The paint sealed up any tiny crevices in the shelves and killed any residual eggs. My kitchen linens are stored there too, and they liked to nest in the folds of items not used frequently. Wash in hot water and dry in dryer to destroy any eggs or larva. I also used the traps. (07/25/2007)

By Pat

Kitchen Moths (Pantry Moths)


I read elsewhere to clean first then put out in lids (up high if you have small children...I have placed mine on a ledge above the cabinets), a mixture of one part boric acid to three parts corn meal. Straight boric acid is not obtainable anymore, but Roach Proof and other brands of roach killer will have 99% boric acid in it. Check the label for content as some have less percentage. This takes a while since there will be hatchlings coming along. This may be just an additional method. As the rest of you I am desperate. (12/12/2007)

By Kerry

Kitchen Moths (Pantry Moths)

Pennyroyal oil is an excellent insect repellent, and is used in many commercial preparations. Just remember that a few drops will go a long way. The oil is extremely potent, and extremely toxic if taken internally. (06/01/2008)

Kitchen Moths (Pantry Moths)

I would be interested in knowing anyone's results in using bay leaves as a kitchen moth deterrent, as has been mentioned at this site by several feedback posters. Just last night, on my umpteenth round of cleaning moth larvae from my cupboard, I found them nesting in my box of bay leaves. Now what? (10/08/2008)

By Moth-Hater

Kitchen Moths (Pantry Moths)

To the person who ask about the uncooked rice--the moths love uncooked rice! In fact mine came in a large bag of Jasmine rice from Sam's Club. The apartment complex has bombed the kitchen for me, but it doesn't touch them. I was using a hanging closet treatment designed for storing clothes, but people tell me they are actually dangerous to our health, and they aren't working anyway.

I'm going to try the basil, bay leaves, and boric acid mixture. My mom used to use 1/3 boric acid, 1/3 confectioners sugar, and 1/3 cornmeal for roaches and it worked, so maybe it will help with the moths. Thanks guys. (11/24/2008)

By mothed up

Kitchen Moths (Pantry Moths)

Chemical-FREE solution...
We ended up buying Tupperware-like containers for all our food. Foil and plastic bags were no match for these critters. The biggest culprit was rice, granola bar boxes, and the sugar-based cooking supplies (chocolate chips, cookie sprinkles, etc). But after we thought we put all our food in containers, we still saw the moths. We searched the pantry again, and found an open granola bar wrapper full of larvae. Once those were destroyed, we haven't seen another moth for over a month. (01/08/2009)

By Dave C

Kitchen Moths (Pantry Moths)

I lived in a house years ago and got these in my pantry. I had taken everything out of the pantry, cleaned shelves, walls, and looked up at the ceiling. It had a texture called "popcorn" on it and looking close, I could see the larvae in between the texture. I took my vacuum with the brush attachment and thoroughly vacuumed the ceiling, not caring if I took the texture, also. Then I also vacuumed everything I could see. When finished I put the non-disposable vacuum bag outside after dumping it in the outdoor trash. It was winter in Missouri, so after a few days, I felt safe in bringing the vacuum bag back in. I never saw another moth the whole time we lived there. Also never bring bird seed inside, store in a metal container outside. (02/20/2009)

By Toebeanie


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In This Article
Indianmeal moth
Getting Rid of Pantry Moths
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April 5, 2009
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Stocking a Basic Pantry
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