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Pantry Moths

Indiameal moth is a very common pantry moth
Photo from Wikimedia


Q: My husband and I are having a problem with moths in our pantry. We have asked several different "professionals" at home improvement stores, one with a so-called masters degree in getting rid of bugs, and none of the advice we have received has seemed to work. Our latest attempt was to remove everything from our pantry throw away any and all opened items and bug bomb the pantry TWICE. We were rid of the moths for about an week and all of a sudden they returned. — K.L., Frisco.



A: Bombing is the worst thing you could do. Contamination now covers all the surfaces in the rooms that were exposed - and the insects weren't controlled - as you know. Put the grains, beans, pasta, and flours in the freezer for a day or two when they come home from the grocery store. Then put out glue traps. The ones that work the best are those shaped like little tents that use pheromones to attract moths.


The same freezing technique works to kill weevils that come in dried grains (flour, cornmeal, rice flour, etc.), beans, and prepared foods like pasta, crackers, and other dry sundries you keep for a while in the cupboard. For an excruciating look at a woman's discovery of and treatment of pantry moths, see this YouTube video. In a hot climate the warmer weather will encourage hatching of eggs that arrive in the food. It's unavoidable that these eggs are in packaging - but you can be proactive by killing them in the freezer.





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