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HELP!!! Pantry infested by moths! (menagerie related)

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  • HELP!!! Pantry infested by moths! (menagerie related)

    AAACK! This is probably as disgusting as a flea or roach infestation!

    It all started with my dog cookie container- one day I looked in the (sealed) container and it was infested with moths/moth larvae. So I tossed them out and cleaned out the container. That was about a month ago. I cleaned out my pantry, but I looked in there yesterday and there were about 20 moths in my pantry. gag.gag.gag.gag.gag.gag.!!! gag.gag.gag!!!!

    Based on what I saw online, they look like flour moths. I threw away everything open, flour, meal related. I really need to clean the walls and door with some sort of bleach solution....does anyone know what the bleach/water solution should be???

    I think I am going to put some moth balls in there. Can I do that?

    But now where do I put my dry dog/cat food containers. Based on my "what my dog ate lately without remorse" thread, you will know that I just I can't just leave the dog food containers out unattended without these freak dogs eating all.gone! gorged to death!

    How else do I keep these moths from spreading to the rest of my house? I've put moth balls in the closets....now what????

    Last edited by BetterOffRed; Aug. 25, 2011, 01:12 AM.
    "I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
    "With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
    Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club!

  • #2
    I use pantry pests...they get the moths that eat flour or bread type food in your cabinets.
    I think they would be safer than moth balls. No, they are safer than mothballs.
    save lives...spay/neuter/geld


    • Original Poster

      what is a pantry pest? I googled it and all I saw was a moth trap???
      "I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
      "With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
      Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club!


      • #4
        We have some little fold-out things in our cabinets for pantry moths. Probably came from the grocery store. Now and then we see one fluttering around but we've avoided a major infestation. If you get in the habit of saving your glass jars and tins, you can prevent a lot of cross-contamination by putting everything possible into moth-proof (and mouse proof!) containers. I have a collection of glass jars that have traveled with me from house to house for years!


        • #5
          I wouldn't put moth balls in the cabinet with food! It's helpful to put stuff in containers--either by transferring the contents from the box, or just by putting the box/package in a larger sealable container.
          The Evil Chem Prof


          • Original Poster

            Everything was in a sealed container...except a brand new box of cereal....and a box of corn starch- which I have since found out is the equivalent of moth crack...
            "I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
            "With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
            Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club!


            • #7
              They are most likely Indian Meal Moths. I used to be a professional pest control technician and I've said this several times on here...NEVER store your pet food with your people food. I store mine in the laundry room which is on the other side of the house from my kitchen. The moths are the adults and don't eat anything. The larvae do the damage. The larvae look like little hairy maggots and they make spider web looking cocoons. You'll be able to see them along box top seams and in cracks around door jambs and shelves. You will need to remove everything from your pantry, inspect EVERYTHING including unopened boxes. They are capable of making holes in your boxes. Spray your shelves with a good residual insecticide. I, personally, like Demon WP. The WP stands for Wettable Powder. It doesn't have an odor and once the water dries the powder stays behind and continues to work. You can wipe it off the shelves themselves but it will be down in the cracks where it will do some good. When you put stuff back in your pantry make sure all dry goods are in sealed containers. I would put cake mix boxes and such in large zip lock bags. You may not need to do this forever but at least until you get a handle on the moths.
              "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


              • #8
                Originally posted by BetterOffRed View Post
                what is a pantry pest? I googled it and all I saw was a moth trap???
                didn't you say it was moths in your pantry?

                this is a link to various places to buy them, although I buy them at my farm store.
                save lives...spay/neuter/geld


                • #9
                  We had this problem last year. You must throw everything away. All food, regardless of whether its been opened. They can permeate plastic bags in cereal, the works!

                  Once its all gone, you have to disinfect everything.

                  We purchased special cereal containers with a really good seal to keep them out.

                  Other things we kept in the freezer. - Brownie mix, etc.

                  We're getting lazy about it again and they're coming back


                  • #10
                    these worked really good for us



                    • Original Poster

                      Thanks COTH peeps! Y'all are making me feel better, arming with this good advice in prep for Moth War 2011!
                      "I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
                      "With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
                      Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club!


                      • #12
                        I call them miller moths, but they're the same thing. I've been infested with them, too, and yes, you have to throw out EVERYTHING except things in cans. I wiped down the insides of the cabinets with plain bleach/water mix on a sponge. Make sure you get into all the corners and interior edges, as well as the both the tops and bottoms of the shelves.

                        For about a month after that I kept flour etc in the freezer and cereal/pasta in snap-lid containers. Fortunately I've never had a re-infestation. They're YUCKY!
                        I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


                        • #13
                          Hmm, do they look like regular moths that are outside? Just curious.

                          Not that it would do anything for the larvae, but if you have cats, I bet they would enjoy the adults ...my kitties go nuts for moths on the rare occasion one gets in from outside.
                          *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*


                          • #14
                            They're disgusting. I am a huge fan of glass jars with screw on lids, and keep most of my food items in them. Down to a big jar that all the granola bars/etc get dumped into.

                            But sometimes after a big shopping trip, I have run out of jars/am too lazy to dump everything into jars. And then the moths come back. And let me just tell you right now, nothing is worse than absentmindedly cooking yourself up a big pot of oatmeal, only to sit down, take a good admiring look at it, and realize there are moth larva floating around in your bowl.

                            THAT is disgusting. Same thing with a bowl of cereal and they float to the top when the milk goes in. Horrifying.

                            You have to get containers with a good seal, preferably some sort of rubber or a serious twist top. (As in, several times around, not just a half turn.) My fav. is to go to the big box stores mid-summer, when all the canning stuff is on sale, and get the big half gallon/gallon jars. Those are perfect for cereal/pasta/flour. Things like cake mixes are best bought just a short time before you need them, as really determined moths will chew right through the plastic. Or put boxed stuff in the freezer.

                            I also cultivate a robust Daddy Longlegs population, as they love the moths, apparently. Spiders freak me out and guests always give me the hairy eyeball (and I admit to occasionally going on a shop-vac massacre, although I do tip it over outside afterwards!) but the spiders do their job well.

                            As a side benefit of moth paranoia, I do think all the foodstuffs in glass jars is very pretty and CrateAndBarrely. And it's easy to see when someone has left just a 1/4 cup of cereal in the bottom of a jar and needs a beating.


                            • Original Poster

                              I found the Pantry Pests so thanks for that tip!

                              I've cleaned out all of the wheat, meal products and even tossed out the granola in my sealed containers JIC. I've temporarily relo'd the dog food. I cringed at the though of all of the contaminated foodstuffs, but the loss of my 2 lb supply of Louisiana Popcorn Rice saddened me . Faulty seal on my supposedly sealed container, it was infested with moths/moth larvae.
                              "I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
                              "With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
                              Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club!


                              • #16


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thanks SpacyTracy! I will be picking up some more sealed containers this weekend. My friend G~O~G thinks I'm cursed by Mothra....in a strange coincidence, my container of horse treats at the barn became infested as well.

                                  "I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
                                  "With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
                                  Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club!


                                  • #18
                                    TEAM CORGI must not eat moths...
                                    "Shoot low Sheriff! She rides a fast pony!"


                                    • #19
                                      OK please tell me if moth balls work for Indian meal moth . I have an investment in my garage an I want to get them out before they get in my house. Last nite I stud there tapping things so the fly an sucking them into vacume
                                      Thank you Randi


                                      • #20
                                        Have had this in the past. You have to throw out everything in boxes, clean thoroughly, keep everything in sealed glass or plastic containers. New oatmeal , mixes and such I will often store in the fridge. If you do this, you shouldn't need moth balls or chemicals, which I wouldn't want around my food!

                                        Anything I buy from open bins, (like seed/pellets) for my parrot), goes in the freezer for 2 days before going into plastic bins.