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Death to moths! - Mark's Journal
mhaithaca
mhaithaca
Death to moths!
OK, I need to get rid of the tiny moths that have been flitting around my kitchen. I finally have fresh milk in the house for the first time in a month, and there were moths in both of the boxes of cereal I had on hand.

I've poked around the net a few times, out of curiosity, and there don't really seem to be good ways to get rid of moths. I wonder if fly paper would help.
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Comments
aregulardyke From: aregulardyke Date: September 17th, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Flutter

I did a internet search - " cereal moths " - and found out that the common pest is the Indian meal moth. There is such a thing as moth traps - tho I don't know where one would get some. Of course be sure to toss out the cereal, and check all your other grains, legumes, flour and so forth for activity.

fabunobo From: fabunobo Date: September 17th, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Do you leave a light on in the kitchen all night? Moths in the kitchen? I've never heard of such a thing? Weird!
emaline412 From: emaline412 Date: September 17th, 2008 02:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Gross.
bcampbell From: bcampbell Date: September 17th, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah they sound like meal moths. I had them IN MY CAR once because I had an infested bag of birdseed in the trunk. The good news is, get rid of the food, get rid of the moths. So check all your dry foods and grains, and toss anything that's infested.
fabunobo From: fabunobo Date: September 17th, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

Do they look like this?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_meal_moth

Wiki says to toss all food and start afresh. When you close up cereal, how well do you seal the inner bag? I'm really anal about rolling and sealing the inner bag with a clip of some type. If you are not, perhaps they are getting into already opened bags of cereal in boxes? Or are these "new" boxes?
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: September 17th, 2008 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Do they look like this?

That's them, thanks! Yeah, I always carefully close the inner bags, but clearly these guys are pushy.

Well, I tossed all my refrigerated food last month. Time to toss the stuff in the pantry. :-(
helianthas From: helianthas Date: September 18th, 2008 07:29 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Do they look like this?

Problem is, that, especially if you buy bulk, the larvae are already in there. (I know, gross, right?) When I lived in I-town, I kept all my grains in glass jars (the kinds that seal with the rubber gaskets) and I still had nasty-ass dead baby moths in there. Ewzers.
bethzebra From: bethzebra Date: September 17th, 2008 02:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Mostly the key is to get rid of everything that has gotten infested. The actual moths will disappear pretty quickly after that. Check crackers, flour, Bisquick, matzo meal, anything grain-based that's been around a while. If you have grain products that seem OK, put them in sealed containers like Rubbermaid containers or inside Ziploc bags or something to keep them from getting infested.

Vacuum cleaners with hose extensions work well to suck up existing moths, but I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH that it is critical not to neglect emptying the bag/receptacle afterward. I used to have a chronic moth problem when I still had parrots (the moths lived in the bird seed) and I used to use an old vacuum to catch the moths, but I once left the bag in the cleaner for a month or so and then wound up having a really revolting experience when I finally opened it up. There is nothing like discovering in the middle of the night that your vacuum cleaner contains a huge writhing mass of moth larva to leave one skeezed out for weeks.
ruhe From: ruhe Date: September 17th, 2008 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
What she said. Yes, you have moths, which also means you have meal WORMS. The ones I had were greenish-yellow. Make sure you get rid of them too. (ickickickickick) It's nice to know that other people have had this problem too. I completely and totally freaked out when I had them at my old place. Organics seem to be worse at collecting the buggies.

P.S. Raid works on the moths, although also requires emptying the entire cupboard while you do it. And I do mean everything--not just the stuff you have to throw away. Raid's pretty damn toxic (which is why it kills things)--people in my office don't seem to understand that concept (my office has ROACHES and people still don't get that they need to get their stuff out of the kitchen when the guys come and spray).
helianthas From: helianthas Date: September 18th, 2008 07:30 am (UTC) (Link)
wow. i know what my nightmares are going to be about tonight. Ick.
perisoft From: perisoft Date: September 17th, 2008 02:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
It could be worse.

helianthas From: helianthas Date: September 18th, 2008 07:31 am (UTC) (Link)
rotfl
chesther From: chesther Date: September 17th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Agway sells moth traps that do a good job of attracting and pulling in the existing ones.

The real answer is to find and remove their food sources. I would go through the entire pantry and look for infestations. Depending on the severity, you may find small cocoons, signs of cobwebby material, and/or actual larvae.

They like grain and cereal products, nuts, chocolate, sometimes pasta.

(Can you tell I've been there before?)

I'm sometimes surprised by what they go after and what they skip. They are remarkably adept at getting into packaging that isn't completely airtight and pretty solid. They can chew through most plastic & foil bags as needed. Mason jars are very good for storage.

One good thing to know is that they can't survive freezing. So if you have goods that don't appear to be infested (yet), put it in the freezer for a few days while you throw away anything that was infested. I've known folks who religiously put any grain product in the freezer for 3 days when they bought it, and swore that it kept the moths from re-appearing.
dakotagrrl From: dakotagrrl Date: September 17th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, we had a similar problem in my house a few months ago, little moths randomly flitting about everywhere. Discovered that they were emanating from Slade's dry dog food bin which didn't seal very well. Tossed the bin & food, got a new bin that seals, no more moths. Hope your infestation clears up as easily. :-)
octanez From: octanez Date: September 17th, 2008 03:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I recently had moths in my Jasmin rice. Both in an unopened bag, and in the open rice that was in a tupperware container.
pixel39 From: pixel39 Date: September 17th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is why I store all my grains and legumes in heavy airtight containers, sometimes also in the freezer. Buggies will eat rice, whole grains, legumes, anything combined with sugar, pasta, flours, oatmeal, cream of wheat, grits, cake mix, etc.
retrev From: retrev Date: September 17th, 2008 05:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
This happened to my mom once...they lay eggs in flour, etc. so get rid of anything like that (bisquick, etc.) or they will keep coming back.
belindashort From: belindashort Date: September 17th, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
most of the time they're already in there when you get them
sylrayj From: sylrayj Date: September 17th, 2008 09:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
An important thing to do is to freeze everything that's a grain. Insect contamination is ubiquitous, but freezing will kill any eggs, and nothing will grow in your food afterwards. I don't know how long to freeze things, but it's worked well for me. After that, airtight containers will help keep things from rediscovering your products - we get the cheap ice cream in 4L tubs, and that's where I keep my flour, sugar, etc. :)

This also deals with weevils.
ianwsmith From: ianwsmith Date: September 18th, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
On the other hand, perhaps resigning yourself to getting rid on a bag of flour each summer would be the lesser of two weevils.
sylrayj From: sylrayj Date: September 19th, 2008 12:15 am (UTC) (Link)
*grin* :)
belindashort From: belindashort Date: September 17th, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
light buzzer in your house
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