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horrid little worms in my dry pasta--what?

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
I realize they are God's little creatures too, but honestly I just can't handle worms! Other bugs/critters I can deal with, but now I'm really :Puke .

They are small (1/4 inch?) and about the color of dry pasta. Are these pantry moths? I dumped out a box of pasta last night, and there were several worms and a lot of what appeared to be pasta dust. We opened some more pasta and there were more worms and more of the dust. We store about a milk-crate full of dry pasta at any given time because DH's father works for a pasta company and gets it for us cheap. Guess it's all getting thrown out now. :

Anyway, I've been reading that I basically have to throw away everything in my pantry that isn't being stored in glass jars, even things that are not opened up yet (like bags of unopened yummy organic tortilla chips ). Does anyone have experience with this? This seems so wasteful, but I can't keep food that might be harboring eggs. Ick! I searched the archives for this subject, but couldn't find any threads where people weren't sure what the pest was. I haven't seen moths, per se, just these little wormy things. Anyone know?

Help!
post #2 of 42
sounds like moths to me I would throw out anything unopened or that has easy access to the buggers at this point. Make sure you keep all containers to be stored for long periods CLOSED. I just de-mothed/weaveled my pantry and kitchen recently. They reproduce in grain. So they aren't really "dirty" but still gross anyway.

Pretty soon you may find brown moths flying around. If you find 2 make sure to kill them. Or you will only have more.
post #3 of 42
Oh, those moths are HORRIBLE! they get into everything and the results are so gross. Ick, yuck, I'm so sorry you've got them.

I'm afraid that if I were you, I'd dump everything -- or at least everything that shows any signs of infestation. They leave this repulsive web material all over when larvae are present, so they aren't hard to spot.

In addition to glass containers, I've read that briefly freezing new grain products when you bring them home will kill any eggs they might harber, and help prevent a reinfestation.
post #4 of 42
I didn't throw out all of my stuff but I did get rid of the bag with the bugs in it.
I never saw any moths.
I haven't had problem since then.
post #5 of 42
I wouldn't think that a bag of unopened chips would need to be thrown out. Makes me want to run out and by some airtight containers!
post #6 of 42
an alternative to throwing everything out, is to seal everything inside an air tight container. I really do mean EVERYTHING.

This way if any of your remaining food is contaminated, the bugs cannot migrate to other food. After time (several months) it will become pretty obvious which things are contaminated and which aren't. Just check the container before you open it. If you see signs of contamination, bugs or even just webbing, get rid of it.

I fought a horrible infestation of pantry moths. It went on for months and I ended up having to dump bleach down every crack and crevice of my kitchen. It was awful. I now keep all my dry goods sealed, DH thinks I'm nuts, but he wasn't in my life the year I battled the moths so he doesn't really understand how bad it can get.
post #7 of 42
I also find that keeping one open container of something during this process is helpful. It helps to attract others and then you can throw it out.
post #8 of 42
It helps to freeze these items. If you freeze everything-- pasta, legumes, grains, flour, meal, etc., for 24 hours, you will kill anything that could reproduce. I tend to buy my bulk items -- rice, oatmeal etc etc etc in the deep of winter, and leave it in the garage or in a covered bin outside my kitchen (could use an apartment roof -top or balcony) for at least 24 freezing hours.

If you live in a warm climate, or buy when it's warm, put this sort of thing in your freezer for a couple of days.
post #9 of 42
Of course, then you're eating all the little dead moth eggs ... but it's better not to dwell on that sort of thing, because that way lies madness.
post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thalia the Muse View Post
Of course, then you're eating all the little dead moth eggs ... but it's better not to dwell on that sort of thing, because that way lies madness.

'tis true. It's not a bad source of protein, truth be told.

There are not many true vegetarians. Even goats eat buggies, and chimps eat termites. People inhale gnats.

It is what it is.
post #11 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thalia the Muse View Post
because that way lies madness.
Exactly! I'm feeling better about it tonight, after a couple margaritas and a lot of help from my Mom. She was braver than me, and went into areas of the pantry I dared not go. We threw a lot away, but some things we just isolated to watch. For the record, the little buggers *can* get into unopened items. Gross!

Thanks for the tips! Keep 'em rolling, as I'm sure this battle of mine will continue for a bit. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who's dealt with this.
post #12 of 42
This is why I could never not touch alcohol.

It makes reality a little less. :
post #13 of 42
And just to further freak you out...they are already *in* the sealed packaging...they don't migrate through plastic to other sealed plastic packages. It's just a matter of whether they die, or hatch, before you eat them. So freeze whatever you get so they can't reproduce.

And I really hate to be the bearer of such news.
post #14 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
And just to further freak you out...they are already *in* the sealed packaging...they don't migrate through plastic to other sealed plastic packages. It's just a matter of whether they die, or hatch, before you eat them. So freeze whatever you get so they can't reproduce.
Yes and no. They obviously came into my pantry in the first place through some new package of something I bought, but the little creepies were actually eating through new, unopened (by me) plastic bags that were possibly not contaminated before entering my pantry. The bags then had tiny little holes in them where the icky dusty stuff would fall out. So yes, they can be (and were) in sealed packaging to start out with, but they also "migrated" as well. It's like the worst of all possible worlds! :

BTW, that is exactly what I like about margaritas! Cheers!
post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappiLeigh View Post
Yes and no. They obviously came into my pantry in the first place through some new package of something I bought, but the little creepies were actually eating through new, unopened (by me) plastic bags that were possibly not contaminated before entering my pantry.
what I like about margaritas! Cheers!
Oooooooh, I have never had the experience of seeing little dinner holes through the plastic packaging. Blech. Ick.

Pour another round!
post #16 of 42
I know way too much about these critters, unfortunately. My best story about them, though (and this explains the whole how do they get through the packaging thing), is that about 11 years ago, when Power Bars were pretty new and I was running a ton and eating them all the time, I found a larva inside the Power Bar. Power Bars come in a pretty sturdy mylar-type wrapper. I called customer service (then located in someone's basement, I'm sure) and the guy who took the call was hilarious. He knew exactly what I was talking about and told me they gnaw right through the mylar in the warehouse. They sent me a whole case of free bars to make up for it, though I didn't ask; I actually just thought it was funny.

Since then I've had a couple more annoying encounters with them. Bulk foods are a big problem for me.

Beth
DS (almost 7), DD (almost 4)
post #17 of 42
Those s are nasty. FYI I have found them not just in grains, beans, flours, sugar, and nuts, but also in spices, dried hot peppers, raisins...they don't seem particular at all. They were only in the pantry, so I purged everything unsealed and started storing everything in boxes/plastic bags in another cabinet. They have a 6wk life cycle, so I gave it at least that long for them to hatch and then die before moving anything back. And I was ruthless in killing any adult moths that I saw. They seem to be gone for now.
post #18 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccohenou View Post
They have a 6wk life cycle, so I gave it at least that long for them to hatch and then die before moving anything back. And I was ruthless in killing any adult moths that I saw. They seem to be gone for now.
Ooh, that's good to know. By March, (dramatic pause) I should feel safe again.
post #19 of 42
Should not have read this thread, I will now go freze all my food. :
post #20 of 42
the freezer is your friend. we used to live in a condo and every time new people moved in next door, we'd get cupboard bugs in our kitchen (we shared a wall) I found them in a bag of flour so we pitched everything and started over in our pantry, just in case. We got smart after a couple times of having to start over started keeping all dry goods (flours, rice, beans, sugar etc..) in the deep freeze. Now that we've been out of the condo and in our house for over a year, we haven't seen a single bug
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