I'm at the end of my rope trying to get rid of an Indian meal moth infestation. We bought a bag of rice that was infested last year, and haven't been able to eradicate the last of the little pests.
To try and starve them out, I've decided to store all our dry goods (lentils, rice, brown sugar, noodles, etc.) in mason jars. Has anyone done this before? Any tips or tricks I should know about?
As far as mason jars go, I'm pretty new to them, so I'm not sure what the best way is to clean them before use. Since my jars are brand new, do I need to use soap in my dishwasher to wash them, or can I just run it on a sanitize setting without soap? I'm worried about soap residue staying in the jars. Will the heated dry function sufficiently remove moisture from the jars? Is there an easier way to clean/sanitize the jars than the dishwasher?
Any advice is appreciated :)
I run mine on sanitize (no soap) before using for canning, so I would say it's fine. Add some vinegar to really get any residues off. Dry them in the oven, upside down on the racks on the lowest heat you can. I use half gallon Ball jars for my flour and beans :)
Storing everything in the refrigerator will be my only option if this doesn't work. Our refrigerator isn't all that big, so it's definitely not an ideal solution, but it would probably get rid of the moths!
Thank you! I have them going in the dishwasher now. Thanks for the tip about drying them in the oven, I never would have though of that!
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Canning jars - great idea... i swear one bag of flour and we are alit with those awful moths! I try to keep some of my flours in the freezer - but its a tight squeeze! Cant wait to try this new idea out!
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As long as you are sure the food items are not infected, then mason jars should work wonderfully. Especially the ones that snap close with a rubber ring around the opening. Just be sure to label them so you don't mix up the potato meal and the flour sugar... Personally, I love the old kitchen charm of my IKEA mason jars.
The oven worked perfectly, and I have about half my jars filled already. It's working well, and I've already gotten compliments on how nice the jars look lined up on the counter. I actually like displaying them, and it's freed up room in my pantry! I'm probably going to need more jars eventually, and I'll definitely need to stock up on some of the half gallon jars that cameragirl mentioned, since we go through a quart of rice pretty rapidly.
I'm just labeling them by writing with sharpie on the lids right now, but sometimes it's hard to fit a complete description of the what's inside the jar. I have some of these sorts of tags lying around somewhere, so once I find them (can you tell how badly I need to be in this forum?! ) I'll see if they work better for labeling.
Thanks again for all the great advice, and if anyone who is planning to try this out has any questions, feel free to pm me!
We used quart jars, which works well for things like quinoa, cous cous and bulgur that aren't necessarily biweekly staples. A box of Jiffy All-Purpose Mix fit into 2 jars, but for things we use more often, like flour and rice, we're going to get half gallon jars.
We learned the hard way that the quart jars don't actually hold 4 cups of dry goods, so if you're buying from a bulk store like we did, make sure you only purchase about 3.5 cups. In the future we'll be bringing our empty jars with us and filling them at the store so we get the right amount (but I don't know if all bulk stores let you do this).
I keep flour, sugar, and rice in glass gallon jars that I have had forever - I think I got them back when thinks like pickles still came in glass jars.
I like your idea of taping cooking instructions inside the cupboard door. I cut mine out and put them in the container (for things like oatmeal, that aren't really powdery).
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