Friday, October 21, 2011

Pantry Moths | 2011 Invasion

Yes, I consider what I had/have as an invasion. What are pantry moths? Check out this Wiki page - it even has photos of the little stinkers. When we first started seeing them, Kirk went to local hardware store to get some pantry moth traps. For two days we didn't catch a single one. They just flew around the traps! Come to find out they only attract male moths and apparently we were only infested with EGG laying females. Go figure.

Last Wednesday was D-day and I was armed with my house cleaner and bleach. Thank you Thank you for Melissa, I couldn't have done this without her.  We spent five hours emptying and throwing out boxes and bags of food. Some of it clearly had to go and the pantry was due for a total melt down clean. What I was not prepared for was the absolute grossness of the whole task and my constant need to itch. Then came the anger of finding out that even with throwing everything away, wiping down with bleach those little sh*ts can come back because of the EGGS!!!! The damn eggs.

To give you an insight on how bad they can be... they laid eggs in Kirk's stack of coffee filters that were in an opened plastic bag. Hopefully he didn't drink too many of the worms in his coffee! They are also sneaky bugs - I have adjustable shelving in my pantry, you know those little tiny holes that you put the dowel in so the shelf can sit on it....EGGs/larvae in those holes! In the folds of unopened plastic sealed boxes... when you shake it - wormds fell out. Spices - yes, in my spices. I told you - infested. Blah.

After spending all that time I decided we weren't going to put everything back until the big guns came in. Why waste all that time? Kirk called [because of course that was the least he could do since he was out of town for the entire ordeal] and we were scheduled for the next day.We have been using Alpha Ecological pest control because of the dogs for several years now and have been extremely happy with their thoroughness and understanding of safety.

Every day I go in and check - do an inspection and look for the tiniest larvae or moth flying around... I haven't seen a thing and I am keeping my fingers crossed.

There is some good in all of this - totally gutted pantry/laundry room and container shopping. I plan on going this weekend and have a few considerations.

First I am curious to see the Sistema line by Martha Stewart - I am not a big fan of the plastic but this looks nice and not a bad price point.

Then I will also go to Container store and IKEA to look at some of their options and if I am still at a loss I might need to find a Tupperware party!


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your infestation! This happened to my ex's family last summer and it was such a pain to try and get rid of them. It really makes you want to use sealed containers for everything afterward. I'm a big fan of OXO containers -- my parents have those and they're so easy to open and close. But I like glass ones and I haven't found good ones there that aren't too heavy and still easy to open. If you find something good, would you let me know?

  2. @Brandi {not your average ordinary} Thank you for reminding me about the OXO ones - I will have to check those out. If I do find some glass ones I will let you know.

  3. Poor Paula ... What a nightmare.

  4. Ugg! I am going though this right now. I have cleaned out the cabinets and washed down the shelves several times but no matter what we do they are still here. I'm guessing that the eggs are in some non-food product like you said in your posting but I'm hesitating throwing eveything out. I'm almost at that point.
    Can you see the eggs?

  5. @Patty
    OH Patty I feel your pain... you have to throw everything out that has been open even at one time or another. If it's in a box with no plastic - throw that out...they are definitely in there. The also live in non food items - so if you can wash it or put in the dishwasher you should be good.I have some casserole dishes and they were underneath the handles!!!! Then I think the key for us was having the bug guy come in. I haven't seen a trace of them.
    I didn't see any eggs - but I saw the cocoon that the worms make before they transform to moths. I saw more worms than I did moths.
    Let me know if have any more questions and good luck!

  6. We had this same problem a few years ago. I had to toss just about everything out it was so bad! Now our problem is ants. I can't seem to get rid of them!!

  7. @Christina UGH - it is miserable... we have one more treatment just in case. I have only seen two moths flying around in the kitchen. I think they may be in the garage.

  8. I hate pantry moths. I've been searching for a while for good residential pest control in Arizona because I get those stupid things in my house all the time! Have you been able to find good solutions?


I love hearing from you and I always try to reply! Unfortunately blogger doesn't notify you when I do - so be sure to check back or let me know if you want me to email you directly. :)