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Pantry moths


IrishCream
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Good Lord,

Reading all the above and realizing I've done it all.

In Houston, if it crawls or flies, it WILL end up infesting your pantry, or your plate, if you don't pay attention.

Get a Tilia Foodsaver vacuum . Don't even THINK about another brand.

Buy a couple of cases of wide mouth Mason canning jars. Quarts, pints,etc.

Everything I buy gets vacuum packed. I use the Foodsaver bags to enclose unopened 5lb bags of King Arthur flour. I can reuse those bags many times.

I opened a (reusable) quart Mason jar of Cheerios last week. I'd slapped a piece of tape on the top telling me the day I sealed it. It was 8 months old, hidden in the back of my pantry, and tasted like a brand new box.

I bought that little gadget about 5 years ago.

Ain't had nuttin' buggy since.

I have saved a fortune in wasted food since then. I live alone alone, and love to cook. 11,297 kinds of flour you'd like to have on hand when the baking mood hits??

Well, it's throw it out or learn.

If you don't own one, you should.

This sucker even kept real Irish oatmeal from going rancid. For 7 months?

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I have what may seem a really dumb question: leaving aside the (totally understandable) "ick" factor of the bugs' presence, what harm can they actually do to one? Do they carry disease? If one inadvertently ingests one, can it make you ill? I mean, if I have an item that's obviously infested, it's going right in the trash in three seconds flat. But what if it's only a really tiny infestation and, erm, one just fails to notice?

(Okay, now I'm visualizing eGulleteers around the globe making mental notes to never ever dine at my house. :laugh: )

I don't know that they're harmful, but it's disgusting to throw rice or pasta into water on the stove, and watch the larvae, etc., float to the top. Ugh. :wacko:

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Just an aside about the moths and dog food....since the invasion the big old bag of food stays in the garage and a holiday popcorn tin is kept full for daily doggy feeding. Hmmm really cold weather 30 pounds of food in the garage what do you get...Possoms or is that Opossums! Well one took off under some stuff and my husband grabbed the bag of food and hightailed it into the kitchen, oh my the bag is wiggling...threw the bag on the front lawn, thanked the cat for being sooooo usefull and kicked the bag till the possum ran away.

I am assuming we still have at least one somewhere between the crawl space and the garage but the one that took off was pretty small so maybe momma is in there too. Fun for Sunday morning.

tracey

I love living up in the woods, this is funnier than bear poop on the lawn

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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I just stumbled upon this thread and I'm so glad! I thought it was just me. That maybe my kitchen just wasn't clean enough. I'm so thrilled I'm not the only one.

Kitchen Queen - thanks for the tip about the FoodSaver. I've been contemplating getting one for freezing bulk meat, etc, but hadn't considered it for my pantry items. It would be paid for with all the stuff thrown out in one infestation. Just last week I had a sealed bag of sliced almonds with moths in it. I don't know if they were in it at the store or were here and ate through the plastic. Such an inconvenience when you're in the middle of a recipe and find now that all the nuts are infested so you can't use an alternative and have to run to the store mid-recipe. :angry:

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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  • 2 months later...

So I decided to revive this after seeing another moth...it had been months waaaahhh....

Only 1 so far BUT now we have freekin lady bugs...why do I have lady bugs...fire wood perhaps??

T

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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...why do I have lady bugs...fire wood perhaps??

For what it's worth, ladybugs are good bugs. They eat 'bad' bugs. We release them in the garden as aphid control. Guess what they like to eat if they can't get aphids? Moth eggs.

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rooftop, you have lady bugs because the citrus growers introduced Asian lady bugs some years ago to control aphids and scale on their trees.

Asian lady bugs, unlike our native lady bugs, bunch up to hibernate, and they prefer attics and wall spaces to cuddle up in over the winter.

When you get a warm day, they come and fly around.

Vacuum them up and carry the bag outdoors, caulk your windows and doors to keep them out.

sparrowgrass
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I'm all for vacuum-sealed containers too - not just snap-down lidded containers, but ones which contain packing in the lid so the container seals tight when closed. I really HATE having to haul out a container, get the lid off, dig for the packet, etc., but that's what it takes - I don't have shelf space for all the glass jars I'd need.

I don't have a great deal of storage space, but I have 8-10 containers about the size to take a 12lb bag of rice. That way, if bugs get into any of these, I only have to toss at most one container's worth of stuff. They're also not too heavy to haul around.

I left Japan in great haste one spring, without replacing mothballs...had always wondered if there was any real reason for them, as I'd never seen any moths after wool, rayon etc. But now I'm all for prevention, having lost many good clothes over the intervening years!

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Despite all the fabulous advice, it's taken me ages to become moth free. And I don't have faith I am. Saw the last moth about two weeks ago. I spent $100 at a kitchen supply store on plastic bins to store food in...that only got me about 6. I've thrown away everything that wasn't in a can or jar except my spices. I literally can't afford to throw my spices away. I've replaced almost nothing. I used to have over 10 kinds of flour products...I now have one, AP. I have no rice, no beans, no polenta, no cornmeal, no grits, no semolina, no couscous, no barley, etc. This has really taken the joy out of cooking for me. So, I decided to sell my house...but what if I take them with me? :shock:

Lobster.

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Here is the official University of Missouri Extension answer:

Steps in controlling pantry pests

Pantry pest infestations may be eliminated by following a systematic and complete control program. Shortcuts may result in control failure.

Carefully examine all susceptible foods to determine sources of infestations.

Throw away any that are heavily infested.

If infested food has further value or if infestation is questionable, heat the food at 130 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 30 minutes or place in a deep freezer at zero for four days.

Empty and clean up shelves with a vacuum and wash with soap and water.

Spray shelves lightly, particularly cracks where shelves and wall come together. If a sprayer is not available, use a paint brush to apply the insecticide. Use 1 percent propoxur (Baygon), 0.5 percent diazinon, 0.5 percent chlorpyrifos (Dursban), or 0.25 percent resmethrin or any other insecticide labeled for this use. (I'd skip this part--no insecticides in my kitchen, thank you very much.)

After the spray has dried, cover shelves with clean, untreated shelf paper before replacing food and dishes.

Store food that may become infested in tight containers.

Insects such as the Angoumois grain moth and the seed weevils which occur in whole kernels of grain, can be controlled by the heat or cold treatment. Heat should not be used on popcorn for obvious reasons. Seeds kept for planting should not be subjected to heating or freezing, because such treatment may affect germination.

Click here for more than you want to know about kitchen bugs.

sparrowgrass
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As a former Tupperware Lady (grin) and a former Orkin Man....

1. If it isn't canned or bottled, put it in sealable plasticware.

2. If it's a large bag of pet food, get a sealable plastic bin (read trash can) and keep it sealed.

3. If it's infested-- throw it away. Go find a dumpster in the next county and donate it there.

4. Run a vacuum over the shelves after you have removed contaminated items.

5. If you buy anything in paper like sacks of flour-- run them through a sieve and then put them into smaller sealed containers. (This applies to commercial quantities.)

6. Freezing will keep insects from continuing on their life cycles, but they are rarely killed at subzero temperatures.

7. In my personal experience, nothing is worse than birdseed. Keep it in old mayo jars so you can throw it out after it has sprouted moths.

This is not a plug (because I don't sell it), but Tupperware makes "Modular Mates" to do this task, and the cost of doing your pantry is about the same as replacing your pantry. If you have a second infestation--- it would have been all paid for.

Don't use chemicals where you store your food! Good housekeeping procedures are far more effective, less toxic and will teach you not to buy stuff you don't need, even when it's on sale. :wacko:

HVR

"Cogito Ergo Dim Sum; Therefore I think these are Pork Buns"

hvrobinson@sbcglobal.net

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Well over a year ago, on a weekend when I felt particularly energetic, I bought a case of Mason jars and lids and transferred most of my boxed grain and cereal products into the jars. I read this tip in a magazine and was motivated to organize the pantry. In the past we'd had problems with pantry pests, so I was trying to be proactive.

Since then, we've had no further infestations. I like the old-fashioned look of the jars on the shelf, though they're a bit inconvenient for measuring since larger cups measures won't fit neatly inside. We keep flour and sugar in the tupperware containers we've had for ages, and use the jars for rice, smaller amounts of specialty flours, oatmeal, brown sugar, powdered sugar, and breadcrumbs. I have the quart-size jars, so some product pacakges don't transfer completely -- I just re-store as much as I can and then use up the rest of the package first.

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  • 1 year later...

Sorry to bring this nasty thread back up but...I think I have found a solution. I waited til I was moth-free for 10 months to post this.

Ok, you all will think I am nuts but it worked! Here goes: anti-static dryer sheets. I know it sounds crazy but it worked for me almost overnight. I cut the sheets in half and placed one on every shelf that holds food. Moths were completely gone within a week. Unreal. Bizarre. Easy. I have no clue why it worked but I'd be interested to hear if it works for anyone else. :cool:

Lobster.

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Sorry to bring this nasty thread back up but...I think I have found a solution.  I waited til I was moth-free for 10 months to post this.

Ok, you all will think I am nuts but it worked!  Here goes:  anti-static dryer sheets.  I know it sounds crazy but it worked for me almost overnight.  I cut the sheets in half and placed one on every shelf that holds food.  Moths were completely gone within a week.  Unreal. Bizarre.  Easy.  I have no clue why it worked but I'd be interested to hear if it works for anyone else.  :cool:

I can't tell you why it worked but I believe you.

A few years ago I worked in teh gold shop of a country club in Arkansas. Durign the summer, we woudl have major problems from biting gnats 9I don't knwo the reall name, that is what the golfers called them). They weren't mosquitoes and Off didn't work. What did work was golfers rubbing dryer sheets all over their clothes before they went out to play.

We went through several boxes of dryer sheets, but heard fewer complaints from the golfers.

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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it took me a few weeks to figure out why I had so many moths flying around my apartment. I would kill like 10 a night and it drove me bonkers. Now I just spray my pantry and keep the door closed. I didn't know that they can eat through plastic bags though. I guess I will have to do some major cleaning.

I just hope they don't turn into you know whats when it gets warmer.

ps: I have a moth/baby moth phobia (can't even type the word)

BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
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Sheena

They will eat through the bags, or they were in the bag to begin with - they are in the pasta the rice and up under the rim of the spice jars. The flour the cornmeal and the cereal

I think I will try the dryer sheets until I can get to the hardware store that has the Safer brand Moth Traps

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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I've been reading this thread with great interest as I have quite a bit of pantry items that aren't "protected" (read: still in the same bag as I bought it in at the grocery store). Obviously mason jars and thick plastic containers should be enough to keep the buggers out, but are the plastic bags that come with the food saver machines thick enough? Someone mentioned the Tilia earlier in the thread ... is it only this brand of bag or will others work in general. Or should I just stick with mason jars and plastic containers?

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Even plastic containers will not keep them out. Before we did our kitchen remodel we had a very bad infestation. Tried all kinds of things but never really got rid of them. When emptying the cabinets prior to demolition I found that those little buggers had gotten under the lid of some of the rubbermaid containers and there were cocoons under the rims. I find myself going back to bad habits of storing food in my pantry :wacko: that is not sealed in glass jars. I hate putting everything in the freezer. Dryer sheets?

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Does it matter where the dryer sheets are? Is it ok that they're just smooshed in between something and another? Pantry space is hard to come by... I was thinking of taping them to the underside of the shelves. What do the sheets do anyway, kill them, repel them, make them sterile? I put some in yesterday and it sure smells pretty when I open the pantry door now. :smile:

Don't waste your time or time will waste you - Muse

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I had infestations in the past. My dad said to put everything in thick freezer bags and use unwrapped spearmint gum in the shelves and drawers to keep them away. It seemed to work... or so I thought.

I lifted out a bag of egg noodles (double bagged) I didn't see any moths or larvae at first but I could see all the bead like, pale moth excrement rolling around the bottom of the bag. Fresh bought bags didn't have that. I tossed everything once again. Cleaned it up and tried it again. No problems....yet, but I wanna try the containers and bay leaves.

In the past some moths have gotten under lids any particular container recomendations?

How often do you need to replace the bay leaves?

Edited by Susie Q (log)
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I tried Bay Leaves. Didn't work for me. I went thru a dozen Safer Moth Traps. Yes, they caught some of the moths but never really put a dent in the infestation. I threw away $1000 of dollars worth of food and scrubbed and scoured. I even moved! The moths moved with me!

Nothing worked til the dryer sheets. I just threw the pieces of dryer sheet at random onto the shelves. Gosh, I'm afraid I will jinx myself by even typing this ... but my life is really so much happier now that they are gone. Can you imagine how embarrassing it is to have a dinner party with moths flying around your house?

Lobster.

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