Ducks 'n a Row: Pantry Moths - Get Rid Of Them Forever!

20 April 2014

Pantry Moths - Get Rid Of Them Forever!

By Sinea Pies
Is your kitchen infested with tiny little brown moths? Ever tried to kill 'em, only to have them dive-bomb you with glee?
Kill one, two take its place. 
Kill two more, and then there are three. 
It's an endless cycle and, sadly, the moths seem to be winning!
So, what are these little creatures? 
Why do you have them? 
How can you get rid of them -- for good!
Troubled by moths in your kitchen? #pantrymoths #bugs Ducks 'n a Row

PANTRY MOTHS – What are they?
Pantry moths got that name for the obvious--that is where they reside. I can think of a few more choice names for them...including "The Pests from the Pit of You-Know-Where". Weren't they one of the plagues of Eqypt? They had to be!
Having had way too much familiarity with them, I decided to learn more about them. Pantry moths most often feed off of grains and cereals, though I've found them in the most peculiar places including tea bags. (Maybe they were running out of ideas?) Another name for these moths is "Indian Meal Moths".
One of the reasons that they are so hard to permanently eradicate is their life cycle. The first you notice them is likely to be when they are flying around your kitchen. Unfortunately, they'd already set up shop a while ago, planning on a long stay.
Pantry moths lay eggs...lots of them. Each moth may lay up to 300 eggs at a given time. That will soon be 300 moths, if they have their way! Yikes! From a few days to two weeks later, larvae emerge from those eggs. Larvae have no social graces and will show up where and when you least expect it. Can I tell you that one fell from the ceiling onto our kitchen table? Yuck!

PANTRY MOTHS – How to Prevent Them
Cleanliness is a good start. We all get in a hurry and, sometimes, leave a counter with crumbs-- but that isn't the best practice. Clean up counters and table-tops after meals and snacks. Sweep the kitchen floor, as well. Don't give them things to feed on.

The cupboards tend to be the breeding ground, though. Cleaning cupboards is a long, tedious job and we all lead busy lives. That may explain why more people are complaining about moth infestation than ever. We just don't have the time. But, once you've got moths, your time is going to be taken up with trying to get rid of them and, trust me, you'll hate every minute of it.

As you are swatting at them, you'll see the wisdom of what was a regular practice in our mother's and grandmother's lives: spring and fall cleaning! Yes, every spring and every fall they would empty the cupboards and what did they do?
  • They threw out expired food.
  • Checked the current food for freshness. Stale? It went in the trash, too.
  • Washed the cupboards: shelves, sides, ceilings. Yep. ALL of it.
  • Put down shelf paper. (What's that? Shelf paper is literally paper that lays on the shelf and looks pretty. But it's functional too. It can be thrown away with the next cleaning or if there is a spill.)
  • Replaced the old with new food, in air-tight containers.
Yep. They had less moths in those days. Now we know why.

Another tip: your kitchen cupboards, themselves, may be making it all-too-easy for the moths to stay. If the cupboards are not flush to the wall, or do not go up to the ceiling, then there are a lot of hiding places that you'll never get at no matter how well you clean.

Pantry Moths - How To Get Rid Of Them
And, this is what you've been waiting for: how we wipe-them-out forever!
First: get busy and do the "spring or fall cleaning" routine. Forget waiting for the right time of year. Do it now. Empty the cupboards and toss all the infested food out. Play it safe. Don't try to hang onto anything questionable. You'll get more food.

Unless it's canned soup or tuna, most things will probably have to go. Cereal, mashed potatoes, pancake mix, rice, pasta, packaged mixes like cake mix, tea bags...say "goodbye" to it.

Now, scrub! Use lots of soapy hot water to clean those cupboards. Look'll run into live moths and larvae. This is combat! Be brave. If you find little webs in corners, know that that is where eggs are. Clean it out thoroughly.
Dry: using paper towel, dry the cupboards out.
KILL:'s the deal. You've set up a clean environment where you should be able to trust your food to be safe, but it's not. You cannot possibly seek and destroy ALL of the eggs, larvae and adult moths by cleaning. 
You have to draw them in and stomp them out. Trust me on this. I've tried Windexing the little buggers out of the sky. (Windex is NOT bug spray!) I've tried more powerful, toxic bug sprays (never a good idea in a kitchen or around people or pets) and it was only a temporary fix. The only thing that I have found to work, and work FABULOUSLY, is a moth trap.

Pantry Moth Traps
Desperate, having been under siege for well over a month, I stopped trying home remedies and began to search the internet. The chats and forums all were saying that moth traps were the only thing that really works.
pantry moths are hard to get rid of #moths #bugs #infestation Ducks 'n a Row

So, I found a highly recommended brand--Catchmaster--and called the local home improvement store. They did not have any in stock. Though I didn't really want to have to wait any longer, I knew that Amazon shipped quickly. I placed my order for two packs and kept on squirting the varmints out of the air with glass cleaner until my order arrived. LOL

The traps are easy to assemble and non-toxic. Small little tents. I was skeptical that just one trap could do much but I was utterly amazed to watch it work. Literally 30 seconds after I had the trap assembled, the first moth flew into it and got stuck. Then two more arrived. Whoosh. They were gone, caught in its proverbial jaws.

The trap like "fly paper" inside (very strong adhesive so don't touch it with your fingers) with a little red square of something that attracts them. Within a few hours, 22 moths had met their demise!

After a couple of days, I replaced it with a new one but only a couple more got trapped. Why? They were all gone! I mean it. I haven't seen any moths...even many weeks. I have a spare set of traps handy for the first sighting, though. My hope is, we're done with this! 
And, I now love spring and fall cleaning--a lot! :)

Learn a lot?

Help somebody! 

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NOTE: This post is purely my opinion and NOT a sponsored post. I'm just sharing my own personal experience and what worked well for me. 

However, I am an Amazon affiliate so, if you buy any products from Amazon through this blog I will earn a small commission. In advance, "thank you."  ... Sinea

Photo Credit:
Moth by Bill Perry on Freedigital Photos

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