Archive | June 6, 2016

Dealing with pantry moths

The hot and humid weather of summer suits some more than others. I’m on the side of not being well suited. On the positive side of the ledger sits pantry moths. 

Invaded we were. Last summer went through most of autumn, and thus great plagues were incubated. Every time someone opened the pantry door, moths, defending their newly won territory, dive bombed the seeker of food. 

A multi-faceted approach was needed. First step was research. I have done that for you. So here I present what to do to get rid of an infestation of pantry moths. It isn’t going to be easy. It isn’t going to be pleasant work. It isn’t going to be overly frugal. But by ridding your pantry of moths, you will save more food being wasted and you will rid your pantry of moths. 

Step 1: empty the pantry of everything. (If you’re like me you will continually exclaim the following: When did we turn into a supermarket? Why do we have so much food? Why do we have so much out of date food?) Use this time to toss  outdated food. 

Step 2: dry goods have to go. No, you can’t keep that unopened paper bag of flour. It will have moth eggs in it. No, you can’t keep that half empty box of rolled oats. No, you can’t … No.  Just no. Toss everything. If you don’t, the moths will infect your new produce.

Step 3: spray in the pantry with fly spray and quickly shut the door. The moths will die quickly making it easier to clean the pantry. Come back in an hour. 

Step 4: use a dust pan and brush to sweep up moths and crumbs and dust and onion peels and bits and stuff. Then clean every surface and the walls of your pantry. It doesn’t really matter what product you use. Best is some detergent in hot water. Dishwashing liquid is fine. Rince your cloth in the water and detergent and wring out so it is damp. You will need to empty and refresh your water repeatedly, depending on size and state of your pantry. Wipe over again with clean water. Dry with a cloth. Then leave to air dry. 

Step 5: put cloves in the gaps of the pantry. The walls of my pantry are grooved so a clove fits perfectly, like a little tack. Moths don’t like the smell. Plus closing the gaps make it hard for the weevils to come up. The moths lay their eggs down these gaps apparently. When hatched, they wriggle up. 

Cloves being stuck in gaps


Step 6: wipe over every tin before you return each one to the pantry. Put dry goods in airtight plastic containers. 

That’s it. Only pesticides used is the fly spray. 

OK, I won’t lie. The six easy steps took all weekend. I made my boys do steps 1 and 4. Which required much nagging on my part to keep them going and not disappearing into their rooms. I did the tossing part of Step 1. And I assisted in Step 4, cleaning the bits they missed, like up close to the edges. 

Result: organised, clean and moth-free pantry.