How to get rid of moths

Pantry Moth Infestation Control (Part 2)

As we said in Part 1, once you see one pantry moth flying around your kitchen it’s time to focus on getting rid of all the pantry moths you haven’t seen yet. By now the Pantry Moths have moved from egg, to larvae to Pupae and now you have adult pantry moths. Pantry Moths who just want to start the pantry moth life cycle all over.
Controlling a pantry moth infestation is the key when figuring how to get rid of moths. Our focus is on getting rid of moths particularly pantry moth infestation control: how to get rid of moths naturally, including use of pantry pest moth traps and some folk remedies.

About Pantry Moths

We covered this in the first part of our article Pantry Moth Life Cycle with some basic Scientific Information about moths, how the pantry moth life cycle progresses and varieties of pantry moths that you might encounter.

Getting rid of Moths : Moth Control

Pheromone Moth Traps Get Rid of Moths
natural pantry moth control is the preferred moth approach, but sometimes you just can’t control moths. In those cases you need to need a safe, insecticide free way to take back control of your kitchen. The simple solution : pantry pest traps.

We’ll explore how to recognize a moth infestation, cleaning up the mess caused by a pantry moth infestation, and indian meal / food  moth control techniques including: Pantry Moth Pheromone traps, Folk Remedies and pesticides.

Signs of a Pantry Moth Infestation

The obvious signs of moth infestation is adult pantry moths who fly around mostly at night. Once you have seen an adult pantry moth in flight, head for the nearest food sources, and start looking for cocoon webbing, or worm-like moth larvae in very old dry food products.  Check around edges of cupboards and food storage areas for webbing, or just open a plastic container or cereal box and notice an adult pantry moth fly out.  In any of theses cases you can bet you have a moth problem. The type of moth is not really important, because the main types of pantry moths are all from the same Pyralidae Family and the techniques for effective control of pantry moths are all the same.

So the first step to getting rid of pantry moth infestations is finding the source of the pantry moths.

Cleaning : The key to beating Pantry Moths

Once the source of the pantry moths has been located its time to clean up the mess. The foodstuff these nuisance pantry pests have lived needs to be thrown out. When you control the source of food, you control the next wave of infestation.

If you are certain you have located the only food items infested, just put them in a garbage bag, seal it and throw it outside (don’t even leave it in the garage until trash day, unless you want the risk of pantry moths in your garage too!).

If you are not positive that you have a single source then you will need a more methodical process:

  1. Inspect every box, bag or package of food, even if it is sealed, open it
  2. Check unlikely spots like dried flowers, children’s macaroni art, pasta, pet treats, dog biscuits, candy bowls, etc.
  3. Inspect every can or jar, the lips of lids and rims of cans are big enough for pantry moths pupa to spin a web.
    If you find webbing, wash it with vinegar.
  4. Remove all shelving liners (maybe a good time to just replace them), sometimes pantry moth eggs may be laid in indentations, or on the underside of wire shelving.
  5. Vacuum all edges of walls, baseboard, door trim, hardware and inside wire shelf hanges, or wood shelf support pin holes.
  6. Wash down all walls, floors and especially the inside of the door hinges and door jamb; both are common moth larvae locations

When you are certain that you have thoroughly removed all of these sources of “young pantry moths”, emptying the vacuum bag, and wash all garabage cans as a final measure.

At this point you may only have the stray adults to deal with, and you can move to the section below on Pantry Moths Ongoing Control

Pantry Moths Ongoing Control

We receive plenty of inquiries from diligent house keepers wondering why they were not able to keep a kitchen clean enough to prevent pantry moths. Don’t blame yourself! Pantry Moths arrive inside many foods that you bring into your house, and by opening the food you are unleashing an invasion force of pantry moths.

There is no way that you can prevent the food you buy from the risk of pantry moths. So you need to take pro-active measures to prevent a full scale pantry moth infestation.   We review the most able and effective Pantry Moths Control approaches: Pantry Moth Traps and then also look at some less common methods including Temperature control, moth insecticide, pesticides and Pantry moth folk remedies.

Pantry Moth Phermone Traps

The safest, natural method to get rid of moth infestation is the use of Pheromone Based Pantry Moth Traps. Pheromone Traps are a natural moth trap free of poisions or pesticides. These pantry moth traps use a super sticky glue board, and the same female pantry moth pheromone that is released by the when the female moth is ready to mate.

Male Pantry Moths will naturally follow the scent and become trapped in the pantry moth trap, which prevents them from reaching the female and breeding, and breaks the pantry moth life cycle.   The more males you are able to catch, the faster the problem is brought under control.  We have an extensive article about picking pantry moth traps that you can review for brand recommendations, package sizes,  moth trap dimensions, placement options and effectiveness.

Pantry Moths – Temperature Control

Many sources recommend using your freezer as a form of pantry moth control. In this approach any new foods you bring home, should be placed in a sealable plastic bag and moved to a freezer for at least 8 days. Once removed from the freezer, keep the foodstuff in the plastic bag, as sometimes freezing pantry moths only slows places the moths into a dormant state until the temperature rises and they ‘wake up’. While the freezer method may work, many consumers don’t have enough freezer space to dedicate to pantry moths.

Using Insecticides and Pesticides on Pantry Moths

Getting rid of a Pantry Moth with a general pesticides or moth specific pesticide is not on a bad idea, but it could be dangerous. Pantry moths feed on your food, and spraying your food, or pantry areas with chemicals to kill moths, could have very adverse side effects. If you choose pantry moth pesticides as a last resort, we recommend hiring a professional pest control company and at a minimum expect to get rid of all the food in your pantry an start over once the insecticide treatment is completed.

Folk Remedies for Pantry Moths

Over the years we have heard many homemade moth traps which are essentially “natural moth traps” ( folk methods ) for moth control.   These ‘traps’ either work marginally  or just seem a bit over the edge. We thought we would share a couple with you:

  • Pantry Moths & Bay Leaves
    Folk Advice: Place bay leaves in the top couple inches of any dry goods that you want to protect.
    Our Opinion: You have better odds of preventing pantry moths by NOT opening the food items to place the bay leaves inside.
  • Pantry Moth Boric Acid Trap
    Folk Advice: Mix boric acid and cornmeal (1 to 3 ratio) and place in tuna cans.
    Our Opinion: Odds are you won’t attract adults, because they aren’t eating, but the larvae may eat the poison and then move onto to your other foods. We suggest you not try to poison your self.
  • Wrigley’s Spearmint gum
    Folk Advice: Place unwrapped sticks Wrigley’s your pantry shelves.
    Our Opinion: Gum is edible by moths, and it also contains sugar which moths love, use pantry moth traps to rid your kitchen of moths rather than leaving food out for the moths.

Article written by Pantry Moth Guide staff.