Help I have food moths in my pantry!

This blog post also is available in German.

Help I have food moths

Actually, the storage series was over. Now some of you have asked me about food moths. Questions such as “whether I’ve had them before” and “if there isn`t a greater risk of infestation due to stock keeping” came up. So I thought to myself, let me just write a short contribution to this topic. And since it’s not a topic that people like to talk about openly anyway, it fits quite well. If you’re currently fighting food moths, just can’t get rid of them or want to know how you can reduce the risk of a food moth infestation in your pantry, then read this blog post.

Food moth infestation in your pantry has nothing to do with hygiene

As I said before, food moths are a bit of a taboo subject. Many bloggers talk about stockpiling, but not about moths. Why? Because many are ashamed of it. I know that very well. You don’t talk about it, because somehow it’s embarrassing. It was the same with me when I had those little fellows in my old apartment. But one thing has to be made clear, a food moth infestation has nothing to do with bad hygiene.

In most cases the animals are brought in from outside. In other words, you buy a produce that is already infected with moth eggs. Or they just fly in through the window. When they arrive at your apartment, the little beasts make themselves comfortable.

So very important; you don’t have to be ashamed of food moth infesstation in your pantry! It can literally affect anyone.

how to prevent food moth infestation in your pantry

How do you prevent a food moth infestation of your pantry?

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee of success here. No matter how careful you are, an infestation can occur at any time. Nevertheless, there are a few small tips to reduce the risk.

  • Pay attention to intact packaging, if you do not buy unpacked. Moths can eat their way through plastic and paper without any problem, so packs with holes can be an indication of an infestation.
  • Do not store open packs in your pantry. This will make it easy for the moths to settle in. It`s best to fill everything in mason jars. There the moths don`t get in or out (but note my experience below).
  • Try to use up supplies within a short amount of time.
  • Keep the amount if stored produces low. There`s no sense to buy 5 packs of flour and then you have to throw them away because of moth infestation. I don’t really stick to this tip as I like to buy larger quantities to save packaging. But everybody has to decide for himself.
  • Everything should always be well sealed, dry and cool. Moths like a warm and humid environment.
  • Keep the storage cupboards clean and clean regularly. Especially in the corners where moths like to build their nest. Food moths love scraps and crumbs.
  • Install fly or mosquito screens in front of the window to prevent moths from flying into your rooms.
  • Use pouches filled with lavender to drive food moths away. They hate the smell of lavender. And make sure to replace them from time to time, as the smell evaporates over time.

How do you get rid of food moths in your pantry?

Okay, it happened, your pantry is infested with food moths. You probably noticed this because you`ve either found the larvae or their excrement in your stocks. By the way, the latter is the problematic one, as the excrement contaminate the food and promote the infestation with moulds. The question of all questions, what are you going to do now?

Unfortunately, contaminated food has to be disposed of immediately, for the above-mentioned reason. That means, you work your way through your supplies and keep an eye out for the larvae or the faeces. As soon as you discover it in a food, you throw it away. Moths also like to build nests in dark corners, grooves or holes (from the screws). Therefore it`s best to wash all cupboards and shelves thoroughly with vinegar water and dry them. Some people even recommend disposing of all food in a contaminated place. It`s very important to dispose of the food right outside, otherwise the larvae can crawl out of the garbage can again.

At home I taped the holes in the cupboards with tape. This prevents the moths and their eggs from getting into the holes. I can highly recommend this.
With these steps you should get rid of the moths in the first instance. Of course, some larvae may not have hatched yet. Therefore I would check at regular intervals again for infestation. Others recommend throwing away all the stocked food in your pantry. Well, it`s your decision.

You can also set up pheromone traps to check if you still have moths in your pantry. These only attract the male moths with the help of a messenger substance. However, I would not recommend such traps under any circumstances if an infestation already exists. They don`t prevent that the females get fertilized. Ichneumon flies are another way of effectively combating moth infestation. Find out more here.

How to get rid of food moths in your pantry

Mason jars are a must

To answer the question at the beginning of this post. Yes, keeping stocks favours food moth infestation in your pantry. The more food there is and the longer it gets stored, the greater the risk that it can be infested with moths. However, if you keep your stocks, as I`ve already recommended in the previous articles, then the risk is much lower.

Mason jars aren`t a 100% protection against food moths, but they are still very effective. I’ve never had an infestation in my purchased jars before. However, I noticed that the glasses I washed out and reused were partially infested. This is probably because my glasses have an incredibly tight screw cap and the glasses from the supermarket don`t. Since I`ve been using this system consistently, filling all my supplies directly into glasses and no more packages standing around, I`ve never had a food moth infestation in my pantry again.

Hopefully I was able to bring you this unpleasant topic a little bit closer and help you to get rid of the annoying beasts. You can also download the fact-sheets with the most important tips. Then you always have them reachable. Or you can simply pin them on one of your pinboards on pinterest.

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