Pantry Worms/ Moths - Mothering Forums
The Mindful Home > Pantry Worms/ Moths
reducereuserecycle's Avatar reducereuserecycle 12:14 AM 10-02-2009
i have something in my pantry. they look like regular moth worms. i have been reading online all about them. just wanting some input on other's expereinces with getting rid of them.

i know that all my food (for the most part) needs to be in the fridge or freeze.

i keep reading online how hard it is to get rid of them...any expereince with that?

as a side note, dd has been getting hives on and off for about a week. i researched and it said moth dander can be a cause of hives

Naturalyst's Avatar Naturalyst 01:39 AM 10-02-2009
The only thing that seems to work are pheromone traps - essentially, open boxes with a sticky inside that contain a small bit of female moth 'come-hither' essence. The males are attracted, get stuck and, eventually, they all die off.

My experience is that, unfortunately, sometimes these traps come with stale pheromones. I've had to return more than a few to the store (hardware stores often stock them).
reducereuserecycle's Avatar reducereuserecycle 05:04 AM 10-02-2009
i read about the traps online...hmmm...may have to consider one of those.

i am a little confused....are these the same moths that eat wool? the ones that shed their skin? that is what they look like to me.

i've seen them in this house since we've lived here....but only on occasion and never in the food. normally, i would see them crawling along the baseboards..but not ever near the kitchen.

we don't have carpet so i know they aren't hiding in it. we have some wool toys but not really any wool clothes except a few pairs of socks. so, if i keep the food in the fridge/freezer, would they die if they have no food to eat?
mama2004's Avatar mama2004 06:59 AM 10-02-2009
I am not a moth expert by any means, but I have had the pleasure of dealing with pantry moths more than once, unfortunately. The only thing that I found that worked was to remove any food that was not in glass (I store most dry goods in canning jars these days) from the affected area and then cleaning every surface several times with very hot soapy water. Nothing goes back into the pantry without at least 24 hours in the freezer and everything sealed in glass. The little buggers can live in food packaging, too, plastic bags, cardboard boxes, etc., not to mention any cracks and/or crevices.

I have thrown away bags of flour and sugar, boxes of cornmeal and other similar items in the past because of heavy infestations, and now I put any dry goods (I buy mostly bulk) in the freezer for a few days when I get things home from the store--supposedly that kills any eggs/larva that might be lurking/stuff I don't really want to think too much about--and then I put everything from beans to rice to sugar into glass jars with airtight lids. Canning jars are available in 1/2 gallon and gallon sizes, so I've stocked up on a few of those over the years, in addition to the usual quart/pint sized jars and so far, I haven't had any trouble in the pantry. Something definitely nibbles my woolens here and there, but I'm not about to start storing my socks and sweaters in gallon jars.

I hope that helps some!
SleeplessMommy's Avatar SleeplessMommy 10:49 AM 10-02-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by reducereuserecycle View Post
.are these the same moths that eat wool?
Yes, they eat wool. But they greatly prefer flour and other pantry products. Keeping the wool cool and dry seems to discourage moths - they prefer warmth and dampness. We had a wool coaster behind the dvd player (a source of warmth) and it got quite eaten during our infestation. The yarn and fleece upstairs was not eaten at all.

Our problem was fixed with pheromone traps + putting dry goods in fridge + pantry cleaning + a very good caulking of all cracks and gaps in the panty (cracks and gaps are the preferred hiding place.)
mamadelbosque's Avatar mamadelbosque 11:20 AM 10-02-2009
I do/have done exactly like annalivia. Nothing else works ime. goodluck!!
reducereuserecycle's Avatar reducereuserecycle 11:45 PM 10-02-2009
i have everything in the freezer now...will it hurt to leave it there or should i move it into the fridge after a few days? here is a list of some of the items i don't know if i should move into the fridge or leave in the freezer:

flour
sugar
rice
spaghetti noodles
yeast.......


i think i better do some online research

thanks for all the input/experience
SleeplessMommy's Avatar SleeplessMommy 10:41 AM 10-03-2009
The yeast I would put in the fridge, but extra time in the freezer won't hurt anything else. If you have to be really sure moth eggs are dead, you need to do several freeze/thaw cycles. (we have never bothered with this)
mamadelbosque's Avatar mamadelbosque 11:17 AM 10-03-2009
I routinely keep flour/beans/grains in the freezer for weeks or even months before I put it in glass jars, so I'd say all that stuff is just peachy fine And I think even the yeast would be just fine - one place I buy it from keeps it in there freezer
DeerMother's Avatar DeerMother 10:37 PM 10-03-2009
Not sure what kind of moths I had, I think pantry moths. I bought a bunch of bay leaves - in bulk at health food store, so super cheap - and put 3-5 in each cabinet and drawer in kitchen. The moths went away.
A&A's Avatar A&A 03:32 AM 10-04-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by reducereuserecycle View Post
i have everything in the freezer now...will it hurt to leave it there or should i move it into the fridge after a few days? here is a list of some of the items i don't know if i should move into the fridge or leave in the freezer:

flour
sugar
rice
spaghetti noodles
yeast.......


i think i better do some online research

thanks for all the input/experience
You only need to have these items in the freezer for 48 hours.
reducereuserecycle's Avatar reducereuserecycle 02:09 PM 10-05-2009
my relatives spent over 20 years in indonesia and they used to just sift out all the grain worms before they used it
MissMommyNiceNice's Avatar MissMommyNiceNice 09:36 PM 10-06-2009
Well, we just had these too. In fact, I'm still tracking down the last few. The big thing for us was when I found their "homebase". Cleaning out anything that looks like it had any moths or worms in it.

Then we cleaned all the cupboards. Anything that wasn't affected I just kept an eye on. They never did bother my dried beans or oatmeal. I just tossed everything that seemed suspect or too old.

Then I put out a few of the traps. They're pretty non-toxic. Just some glue.

We were lucky enough to get them from the neighbors. Their's are of course gone while I am still battling them 2 mos later. They're not too bad right now. I figure once it gets really cold, they'll be gone.

I was always under the impression when they ate your "wool" it wasn't the wool really they were eating, but food stains/smells on the wool. I could be wrong, though.
JessicaS's Avatar JessicaS 12:43 AM 10-07-2009
I have pantry moths and I have been freaking out ALL DAY. I am seriously about to just lose my mind.

I have some woodruff is my garden I am going to stick it places.

I also bought some of the traps and set out four but was told this may be too many...is this too many??
hippie_mommy's Avatar hippie_mommy 01:25 AM 10-07-2009
We had some last year, and I was able to get rid of them by throwing out the stuff they were in and freezing the rest. Once I froze everything, I put it into airtight and secure storage (like mason jars.) I also cleaned out all of the corners and cracks in my pantry by removing the shelves.

I am frustrated because I now know where I got them from.... I buy from a lot of bulk sections, but apparently the one at my Safeway is not to be trusted. I bought some bulk nuts from there a few months ago, and now all of those containers are filled with moths. Yuck! I tossed them, and checked to make sure that I didn't have anything else in a non-moth-safe container. It was much easier to clean out this time since almost everything was already in a good container. I just had to toss the stuff that came from Safeway and was still in their containers (some of them still sealed... rawr!)
Owen'nZoe's Avatar Owen'nZoe 12:40 PM 10-07-2009
I've had them get into mason jars - am I the only one? Also, if you have older cabinets that don't have tight-fitting shelves, they can live for quite awhile in the little cracks and nooks and crannies.

Like hippie_mommy I was able to track my problem down to one store (in my case my formerly-favorite Asian grocery store). Once I stopped shopping there, I stopped getting them.
Tangled Hill's Avatar Tangled Hill 03:56 PM 10-07-2009
We've had pantry moths before. I didn't know about the pheromone traps at the time, so what I did was to clean out the pantry, tossing everything that *might* be infested (they can even make their way through foil wrappers!) and scrubbing down the shelves. Then, I kept the vacuum in the kitchen for a week or so and vacuumed up any I saw attached to the ceiling. Really, they *loved* our popcorn ceiling.

Pretty soon, there just weren't any left.

YMMV, of course!
Dabble's Avatar Dabble 04:04 PM 10-07-2009
We too have done battle with the pantry moths on more than one occasion. Heavens, I hate those things.

I pulled EVERYTHING out of the cupboards, threw out anything that was suspect, froze everything else for two days, scrubbed out all the cupboards, and then repackaged everything in moth-proof containers before putting it back in the cupboards. Now everything that comes into the house gets repackaged into the containers before it goes in the cupboard.

It's so much work, and such a pain in the rear, but it's better than finding worms in your food - BLECH!!!
reducereuserecycle's Avatar reducereuserecycle 09:56 PM 10-07-2009
Quote:
I also bought some of the traps and set out four but was told this may be too many...is this too many??
i read somewhere that any more than one trap will confuse them and will prove useless....so maybe you should just keep on trap out.

but i don't know for sure since i didn't buy a trap..were they any directions with it that said how many to get per square foot or something?

Quote:
woodruff
what is woodruff?
reducereuserecycle's Avatar reducereuserecycle 09:58 PM 10-07-2009
does anyone know how fast these things work(invade)? do they get into food quickly or does it take them a while...maybe that is a dumb question...well, not very specific, but the live moths i saw looked almost lethargic.
JessicaS's Avatar JessicaS 07:23 AM 10-09-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by reducereuserecycle View Post
i read somewhere that any more than one trap will confuse them and will prove useless....so maybe you should just keep on trap out.

but i don't know for sure since i didn't buy a trap..were they any directions with it that said how many to get per square foot or something?
I will check. My kitchen certainly isn't large.
Quote:

what is woodruff?

It is an herb

http://www.sover.net/~garden/Woodruff.html

http://www.turning-earth.co.uk/photo...ff05-2_400.jpg

I got a wee little pant at a nursery and it comes back bigger every year. It is pretty.
JessicaS's Avatar JessicaS 07:27 AM 10-09-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by reducereuserecycle View Post
does anyone know how fast these things work(invade)? do they get into food quickly or does it take them a while...maybe that is a dumb question...well, not very specific, but the live moths i saw looked almost lethargic.
The moths do look lethargic, the females lay a ton of eggs.
reducereuserecycle's Avatar reducereuserecycle 01:25 PM 10-09-2009
Quote:
the females lay a ton of eggs
great!




never heard of woodruff till now.....it looks pretty though!
KariM's Avatar KariM 03:24 PM 10-09-2009
We had these when we lived in IN and they moved with us to WI without our knowledge or permission!

What worked for us was to either toss out the pantry food or put it in the freezer.

Then we washed out our pantry with a mixture of TTO, vinegar, and Dr. Bronner's.

We kept the pantry empty for a few weeks, then re-stocked.

Moths were gone!
reducereuserecycle's Avatar reducereuserecycle 08:13 PM 10-11-2009
i think that most people have moths...do you all agree or disagree?

i just don't think they always make their way into food. but i've seen moths many places in my home and others and i think some people just don't really notice them because they are small maybe???


anyhow, maybe we have always just took them with up when we moved.

i usually would just one here and there but i guess since they got into a great food source---our food source---maybe that is why they seem to be all over the house now. it has been over a week since i found them in the kitchen and i haven't seen any more in the kitchen but i am still finding them along the baseboards in the rest of the house...so they must be hatching in there or something...i am also doing some hardcore nesting so i may be a little more observant and cleanly than i normally am.

yeah, when you are 9 months preggo is not the best time to find moths in the pantry...it has been really...ummm....distracting...but maybe it was a good thing since i have this extra drive to clean
MisaGoat's Avatar MisaGoat 05:00 PM 10-16-2009
I spent last weekend cleaning out the pantry do the weevils/moths. I pulled everything out, threw out all the old food with bugs in it. Froze the rice and sugar that only had a few bugs in it and sifted through it. Washed the entire inside of the pantry, pulled the shelves out and washed them too.

So far we only found them in one unopened box of pasta, but there were only a few in there.

I bought new flour and put it in the freezer before I put it in the pantry.

Consider it an excuse to devote the time to cleaning out your pantry. I had it on my to do list for months but the bugs forced me to do it last weekend.
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