Pantry moths seem to bug almost everyone, and when I wrote a couple of weeks back about causes, possible cures, and then sought recommendations, lots of readers responded immediately.
From Karen: "Every time I bring flour, rice, or sugar into the house, I put it directly into my freezer. I read somewhere years ago that this would kill any tiny eggs, and so on. An hour or so should do it, but I actually store the flour and rice in my freezer. I haven't had any issues with this since I began using the freezer."
From Tom Speers: "Clean out the cabinets thoroughly with slightly diluted white vinegar. Problem solved. Of course, get rid of any infested food items. Dog treats, flour, cereal, or rice are the main culprits. Keep all foods in sealable bags or plastic containers and clean those occasionally."
From Carol Tyler: "I lived in the West Indies for 26 years, where the moths were in everything. I used my grandmother's method. It worked like a charm and I never had any bugs or moths in any of my cabinets or flour bins or anywhere. Just get a large package of spearmint gum and take off the outside wrapper, leaving the foil on. Put a stick in the flour bin and around on the shelves where you are storing your goods. Put a stick in with the cornmeal and the oatmeal and such. I still use this method (I'm now 82) and it still works for me."
From Jeanne Nagle: "One day I opened a bag of shelled almonds and left it on the counter, only to see a moth fly out. Sure enough, looking at the almonds they looked moth-eaten. I wrote the packager and received a prompt letter back stating that these are cereal moths - these insects are in warehouses and that they lay their eggs along the ridges of cereal boxes. When the packages are opened, and are left on the shelf, the moths hatch and make their way in. I immediately empty cereal into large plastic screw-top containers, thinking if they do hatch, I will see them and they will be contained."
From Mary Taylor: I had similar situation a few years ago - no matter what I threw away or what I cleared out, I still had moths. I finally discovered that they were nesting in my plastic storage containers - inside the narrow ridges in the lids and the rims of the containers. I washed everything with super hot water - several times - and washed down the inside walls of the pantry. After several days of leaving the pantry completely empty and the door open - just to be sure I had gotten everything - I put everything away and haven't had a problem since."
From JBC: "After struggling for months to be totally rid of these pests, I found the answer to their final disappearance. After discarding all foods and washing cabinets with detergent and warm water, I finally learned to restock the cabinets with all produce only stored in sealed hard plastic containers. Any possible critter was unable to stray to another feeding supply. This practice terminated their appearances in my home."
From Kevin J. O'Connell: "I had a long-running battle with the noxious beasts myself and the infestation also started after we had remodeled our kitchen as well. After a year of emptying the pantry and constantly checking for their presence, I determined that they were not living in the pantry, but rather, in the wall behind the pantry.
What I did was buy a moth-killing product where the beasts are killed by slow-release fumes. In the adjoining room (the laundry room), which shares the same wall, I placed the product on top of the cabinet next to the wall so the fumes, which drift downward, would seep into the small space in between the wall and the cabinet.
I don't know how safe this was but the moths finally disappeared."
On the move: Planning to move anytime soon? Here's some advice from Moving.com:
Three weeks from move date: Once you've selected a mover, inventory your belongings and their worth and decide what will be coming with you.
Divide things into categories: "pack," "recycle," and "give to friend." You can always have a garage sale or donate old items to charity.
This will make packing day a lot easier, and you may reduce the total weight you'll be charged for the move.