The last thing you want is to open your pantry to a meal moth infestation. Nevertheless, you have and you have no idea of how to get rid of them. While a meal moth, or pantry moth, infestation is notoriously difficult to squash, you will find there are easy ways to get rid of the pests. A little heat, freezing temperatures, traps and sanitation will end the infestation. More importantly, prevention will help make sure you never open the door to meal moths again.
Meal moths aren’t tolerant of extreme temperatures no matter their stage of life. As such, rather than throwing away any lightly contaminated food, you can choose to super heat or super cool the products. If you can freeze the slightly contaminated food, place the products in a freezer set at 0°F for up to seven days according to KZNHealth.gov. Alternatively, you can spread the food in a shallow pan and microwave it for five minutes or bake it at 120°F for an hour. Whatever method you choose, super heating or super cooling the meal moths will kill them. Then, sift the food and store in an air tight container to prevent further infestation.
Treating or tossing contaminated food is only the first step to ending a meal moth infestation. The next thing you need to do is locate the source of the problem and throwing it away. After that, clear the cabinets, pantry and shelves of all foods, dishes and other products before vacuuming up any trace of food, eggs and larva. Make sure you get into all the cracks and crevices. Additionally, move appliances and furniture to ensure you remove all traces of food. Then, clean your pantry, cabinets and shelves with hot water and soap before replacing everything. Adding a bit of vinegar to the cleaning solution won’t hurt either.
Trapping the Pests
After treating, tossing and cleaning, you’re worried you may still have an infestation. You may have reason for concern, but there is one more step you can take. Wikipedia states that pheromone traps or glue traps are one option. Unfortunately, they aren’t entirely effective as they only lure in male or adult meal moths, and leave behind eggs and larva. However, you can use nontoxic moth sprays and essential oils to repel the pests and protect your stored food products. The best method is preventative steps such as storing foods in air tight containers and keeping your pantry and shelves clean of all food debris. After all, the last thing you want is to open your pantry to a meal moth infestation sequel.