Have you been noticing an increase in moth infestations as years go by? I have.
When we got our first home, I didn’t see them for years. Then all of a sudden one year, I remember it very distinctly; there were moths in my pantry. As hard as I tried I couldn’t get rid of them. I would clean out my pantry completely, examining and tossing any food that seemed to be contaminated, but they would ultimately reappear within a few weeks again. And even worse, they ate my clothes!!
Even as a child I remember having cedar chests and armoire’s to keep non-seasonal clothing in. But I don’t remember there ever being an infestation where you could see them flying around freely.
Then one day when I was expressing my frustration, “Where are they coming from?!” with a girlfriend, she said that they come from the supermarket. Really! It made total sense. All of the imported and prepackaged foods we get at the big box stores are a perfect breeding ground for these pests.
So after years of dealing with the critters, I‘ve come to understand and control them.
Here’s what I know:
- Moths in your pantry will also eat any natural fibre, i.e. wool or cotton that has any remnant of food on them.
- They are a part of our natural pest environment, like spiders, which come from outside but they also come from the food containers you buy at the store, such as rice and flour.
- Moths do not like bright lights and flourish in dark cupboards.
- Spiders like to eat moths.
Keep them at bay by maintaining good housekeeping practices:
- Keep your pantry clean by washing with soapy water and move things around constantly if you can.
- Keep all foods in well-sealed containers; preferably glass jars because moths can get into thick plastic containers if they want to.
- Try to buy your grains and dried legumes in open container bulk stores, rather than prepackaged.
- Make sure all clothing is cleaned and dried properly. Hang sachets of lavender on clothes hangars and in drawers.
- Store seasonal clothing in cedar lined chests or armoires.
- Cedar oils and small cedar strips don’t work very well.
- Never ever use mothballs or flakes, because these items are soaked with a pesticides such as naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene and are very toxic.
Once you see moths, don’t delay and get them out of your home!