Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Pantry Moths In Your Food

Photo Source: Teodoro S Gruhl

One of the biggest fears for people who store supplies of food is insect infestations. It can happen in the cleanest of homes. You can bring in a bag of food from a store that was already infested, and then you know what happens after that. If you store any livestock feed in your house, that could be a source of insects. Feeds seem to be an easy target.

I had that happen when I had my pet hen, Lil' Red. She didn't eat a whole bag of chicken feed real fast. I stored her feed in my pantry. One day, I discovered her feed had insects in it. It led to a few days of emptying my pantry of everything. Then I washed it down real good, including all the containers of food that was stored in there. As well as the walls, floors, shelves, door, ceiling and window. What a job that was!

In the spring, I like to take the pantry apart and give it a real good cleaning. This year I am buying from Amazon the Catchmaster Moth and Pantry Pest Trap: Two Packs of Two. I read the reviews and the people who bought them loved them. Some of the reviewers said they stock up on them and put them in every room of the house. And they really do work. Good enough for me. I will be trying them for myself and will let you know how they work out.

The pantry moth, as I call it, is not just one type of moth, but includes beetles as well They consist of the flour moth, the rice or black weevil, the sawtooth grain beetle, the red flour beetle, the granary weevil, Indian meal moths, etc. Too many to name here, but you get the idea. There is a lot of them! And they are coming to a pantry or kitchen near you, if you don't do the preventative maintenance involved.

Repackage foods in jars with tight fitting lids!

These pests will not make you sick or anything. It is just the idea of them being in your food that makes me sick! When you bring home food in boxes from the store, repackage it. My choice is glass jars with tight fitting lids. Tins are good too as long as the lids fit tight. I always check the bag of flour or rice when I open it before I pour it into the large jar I store it in.

The pantry moths like grain products, cat and dog foods, rice, pasta, processed foods that are in boxes like rice mixes, boxed type dinners, etc. birdseed, livestock feed, peanuts (in fact while researching this article I discovered that they LOVE peanuts!) and other foods too numerous to mention.

The best advice I can give is this:

  • Take everything out of your pantry.
  • Dust the whole thing, especially the walls.
  • Vacuum real good.
  • Wash with a good detergent all the shelves, walls, windows, floors and any containers.
  • Let it dry.
  • Put several of the pantry moth traps in several areas of your pantry. Even if it is small.
  • Make sure there are no moths in the food you put back in.
  • Wash all the food containers off real good. Dry.
  • Then put back in.
  • If you can, put a bay leaf in the jars of food that you put back in.

This is no guarantee that you got them. If not, you will see them caught in the pantry moth traps. I would say this is a job that should be done once or twice a year. Be very careful when you bring food in from the stores. Especially if you buy a bag of something that came open, or was taped by the store. You can also freeze the foods in your freezer first, if you have one available. Then repackage it in your containers for the pantry. Protect your pantry! It is your source of food!

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole unless noted otherwise

*I am an affiliate of Amazon and receive a tiny commission if you buy from my links. But Amazon did not ask me to write this post. I wrote it because it was information I felt was needed.


Paula said...

There is a reason why I collect glass jars big and small like crazy!

Gary Stamper said...

If the packages you bring home from the store are small enough, you can place them in the freezer for a few days. Even kills eggs, but we still use the moth traps. Also, you can put a teaspoon of Diatomaceous Earth in 2 pound bags of flour, etc., and the it will kill the moths but is harmless, even beneficial, to humans. We also use D-Earth to kill garden insects. Much better than petroleum based poison insecticides.

katlupe said...

Thank you Gary. Good ideas. We do not use any insecticides in our garden at all. I know about putting the food in the freezer to kill the moths, but at this time, I do not even have a refrigerator. D-Earth would be a good option. I forgot about that. Thank you for the reminder, and for your comment!

SarahK said...

These things reproduce so fast once you see them they are really hard to get rid of. I tried all the advice I could find, but finally got rid of them using a moth spray online called Aunt Norma's Pantry moth spray. It really worked and even though I missed a few in the bedroom, etc. or some more hatchced somewhere after I cleaned, the moths wouldn't go back into the pantry or any area that I had treated with the pantry moth spray. I used one of the moth traps after that for maintenece and I havne't had a problem ever since. The site to order it is www.auntnormas.com We're all in this together, haha!

SarahK said...

These things are so hard to get rid of I found an all natural non toxic Pantry Moth Spray online and it totally worked. Even though I saw a few moths that must've hatched somelpace after I cleaned, they wouldn't go near the cabinet or any place that I had treated with the moth spray, and I put out a moth trap to get the remainders. The site i got it from is www.auntnormas.com and I didn't have to worry about it around the food.

SarahK said...

oh sorry - i think I left basically the same comment twice,.. sisn't think it worked :-)