Pantry moths are notorious for making themselves feel at home in our pantries and cabinets, but they are certainly not welcome guests. A pantry moth infestation can be disgusting, embarrassing and annoying, and you may feel like it is impossible to get rid of these pests. However, with a thorough disposal and cleaning and with a few other tips and tricks, you can rid your home of pantry moths permanently.
Remove Infested Items
The first step to getting rid of pantry moths is removing any items from your pantry that are already infested. Moths prefer flour and grains, but they will get into anything that is in your pantry. Therefore, you should check everything in your pantry, from dried cocoa to dog food, for not only moths but also for their larvae and eggs. Anything that is infested should be immediately thrown away. Make sure that you do not place these items in your indoor trash can. Instead, seal them up tightly and place them in your outdoor trash can to prevent them from finding their way back into your pantry.
Clean Your Pantry Thoroughly
Before putting pantry items back into your pantry, you should vacuum every nook and cranny out carefully, looking for signs of infestation. Next, you should thoroughly scrub your shelves, door and interior walls with warm, soapy water. To get your pantry even cleaner and to help prevent re-infestation, you can then wipe everything down once again with a solution of white vinegar and water.
Seal Items That Attract Pantry Moths
Having bags of sugar, flour or other items in the open can attract pantry moths very quickly. It is important to always keep these items properly sealed. Flour, sugar and similar items should be stored in canisters, but make sure that they seal tightly; other containers will work as long as they have a tight-fitting lid. Other items can be stored in plastic storage bags with zip-top seals, but make sure that the bags do not have any tiny holes in them.
Freeze Items Before Placing Them In Your Pantry
When bringing home dry goods that could attract pantry moths, you should take extra precautions to make sure that these items do not already include eggs or larvae, as it only takes a few eggs to completely re-infest your pantry. One effective way to kill any eggs or larvae is to freeze your dried goods before putting them in your pantry. Place flour, sugar and similar items in a large plastic bag with a zippered seal, and place them in the freezer. It is suggested that you leave these items in the freezer for approximately one week before placing them in your pantry to effectively kill eggs and larvae.
Use Natural Deterrents
There are a few natural deterrents that work effectively to prevent pantry moths from re-infesting your pantry. Since pantry moths hate bay leaves, you should consider placing bay leaves in your pantry and cabinets to keep these nasty little pests at bay.