How to Get Rid of Pantry Moths
HOW TO GET RID OF PANTRY MOTHS
The thought of pests anywhere near our stored food, feeding and laying eggs, is enough to make anyone uncomfortable. The pantry moth, also known as the Indian Meal moth, is known for its unfortunate habit of infesting areas of the home where dry goods are stored, such as a pantry.
Pantry moths tend to be ruddy brown in color, making it easier to distinguish them from clothing moths that tend to be a grey or yellow color. The adult pantry moths grow to be about half an inch long.
Even seeing just one pantry moth flying around your kitchen can be a sign of a larger infestation happening where you store your dry goods.
Adult pantry moths will breed and lay their eggs in the comfort of different dry food products, such as flour and cereal. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae of the pantry moths will spin silk within the food that picks up fecal matter, egg shells, and skins that were shed during growth.
An especially disturbing fact is that during the egg and larval stage of growth, the moths are nearly indistinguishable from grains of rice, so it’s not impossible that they will be unknowingly consumed.
Do not let pantry moths eat you out of house and home. At the first sign of a possible infestation, it is imperative that you take action. Eradicating a pantry moth infestation can be a daunting process, since it takes time and consistent energy, but it is not impossible if you break it down into simple steps.
PURGE INFESTED ITEMS
Once you discover that your pantry is infested, the first step is to remove everything from the pantry for inspection. Just because the food item is open does not mean you have to toss it. A quick inspection of the packaging should tell whether or not an individual food item needs to be trashed. If there are no signs of webbing or black dots of moth feces, you do not need to throw it out.
Place it in the freezer for 48 hours if you have any doubts. In the event you were wrong, the cold will insure that you have no survivors. You can save a lot of food and a lot of money by taking this step.
Once you have disposed of all the infested dry goods in your pantry, take the garbage outside so that no moths can escape and remain in your home.
CLEAN INFESTED AREA
Vacuum all of the shelves in your pantry, then immediately take outside what you’ve vacuumed up and throw it away. Then wipe the shelves down with hot, soapy water.
To truly deep clean and kill any remaining moth larvae, wipe shelves down with a solution that is half white vinegar and half warm water. If you have peppermint oil available, add a bit to the solution to deter future infestations.
WAIT TO RESTOCK
After very thoroughly cleaning out the previously infested area, wait to restock. If you wait about a week to restock, you can monitor the area for any remaining signs of infestation. Should you see more signs of infestation, deep clean the area once more.
PREVENT FUTURE INFESTATION
One of the smartest ways to deal with pantry moths is to prevent them from invading your home in the first place. Consider freezing any dry goods that you buy from the store before putting them on the shelf.
Unfortunately, due to FDA standards, there is no way to guarantee there are no insect parts in your food, but you can take action to prevent them from turning into an infestation. Be sure to store any dry goods in air-tight containers so that no insects can get into them.
Vinegar water, eucalyptus oil, and cedar oil can be used as repellents. You can also buy bay leaves and scatter them throughout your pantry, as they help to ward-off pantry moths.
USE DR. KILLIGAN’S PREMIUM PANTRY MOTH TRAPS
Finally, consider products such as Dr. Killigan’s Premium Pantry Moth Traps. Dr. Killigan created the traps to effectively disrupt the pantry moth mating cycle by eliminating the male moths and preventing them from reproducing. The traps, like Dr. Killigan’s other products, also pose no threat to your household since they are completely non-toxic.
Even after you get a handle on your moth problem, Dr. Killigan recommends keeping a single trap out at all times. This helps to prevent a major problem before it occurs and it acts as a monitoring station so you know what’s happening at any given moment.
Getting rid of pantry moths can be a difficult and tedious process because of the life cycle. Often, while the first round of traps is catching adult males, there is also a round of eggs incubating. Each time there is a hatch, there will be fewer and fewer male moths, until ultimately, the problem is truly under control.
This process can take 3 weeks, or it can take 6 months. It depends on how bad the infestation is, how clean the kitchen is, and most importantly, if all of the food sources have been eliminated. Happy eradicating!