What exactly are pantry moths?
Pantry moths are nothing else than house insects that feed on pantry products. You can typically find them in flour, sugar, and grains. The most prominent representatives of this group are Mediterranean mill moth and Indian meal moth. Both of these insects can make your food good to go straight to trash. Getting rid of them is not as easy as it seems.
Pantry moths don’t pose any threat to human’s health. Even unnoticed and eaten larvae won’t harm your organism, and you won’t suffer any consequences. But the presence of such pests in food isn’t the most pleasant thing in the world and might simply gross you out.
What do pantry moths look like?
Pantry moths are tiny grey and brown moths. Although they can be mistaken for clothes moths, the place of their discovery should give you a hint. Pantry moths always appear in the kitchen or pantry, and it’s the main aspect to help you identify them.
Where do pantry moths come from?
The Indian meal moth is usually brought home along with groceries. If you have noticed the insects, and you had just bought a powdery food product, you have probably brought larvae in them, and the rest went on naturally.
Flour, rice, groats, and breadcrumbs are not the only products in which pantry moths can lurk. They often lay eggs in grains and nuts - regardless of the type.
Are you wondering whether you can protect yourself against a pantry moth infestation? Of course! The basic action, in this case, is careful examination of every purchased food product. Pouring all dry products in transparent, airtight containers is also a good practice. This way, even if a product contains pantry moths, they won’t spread any further - which plays a huge role in everyday prevention.
Pantry moths - are they different from clothes moths?
Although pantry moths and clothes moths look nearly identical, there are significant differences between them. Most importantly, they feed in different places, eating completely different products. Pantry moths aren’t a threat to your clothes, as they don’t perceive them as an attractive food source.
What’s more, getting rid of pantry moths is much unlike fighting with clothes moths. For this reason, make sure to pick the right methods, suited to a particular case.
How to get rid of pantry moths quickly and effectively?
The best moment to get rid of pantry moths is when they are still at their larvae stage. This way, the risk of spreading over the whole kitchen or pantry is much lower. It doesn’t mean that you cannot get rid of adult moths - but it’s a bit more difficult.
Many people who happen to have experience with fighting with moths note that all preventive measures are a very good idea. You can use simple methods to deter the insects and prevent them from infesting your house.
Vinegar - an effective pantry moth deterrent
Pantry moths aren’t fans of vinegar - regardless whether it’s wine or apple cider vinegar. The scent of this liquid effectively deters the insects. For this reason, it’s a good idea to add a few drops of vinegar to water when cleaning cupboards and shelves.
You can also use vinegar to make a homemade pantry moths trap. While the pests are very unlikely to get caught in it, it will surely repel them.
- Pour some vinegar into a small container and put it in the cupboard where you keep powdery foods. You can use this deterrent in the kitchen and pantry.
If you don’t want the vinegar trap to smell sour, you can add a few drops of essential oil to it. Lavender, eucalyptus, and lemon are good choices.
Clove or lemon oil - pantry moths won’t stand a chance
If you don’t like the mentioned vinegar, essential oils can save you from pantry moths. These products effectively get rid of the pests by repelling them from entering kitchen cupboards.
All you need is a special liquid to spray the insides of kitchen cupboards and pantry shelves. Clove and lemon oils are the best products for this purpose. If you don’t like such scents, you can pick a lavender or eucalyptus oils instead.
- Pour some water to an ordinary spray bottle you typically use for plants, fill it in half.
- Add an essential oil of your choice - just 7-8 drops are enough for a strong scent.
- Shake the bottle vigorously and use the spray inside the cupboards.
Tobacco smell - a powerful pantry moths repellent
Tobacco is another useful method to get rid of pantry moths. Does it mean you have to start smoking cigarettes? Not at all - we don’t recommend any harmful practices. Are you wondering how to use tobacco in this method? Just put it in small pouches, and throw them into the cupboards. The results will be very good.
Bay leaves - a homemade pantry moths trap
Are the scented remedies out of the question because you are sensitive to smells? Are you afraid there’s no help for you, and the pantry moths will stay with you for good? Don’t despair! Bay leaves are a perfect way to get rid of pantry moths - and their smell won’t be irritating for you.
You can find the dried leaves in any grocery store, in the spices section. Spread them in the kitchen cupboards or pantry shelves. If you want to be absolutely sure that you repel Indian meal moths effectively, put some leaves in the containers with powdery products as well.
For you, this method is basically unnoticeable, but for pantry moths it’s a clear sign that they won’t find anything good in your kitchen.
📍 Where do pantry moths lay eggs?
Pantry moths lay eggs mostly in powdery products they can find in your kitchen or pantry. It might be flour, rice or groats. Containers with grains and nuts are also common spots where they lay their eggs.
📍 Pantry moths - how to get rid of them?
Dealing with a pantry moth infestation might be difficult, but it's not impossible. To get rid of them completely, you can use home remedies (vinegar traps, essential oils) or store-bought products.
📍 How to repel pantry moths?
Surprisingly, many scents repel pantry moths. Vinegar and tobacco are the best products for this purpose. You can also use popular essential oils - lavender, clove, and lemon. The scent of bay leaves is also unattractive for the Indian meal moth.
📍 How to tell if it's a clothes or pantry moth?
Clothes and pantry moths might be difficult to tell apart. Pay attention to where they typically appear. If you notice them in your pantry or kitchen, you can be sure you're dealing with a pantry moths infestation.