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Pantry moths- how do I store root veggies?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

So we've got pantry moths. Again. First time in a few years. So I still have all my glass jars and stuff, and have taken all appropriate measures to wage war on these little nasties. One question I've had though is how to store root veggies like potatoes and onions when you're dealing with moths? Normally I keep them in a bowl in the pantry so they get air circulation. In my effort to contain any potential food I put them into a giant tupperware, which I know is not great for roots but I didn't know what else to do. Well, I just went to get an onion from there and ...yeah, the onions are not happy campers. They are slimy, smelly campers. But what to do? Suggestions?

post #2 of 4

I'm pretty positive that pantry moths won't touch root veggies.  However, they can be stored in the refrigerator if you have space, or in paper bags unless your house is super humid.  


I did read one place that pantry moths are the same as wool moths, so if all your food is locked up tight and you're still seeing them, you should check out your sweaters in storage.

post #3 of 4

I believe pantry moths do like onion skins, not sure about potatoes and other roots, but I suspect they'll eat anything edible if there isn't a better option. And they can chew through bags, plastic or paper, so bagging them doesn't help.


I keep potatoes and onions in the fridge. They keep for a long time, get a bit of air since they aren't wrapped up tightly (I put them in one of the produce drawers.) 


I do not believe pantry moths are the same as clothes moths, at all. We've had a problem with clothes moths for years. We had a pantry moth problem come and go. Totally unrelated issues. We did have some pantry moths nest in a fuzzy Christmas stocking but what they were actually eating were dried orange slices that were in the same box. So maybe something like that is where that mixup came from. 


Sometimes pantry moths come home from stores in bags of dried foods like beans and rice, probably more likely with organic food purchases. Pretty sure that's how my sister's problem (which spread to our house) started. I *think* putting the bags in the freezer for something like 24 or 48 hours is supposed to kill any eggs.


You can buy moth traps. They are just a cardboard stand with a sticky surface. You put the lure on it and they fly to it and get stuck. That, in combination with keeping food in the fridge or very well sealed, seemed to do the trick for us.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks all! Yes, the last time I got rid of them with a combination of those hormone sticky traps and keeping everything well-sealed. I think I did put the root veggies in the fridge. I didn't keep as many on hand back then because we were in a smaller apt.


This time around I am doing the above plus diatomaceous earth. It's a white chalky powder made up of fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton, and while it's safe for mammals and large creatures, it cuts up bugs like razorblades. Soooo satisfying to imagine. It's bloodthirsty of me I know but I hate these darn moths with a passion! I think I will try to create a bin for the root veggies that has a grate at the bottom, and below the grate I'll sprinkle some DE. Then when little pieces of onion skin fall to the bottom of the bin below the grate, they'll get mixed up with the DE and will be deadly for the moths and larvae. Back off my taters, moths!

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