Getting Rid of Meal Moths

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

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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 more bugs for a long long 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.

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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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By Kim KLoke (Guest Post)
May 20, 20080 found this helpful

What advice do you have for finally getting rid of these meal moths. They are everywhere. Just when I think I have conquered them, I find more. I had taken everything out of the cupboard and thrown away anything they might infect. I've washed down the cupboards with vinegar, bleach & hot soapy water and nothing keeps them from coming back. I've even tried the gum and bay leaves. I am almost ready to move and leave them behind. Any help?

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By Virginia (Guest Post)
July 1, 20080 found this helpful

I have had this problem for 5 years! Finally someone told me they might be in heating pads (those made with beans, corn, rice) and they are almost gone!

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By Bonnie (Guest Post)
February 3, 20090 found this helpful

Like most of you I have tried all of the suggestions you all have to offer. Believe me nothing has worked, Just when you think you have gotten it under control, along comes a moths flying by the TV set. I did purchase the meal traps.I have even seen them fly right by them as if laughing hahaha do you think this fools me.


Like most of you I have thrown away every piece of food and I mean everything. I placed all new food in seal tight containers with a rubber seal, bleached the cabinets floors, and scrubbed the walls. Still I see these creature flying by at night..I have decided to name them, Henry came by last night looking for Ann, but Like Henry I had him beheaded, and so it goes on the battle. I will continue to read these blogs in hope one may find the answer. Until then I need to go catch. Jack who is now looking for Jill Good luck to you all.

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By Moth Hater (Guest Post)
February 9, 20090 found this helpful

I have thrown out EVERYTHING in my kitchen cabinet. It all started when my husband & I were killing moths flying around every day! We cleaned out the kitchen cabinet and threw out all the open stuff. Still no luck. Then I decided to go in heavy duty style and opened jars of my dry fruit.

My cashews had moths flying in it and there was larva in my rice - absolutely disgusting! I was shocked especially since I am such a clean freak. I threw out everything in my cabinet and lysol'ed it down. Bought new shelf liner and placed it in with some bay leaves. No luck again. We found 2 moths flying about and 2 moths in the empty cabinet. Very upset and angry, my husband & I checked the cabinet once more and found a "baby" moth which looked like it had just matured flying and we also found a bigger one right by the ceiling. We figured there are some remaining eggs and cocoons somewhere in the cabinet - a spot we have missed.

It was the upper corner of my cabinet where we found a cocoon and eggs. We took lysol with bleach and cleaned every corner and crevice. We also noticed that our cabinet had some crevices. Without taking any chances, I am going to caulk it down today! I am so sick of moths. I was considering pesticides but not sure if they are safe for places where ill be storing food. So I believe cleaning is the key! I read a lot of articles that say that these traps do not work and pesticides are not recommended.

Best thing is to CLEAN THOROUGHLY and store everything in New Air Tight Containers, do not buy in bulk, and caulk up all the crevices. Hope this helps and please let me know if there is something else i should be doing. Good luck

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August 5, 20101 found this helpful

Our moth journey is similar to other posters. Began to see them flying around 4 years (!) ago. Repeated cleanings - turfing out all pantry food, scrubbing down cabinets and drawers - unfortunately didn't solve our problem. We'd appear to be moth free for a time, and then gradually, we'd start to see them again. Is there anything more disheartening? It's an enormous undertaking to get rid of these things. Well, long story short, and realizing that we'd clearly never found the source, I went crazy in the kitchen, using bright lights and probing every crevice and hole - and that's the answer! In every food cabinet, the pre-drilled holes that allow you to adjust the shelves was full of webbed material - the tell tale sign of moth life - and the larvae themselves. Ugh. We've plastered over them all, and then went further to pitch most of my baking pans (spring form pans, loaf pans, etc.) that had rolled edges and the potential for harbouring larvae in hard to reach spots. By golly, I think we may be on top of it this time. Good luck to everyone else in this predicament. Be ruthless!

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November 14, 20100 found this helpful

No joke. Check your furniture.

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May 11, 20110 found this helpful

It's weird how bay leaves work for some, but not for others, I don't know whether it's the variety of moths, or where you live, or some difference in the bay leaves. They don't work for me, so I'm going to go try the minty gum. At least the pantry will smell nice!

Cleaning is definitely the key, and sealing everything. Canning jars are better than popcorn tins, tightly-sealed tins are better than plastic containers, and plastic bags are strictly temporary, they will chew through them. The Pantry Moth traps do some good. I've caught a lot when I had a heavy infestation, and surely that reduced the next generation some, but they're not going to get every last one, so don't expect them to. If you've got larvae in furniture and crevices of your cabinets, maybe an insecticide fogger will take care of them; it's an extreme measure, but probably better than moving!

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