31 May 2016

How to get rid of pantry moths

Totally troublesome and frustrating.
That it how I would describe pantry moths.

I have been battling an infestation of pantry moths for the last few months. If you have never heard of pantry moths, or wondering why I am going on about them, read more on them here and how they prey on unsuspecting pantries.

They are a moth that infests and invades all the packaged goods stored in your pantry - cereals, flours, nuts, biscuits, crackers, jars, you name it! The are grey in colour and only small, but boy do they cause havoc and damage.

I don't want to give the little suckers the honour of even showing their face on Glamour Coastal Living - but I will. Just so you can identify them! Here is their mug shot...
This is a snapshot of their lifecycle
1. they lay eggs
2. they have a silken web which they thread throughout the packaged food
3. the eggs and larvae begin to hatch about 30 days later
4. then each time you open the pantry, a bloody moth flies at your face. You pick up your favourite chocolate to eat, place it in your mouth and these is a damn larvae moth sitting in my mouth. I kid you not! Sooo gross (and terrifying!).

So how did I combat it?
I enlisted the help, muscle and motivation of Hubby and literally turned my pantry upside down. Yep, now lets get down to the nitty gritty of how I got rid of these suckers!! Let me tell you, this is after I had tried all the store bough traps and fan-dangle devices. They did in fact help catch and kill the adult moths, but more and more continued to hatch from the eggs. So here is how I tackled them and successfully removed them:

1Remove. I removed every little damn thing from my pantry - from the food, to the beer, to the recycled shopping bags, to the vases and glassware stored at the top. E v e r y damn thing. Yes that was the worst part.

2Inspect. After inspecting the food, for either their silken web or larvae, we had a massive mile of affected food to throw out.

3Wipe & wipe some more. All the food that was salvageable, we wiped the packaging (whether it be tupperware containers, jar, glass lid, you name it!) with vinegar on a wet cloth. Apparently they hate vinegar.

4Vacuum. Let the fun begin...so we started off by vacuuming the cupboard, in all the crevices and shelves.

5Vinegar.  Using vinegar soaked on a cloth, wipe down all the shelves, walls and ceiling in the pantry. Pay close attention to any crevices where a wall might join or skirting boards. These moths lay their eggs anywhere they can! You want to ensure you are removing all traces!

6Put it all back. Once you are confident that all surfaces are wiped down in the pantry and all packaged food returning to the pantry are clean, then its time to put it all back. Now remember, the worst bit is removing it all from the pantry, the easy bit is putting it all back, especially if you are anything like me and:
a.) threw heaps of things out that you had kept 'just incase' 
b.) had no choice but to throw out moth infested food.

Some little extra tips:
I put dabs of tea tree oil on the shelves and walls throughout the pantry as well as little containers of bay leaves on each shelf. They hate bay leaves and tea tree. So far we are one month moth free (yay!!). Here are my bay leaves, I have several of these containers on each pantry shelf.

PHEW! So glad that is over with and I am now pantry moth free.

Tell me I am not the only one with dirty pantry secrets :P

Ps: if you are wondering where all my food is in my pantry, there are moer shelves to the right. That is where all the messy packets and things are. Only the pretty looking labelled containers are on display haha

Linking up with Essentially Jess and the #IBOT team
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  1. How gross Ashlea! Yes I have seen them but now I know their private intimate life cycle I'm feeling ill. Vinegar is such a good cleaning tool too #teamIBOT

  2. We had this same problem a few years back and the only thing to be rid of it, was exactly as you described. Such a pain! But nice to be rid of them. xx

    1. You truly don't realise how bad and troublesome they are until you start riffling through the pantry. They had gotten into everything!! eeeeek. So glad they are finally gone! xx

  3. Thank you! This is exactly what I need. I will try the vinegar and tea tree. Now, can you tell me how to get rid of clothing moths other than using those disgusting smelling moth balls? :)

    1. Glad to help! I have no advice for clothing moths - those awful moth balls have you smelling like oldies don't they?! So terrible. Let me know if you find a miracle cure xx

  4. I've never heard of pantry moths but so glad that you shared this information with us in case I do, I have so many unopened packets in my pantry its scary.

    1. The most frightening thing is that is supermarks and retailers have contracted them in foods, you can even bring them into your own pantry! I bought Museli once and it had the webbing and larvae in it - I was horrified! x


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