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horrid little worms in my dry pasta--what? - Page 2

post #21 of 42
Gross but very, very effective way of dealing with pantry moths - you can get little sticky traps that have a phermone bait - they fly in, and that's that.

We've had many mini-infestations of them, and I was sick of throwing out food. I keep one of those little stickies at the bottom of the pantry, and can't tell you the last time I saw a moth (or wriggly worm in my pasta).

Quite ruthless, but I can live with that easier than I can with throwing away pounds and pounds of food.
post #22 of 42
Oh. My. God. Just what I needed, something new to freak out about. Seriously, my scalp is crawling now I already freeze the bulk-type stuff that we bring in, and any flour that won't get used right away, but I never thought about freezing the other stuff.

I repeat. Oh. My. God.
post #23 of 42
Oh! oh! I've got a story. So, we had a wee little problem with mice. I go get the D-Con poison that's maybe 2 years old out of the basement. I open the little package. There are dead little larvae in there. In the poison. I mean, come on! That's just not right.

And don't worry -- we are very careful with the kids and the poison, obviously.

And the mice are all gone now.
post #24 of 42
We've battled pantry moths for the past three years. My DH is a home brewer and kept all kinds of grains in our pantry, and once they were there we couldn't seem to get them all. I would think we had gotten rid of them, and then a few months later there they were again.

I definitely recommend freezing everything to kill them, and the moth traps. I bought a bunch of those traps from Lowe's and that's what finally did it. It's a good way to know if there are any still about, because they come out of hiding to seek out the traps.
post #25 of 42
Omigod. I thought I was the only one. I have found that the little buggers seem to like the whole grains best - they got into my *expensive* organic brown rice that wasn't even opened (yep, holes in the bag) but have never touched this giant bag of white basmati rice that we've had for probably 5 years... and that we leave open Same thing with flour - they were into the whole wheat within days, but the white flour sat untouched for months.

DH hates them - chases them around trying to kill them. I guess I'm too lazy to care that much... although I was seriously p'd off the other day when I opened up a jar that I was storing elderberries in, and found a moth and two larvae. G*d@mmit! That was a sealed container! DH thinks the health food store must be infested... but the elderberries come from a big glass bulk jar at the store.

A trap is a really good idea.
post #26 of 42
Thread Starter 
Okay, I'm going to buy a trap. I've gone out and bought a bunch of new mason jars for storing (I already stored lots of things in them, but I stocked up on more of the half gallon ones for cereal and big things), and I'm feeling better. The jars obviously are only good for containing them, not for stopping an infestion in progress--but at least they can't jar hop!

Do any of you have a link to a reliable source that says freezing kills them? DH's father says it doesn't. He says they fumigate at the pasta company every couple months, because they are always a problem there. Which is gross, because I wouldn't fumigate my own home because of chemicals, and it's sort of nasty to think that I eat pasta from a factory awash in chemicals. But then it's also gross to eat pasta with worms! But anyway, I guess he feels like he knows all about them because of their factory battles with them, and they are under the impression that freezing is not effective. Hmmmm...

In other news, just as I was starting to get less prissy about not wanting to be near my pantry, my indoor cat starts bringing me earthworms as trophies and laying them at my feet. We've had such wet weather that I guess they are crawling in my basement under the crack in the cellar door and the cat is catching them and spreading them throughout the house. Arrrggghhhh!!! Last night dear cat delivered a live slug to my feet while I was trying to eat dinner (organic frozen pizza because I'm still not cooking again) and it started sliming its way across the room before DH relocated it outside. After that we crammed paper under the door, so we're screwed if we need to use it as a fire exit in a hurry, but at least I shouldn't have to finish a worm-infested dinner, then get up from the table and step on a slug! :

Seriously, I'm not usually this big a baby, I just really do not like worms!!!!
post #27 of 42
Seal anything new in an airtight container for a good while. I would IMMEDIATELY put EVERYTHING into ziplock bags when I got home from the store. Those things are so hard to get rid of. I would think anything that is already air tight (ie. bag of unopenned chips) would be okay. I probably wouldn't throw anything out yet, just seal it up (quarantine) and wait and see. That way you don't lose everything, only the stuff withthe little buggers in it.
post #28 of 42
I have just discovered these today. I have cleaned out the cupboards and thrown a whole heap of stuff away, but I have a large amount of organic brown rice that I can't afford to replace, so I am planning on eating it anyway. Tonight's dinner was infested rice that I sat and picked the visible worms out of and rinsed several times, is this ok to eat? No one is sick yet. Everything else has been transferred into jars or thrown away. I didn't know about the freezing thing, I might try that from now on
post #29 of 42
Sorry, airtight bags aren't necessarily safe. They'll chew right through. I had to throw everything out and start over last year. I read someplace that keeping a stick or two of spearmint gum in the cupboard will repel them. True? anyone hear this/
post #30 of 42
I wish I had not opened this thread. I wish I had stopped reading sooner!
post #31 of 42
Yeah, ziplocs won't do it - you need canisters/tupperwares/anything heavy and sealed. Not bags or boxes. Never heard the gum thing. I had good luck with just starving them.
post #32 of 42
I had them once. I got rid of them by throwing everything away. It seemed painful, but it did the trick. I'm careful where I buy stuff now. I just use airtight containers, but I'm always afraid I'll find them in oatmeal. puke.
I heard bay leaves help, but only the traps helped us get them once they turned to moths. As a rule I try not to cram my cupboard now. I try to finish what i have before I get much more.
post #33 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post
I heard bay leaves help, but only the traps helped us get them once they turned to moths.
I heard that too. Grandma swears by it! I put some in the pantry just in case.
post #34 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
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.
I was gonna post this solution. Freeze everything, even if it has been in glass jars or containers you would have thought were airtight. You'd be surprised where those moth larvae can get.... they will get between the glass of the jar and the lid and crawl through the maze of groves to get inside!!!

If you freeze everything that is currently in your pantry there is a chance some of it can be saved, and you'll have less waste. And remember, bugs are just protein and roughage.... and some of them taste good (sorry, former entomologist and I have eaten buggies on purpose!)!
post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabel View Post
I have just discovered these today. I have cleaned out the cupboards and thrown a whole heap of stuff away, but I have a large amount of organic brown rice that I can't afford to replace, so I am planning on eating it anyway. Tonight's dinner was infested rice that I sat and picked the visible worms out of and rinsed several times, is this ok to eat? No one is sick yet. Everything else has been transferred into jars or thrown away. I didn't know about the freezing thing, I might try that from now on
just noticed this one - yes, this should be ok to eat, even if you don't pick out the visible worms. Remember, most processed foods are allowed a certain amount of bug/pest parts in them anyway..... And if you are cooking the food it eliminates most germ worries too...
post #36 of 42
Quote:
I bought a bunch of those traps from Lowe's
Pantry pest traps... this is what we use. The #!@ Mothra will fly into the house when the door is open, and periodically repopulate your pantry. So continuous sticky trapping is a good idea.
post #37 of 42
Ugh, I read this thread the other day and was SOOO thankful I had never had this problem. Then I bought 2 bags of wholegrain pasta at the shops a few weeks ago and when I got it home and went to cook last night I found little brown beetles in the bottom!!!! I freaked out and am going to throw everything out but to be honest I think they came in the bags as they were all dead and were in both bags. The worst thing was is that we'd eaten half a bag of the pasta the other night :Puke I didn't tell the rest of the family though
post #38 of 42
Ha ha ha! This thread is making me laugh. For one, it is impossible to keep all of your food away from other things that would like to eat it, too. For another, of course we would all like to believe that we are not eating bugs, their larva or eggs.
Here's one for you: When travelers were subjected to long ocean voyages that lasted months at a time, everyone had to eat food that was spoiled or defiled in some way. Otherwise you don't eat! They learned to identify what they were eating by the taste of the bug. Cockroaches taste like sausage!

Another funny: I was visiting some of my mom's friends. Eating a bowl of healthy, whole grain cold cereal one morning, I noticed that a piece of puffed wheat was moving. Lo and behold, it was a big fuzzy worm! Still alive, trying to keep itself from drowning! And I had just been about to insert that spoonful into my mouth. And that isn't the first time I found bugs floating in my cereal. Once I finished a box of Grapenuts that had been in the cupboard for who knows how long. When I went to drink the milk I found that those weren't crumbs floating around in the bowl but dozens of little worm carcasses.
So I guess the moral of the story is you are what you eat. Er, no, the moral is don't look in your bowl for bugs because you will find them! :
post #39 of 42
I think the moral is be careful where you shop, keep it in plastic containers, and don't keep it around too long. But yeah, I think it's not completely avoidable. My mom gets them way more, but she buys unusual spices at a lot of ethnic, individually owned shops, and isn't as good as me about keeping things in airtight containers (drives me crazy) or cleaning out her cupboards (i.e. tossing older things that haven't been used.) I've only found them once. Cereal and oatmeal always makes me nervous though. Guess I should be careful about pasta too. blech.
post #40 of 42
Egads. I found two moths the other day and some ickies in our oatmeal. I tossed it and didn't give it another thought - until now!

I don't mean to hijack, but if anyone's still around, I could use some advice. I have a lot of just-purchased grains, and absolutely no room in my freezers. I took everything out and want to put it on the porch, but I'm afraid the raccoons will get to it. They've been everywhere lately. I don't have a plastic tub. What else can I use??

Thanks!
Jude
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