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Keeping pantry Moths out of the pantry

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

Any clues? I have some in my camper, and want to be rid of them, and my sis in law has lots of pantry moths in her pantry.

I've heard that fresh rosemary in the cabinets keeps them away,

Anything else?

Tyler, TX(Zone 8b)

There are sticky traps you can buy. I put one in my pantry and it was sickening to see how many there were stuck on it. I bought mine at a store specializing in pest control. I often see them in catalogs.They do work.

Burien, WA(Zone 7b)

Try bay leaves. I didn't believe they would work, but I haven't seen any bugs for a year at least. (it took a little while for them all to leave tho)

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

WEll, I'll try that, I don't have moths in my pantry at home, but when I was cleaning out the cabinets yesterday I saw some old rosemary sprigs in the back LOL so they must work too.

Missouri City, TX

Garden's Alive has traps in their catalog. But I like the idea of using something that I can grow in the garden.

Anyone need some rosemary? Our bush is about 5x5x5.

Lawrenceville, GA(Zone 7b)

It's good to know what works for them. Thanks for the tips. We had the bug man come out and spray last year and he used something with rosemary, peppermint and bayleaf extract in it. The traps are cheaper than the bugman ;) I have a 5 pound bag of bayleaves and have been wondering what to do with them.

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

5 pounds is alot, I buy them by the pound and I thought that was an horrid amount LOL

will be throwing leaves all over my cabinets in the camper now

I got a pretty big rosemary bush too, but glad to know I know where to find it if I didn't bubba. That's a huge bush

Lawrenceville, GA(Zone 7b)

5 pounds is a lot I know. I bought a bunch of spices in bulk when I was making potpourri and will have them for awhile. I still need to order rosehips.
I didn't know how easy it was to root rosemary. Now if I can keep it through the winter, that's another story.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

You can bet the ranch that if you have India Meal Moths (like you are describing), you have a box of pasta, rice, beans, breadcrumbs, etc. somewhere that's infested... probably even unopened. Find it and trash it before they can lay more eggs. Then put down your bay leaves or whatever...

I have found that some foods come with eggs already on them in the package (and so small you cannot see them). So, everything like that goes in the freezer for 4 days when I get it home from the store. Then I re-package everything in glass canning jars, quart or half-gallon size, to store. The last infestation I had came in on the dry cat food... I never even thought about that as a food source for the bugs.

Missouri City, TX

Darius, will freezing work on the weevels, too?

We store dry cat & dog food in resealable plastic bins we found at The Container Store. Keeps it fresher than in the original bag once opened.

Portland, OR(Zone 8a)

I detest those little buggers. My mother told me bay leaves as well, but it didn't work for me. I use a product called "Safer" brand pantry pest trap. It is a pheromone based trap. And those bugs can eat through almost anything. Other than glass with tight fitting lids I have found that Zip-Lok freezer bags work well to keep them out of my grains. It has to be the freezer bags as they can eat through the regular food storage bags and sandwich bags.

Another source I have had in the past was bird seed. I now put that in a plastic food container and store it outside. I have seen them in some varieties of dried beans as well.

Good luck. I am going to go cut some rosemary from the garden and put it in my cupboards. Can't hurt and it smells wonderful.


Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

I got those moths in the pantry or i've seen them flying around, but the problem is, I just packed it with food not long before I saw the moths, and I don't have moths in the house so maybe something I bought had the weevles in it. I do keep all my boxed things in zip lock bags in the camper, hope that helps some

Lawrenceville, GA(Zone 7b)

I bought some dried corn at walmart for the squirrel feeder and there were Indian Meal Moths in the corn! I called the garden dept. and told them. I have found them in cereal mainly and since we have cut back on buying it, no moths.
I started storing dried beans, rice, spices in jars too. Thanks for the tip about putting things in the freezer for a few days before storage.

Vancouver, WA(Zone 8a)

The minute I see one I start checking everything and ususally in a corn meal or oatmeal box. But I have started transferring everything to clear see thru containers with tight fitting lids. Does the freezing kill them? Rosemary into pantry tonight. Thank you for the info.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Yes, the freezing kills them, at least in my experience of many years. Bubba, I suspect it works on any weevil too.

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 5a)

I have a parrot and got Indian meal moths from the seed. Indian meal moths will infest any grain-based product such as dog and cat foods, flour, rice, wild bird seed, cake mixes, etc.

I purchased Indian Meal Moth (and other pantry moth) sticky traps from King Arthur Flour's website. The traps work great. The sticky traps are pheromone traps that draw and catch the male moths. By removing the male moths, it will help to break the reproductive cycle. It takes quite a while to completely get rid of the little buggers. Keep an eye on the area of the room where the wall meets the ceiling. You will see the moths near this area of the room either on the ceiling or at the top of the wall. The moths often sit either with their head up or down, but very rarely any other way. I don't know why this is? I take a Kleenex or paper towel and get on a chair to kill them. The moths near the ceiling will be female and you want to kill them, too, if possible. It's very possible that the females have mated and could produce offspring if not killed.

I have heard that any grain-based product needs to be held at 0F (or below) for 48 hours or more to kill the adults, grubs, and/or eggs.
I wish everyone the best of luck in getting rid of these nasty pests. I have been dealing with them for 3 years and I am going crazy trying to get rid of them. I've only used the traps a short time so I think I'm on the path to being Indian-Meal-Moth-free! (:o)

This message was edited Nov 4, 2008 9:08 PM

Chillicothe, OH

Dunno if its been said, but you can keep things in tight glass jars, and you can nuke stuff in the microwave and heat them in the oven too to make sure anything that might have come with the grain won't hatch out and start reproducing. It's nearly impossible not to have it happen to you at least once in a while, but if you keep things sealed tight you can minimize the damage.


(Trisha) Olympia, WA(Zone 8a)

I am always getting them in my cockatiel seeds. I started putting a few bay leaves in every jar and container in the kitchen and have not gotten them in anything that had a bay leaf in it.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

Darius, thanks for the education on these buggers! I remember my parents had to use the sticky traps and seems it went on for years once we originally infested. We've avoided so far at our house. Freezing dry goods sounds like a good idea!

Bubba, we use the big plastic tubs that the fresh litter comes in, we wash them well, remove the label and store the cats food in that. I had no idea bugs could or would infest that!

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

Reminds me once of making choc chip cookies, called for oatmeal in the recipe and as taught by Mom I'd open the oatmeal and stare at it for a minute or two checking for movement---but that one time I opened it I didn't have to wait, EW!

We keep oatmeal in the freezer full time now lol.

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

LOL that's horrid about the oatmeal moving, Been there done that myself.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

I know right! I couldn't eat oatmeal straight for I don't recall how long after that haha. I'm really not TO picky. If you'd seen like ONE bug in some dry good I could still have the stomach to eat the goods (bug removed of course) but you open the canister and it seems the whole thing is moving, EW!

Missouri City, TX

Tried to shake some cinnimon onto something once and nothing came out, so I pried open the top of the can - solid with weevils. Had them in several of the spices - chucked all in the trash and made a store run to re-stock.

If you found bugs in the oatmeal, check the grits, cream of wheat, corn meal, masa, etc.

Manufacturers are allowed a certain amount of "bug" parts, and if some of them were larva, they will grow.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

Wow, I've never heard of these weevils in food. Was this TX Bubba?

Nope, we never had any grits, cream of wheat, corn meal or masa. :)

Missouri City, TX

Colorado & Texas.

We buy smaller quantities of spices now, so most are gone / replaced every year.

As for having them in cereal grain products; if you pour the dry into a bowl you can see them - if you pour into water or water into the bowl - they tend to float. If you are cooking the product, it's just a little more protein, and won't affect the flavor.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

When I was a kid, we visited my step-mother's parents in rural, backwoods South Carolina. A neighbor boy was helping us one day around lunchtime, and we offered him a sandwich with us. Whatever kind of sandwiches we had were made on a seeded rye bread, and I saw him picking at the bread. When I asked him what he was doing, he said he was picking out the bugs. Gag. I cannot imagine being so poor as to make bread with weevily flour.

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