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Getting Rid of Pantry Moths

I had a bad case of moths a few years ago. I finally found that my problem was a bag of pecans in the shell that we had stored in the laundry room until we could get them all shelled out, and the moths started there and migrated to my pantry. I bought moth traps that can be ordered from this link: www.gardensalive.com

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They worked very well for me, and I now transfer all packaged goods into glass jars with screw down lids. This works in two ways. It keeps the moths in if you should happen to get a product that in infested. And it keeps them out of a product that is not infested. They don't always show up right away. Some just hatch out in time.

Another thing that helps to keep them out is to freeze products like oatmeal, flour, pasta, etc for a week or so before putting them in the sealed jars. I label my jars with masking tape. Many things are obvious, but I have regular flour and self rising flour, and it needs to be labeled. Hope this is helpful to many, as this is a terrible problem to tackle.

By Harlean from Hot Springs, AR

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13 Questions

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April 5, 2006

I am having a problem getting rid of meal moths. I have emptied the cabinets and washed them. I have opened packages of products to check for them and thrown away things that they were in and put the remaining items in the freezer but I am still seeing them.



Margie from New Haven WV

Answers

By Pepsi (Guest Post)
April 5, 20060 found this helpful

Try putting bay leaves in your containers with meal, flour, etc. I have been doing this for years and I have no moths.

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By Amy. (Guest Post)
April 5, 20060 found this helpful

I have had that problem in the past, and they are hard to get rid of. I finally had to throw pretty much everything in my pantry out and start over. When I started over I put all grains, and anything else the moths or larvae could be in, in the freezer for 24 hours or so. When the food comes out, I transfer it to a clear plastic, airtight container. This way, you can see if anything should appear. We have never again had a problem. The large Gatorade bottles are what we primarily use. I also put a coffee filter over the top before screwing the top on. This helps to keep any bugs out or, if they do survive, in.
Good luck!

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By Louise (Guest Post)
April 5, 20060 found this helpful

Here in the desert we have a lot of problems out of bugs and weavils in the summertime because it's so hot.I keep everything,Rice,Macaroni,Flour,Meal,cake mixes etc in my freezer.I take everything out of my cabinets and spray with Raid.I let it air out for a day,then place contac paper on them.no more bugs for a long long time.you have to check the packages when you get them home from the store because we've bought toilet paper and paper towels and paper plates that were LOADED with those little black
bugs.I took them back to the store.and wouldn't buy from that store anymore.

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By droozma (Guest Post)
April 6, 20060 found this helpful

We got Indian meal moths from a bag of dog treats that apparently had them when we bought it. I threw out everything grain based and had Wal Mart (where we got the treats) pay for an exterminator. Took a while, def. a pain in the neck. The FDA says it's okay for a certain percentage of our food to have insects/ insect parts in it. Disturbing, but it makes sense.

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By Cate (Guest Post)
April 6, 20060 found this helpful

There is a product called the Pantry Pest Trap made by Gardens Alive that is pesticide free and non-toxic, to trap grain moths, flour moths, meal moths, and seed moths. It comes in packages of two and works well. I purchase it over the internet once yearly.
www.gardensalive.com

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April 7, 20060 found this helpful

Just put some bay leaves loose on the shelves.....

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August 4, 20060 found this helpful

I live in the South, and trust me, bay leaves--which I have tried--do not work in the area that I live in. I've found bugs in sealed jars that held bay leaves. I've found that checking everything you bring in is a priority. All you have to do is let one thing get by, and you are infested. I recently had an infestation when I failed to check an all-natural cat litter that was made from corn. I'd used it for years with no problems, felt safe buying it, then this. From now on, I'll check everything.

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August 4, 20060 found this helpful

No one has mentioned pepermint or spearmint gum. We moved to Al. 11 years ago. I soon got indoctrinated!!! Friends told me about bay leaves. Didn't work. Others told me about the gum. Of cource, you need to get rid of everything containing the bugs and clean your cupboards good. Next buy the gum. Leave each stick in it's wrapper and tear it in half. Spread these throughout the cupboards, especially the ones with cereals and grains etc. I change mine out about every 6 months. You only need 3 or 4 pr cupboard. Good luck Judy

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By Jane (Guest Post)
September 6, 20060 found this helpful

Does anyone know if these methods (gum/sealed containers/freezer) will get rid of a severe infestation, or should I just throw everything away? These guys are EVERYHWERE!!! And I have already had to throw out my blender and hand mixer because the made cocoons way up in them.

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By lydia (Guest Post)
June 19, 20070 found this helpful

i have a guinea pig and the moths started showing up in the food i put it in a container and the moths don't get in there but they still get in the food the guinea pig eats!

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By Warehouse worker (Guest Post)
August 2, 20070 found this helpful

I work in a warehouse that stores beans and freeze dried items. We use to have a problem with moths in things but we put bay leaves up and it did miracles. We also put our beans in the freezer for 72 hrs. when they first come in, simply because who knows where the bags were stored before they came to us.

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I can't get rid of pantry moths that came home from the grocery store in some flour. I have chemically sprayed, bombed, cleaned, re-cleaned, and peppermint oiled everything. They have no food source (I keep everything in glass) and no trash to munch on.

Yet I keep finding them. I have had them a time or two before throughout the years, but I easily got rid of them. This gang, refuses to die or leave. Any suggestions?

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We are trying to stay clothes/pantry moth-free since an infestation in September of last year. We are really scared of finding holes in our clothes again. Is it true that spray starch attracts and nourishes larvae? Can we use spray sizing on our clothes instead? Any cleaning secrets that moth-infestation survivors have to share?



We will not breathe a sigh of relief until we have one pest-free year. So far, so good. Any additional assistance is most appreciated. Also, is it safe to put whole cloves in the pockets of clothes? Is is truly safe to use lavender to repel moths? We've read that moths like herbs, spices and plants, too.

NewYorkParis from NYC

Answers

By Amy. (Guest Post)
March 6, 20060 found this helpful

I don't know if they are the same, but we had a moth infestation in our kitchen awhile back. I had to get rid of all grain foods. What an expense! Anyhow, after that, I now freeze all flours, rice, pasta, grain stuffs, etc.. before opening. I also store most of these foods in heavy duty plastic containers with screw on lids. You have to make sure there is a true seal, so what I do is put a coffee filter on before the lid. If it appears to have any holes, I throw the contents away, wash in hot water, and restock, although it has only happened once.
I think these are India Moth's,but whatever they are, the only way I got rid of them was to smash them and watch food storage. Poison and foggers did not work.

I wish you well,

Amy

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March 6, 20060 found this helpful

The moth parts are edible and won't hurt you. Remember that for hundreds of years, generations merely sifted out or picked out the insect parts. The food is edible and is still eaten this way, world-wide. Keeping the dry food stuffs in the referator, or first freeze 24-48 hours, kills most (dormant) eggs.

One way to deter insects from your food stuffs is to place bay leaves inside each container of rice, flour, sugar, etc. This has worked here over 30 yrs.

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March 6, 20060 found this helpful

Back in the 1960s moths got into my sweater drawer and ruined some of my favorites; i learned this while at a party at college; had to duck into the House Mother's apt to sew up all the holes. Since then, i've made doubly sure clothes are always completely clean b4 storing them in the closet or chest of drawers. They are drawn by the teeniest speck of food.

Moths are repelled by cedar. Get some blocks of cedar to hang up in your closet and place inside your drawers. You can get cedar chips, sold for gerbil bedding, to use inside sachet bags; if you don't sew, use glue. Be creative. My grandmother kept clothing that attracted moths in her cedar chest. Nowadays you can line your entire closet in cedar if you choose.

Make sure you never put your clothes away dirty.

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May 29, 2010

Can pantry moths get into the cupboard shelving material itself?

By jeff from Sacramento, CA

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January 14, 2016

There are little moth looking flies in my pantry. How can I get rid of them without using toxic poison?


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June 29, 2014

I had a pantry moth infestation. I threw 3 trash cans full out because of them. I put basil leaves in the panty after washing everything down. I put basil leaves throughout the pantry, but 2 days later I had 3 moths that I killed with a fly squatter. I bought traps from Home Depot and haven't seen any in the traps, but neither have I seen any moths. Coming to my front door I saw 2 moths flying around. I tried waving them away, but how can I keep them from coming in when I open the door?

By Dotty

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March 29, 2014

What can be done about little moths that seem to be taking over our house, kitchen and upstairs too! I think they started in the bird seed or pasta.

By Rob R

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June 10, 2012

After having seen these pesky moths around my kitchen area I finally decided to clear out the cabinets to check and see where they are coming from and sure enough, I discovered that my kitchen cabinets were infested with moths and worms mostly in the back in the corners where you normally can't see easily and in most of my opened and unopened bags and boxes.

I cleaned all shelves down with bleach and of course discarded and threw in outside garbage the contents of the cabinets. Now they have nothing to feed on, so why am I still seeing some later on that same day that I just did a thorough extermination of these annoying pests? Should I stop seeing these pests immediately or does it usually take a few days to stop seeing them completely or could I have possibly missed something or maybe they are harboring somewhere else in my home?

By F.E.

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 5, 2009

How on earth do I rid my cupboards of Kitchen moth, I live in a rather humid climate and in summer we have NO AC and so flies, moths and critters find their way in my house as well as others. I do not like using harsh chemicals like Raid and those aresol things as they are highly toxic, are there home tips for this?

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May 29, 2010

I've been getting moths in my pantry, best way to get rid of them is? I know I have to remove everything and wipe down cabinet and foodies, and store food back in plastic or glass.

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March 7, 2010

I am having a problem with pantry moths. I looked for traps for them at the store, but couldn't find them. Is there anyone who has fought this battle and won?

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December 29, 2009

Does anyone have a tried and true, natural form of pest control for pantry moths (other than pheromone traps and storing everything below 50 degrees)?

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