How to Get Rid of Pantry Moths and Save Your Snacks

Last updated on June 15, 2024

Learn effective methods to get rid of pesky pantry moths and prevent them from coming back.

Pantry moths, the uninvited guests that turn your food oasis into a battleground! Don’t worry; we’ve got the ultimate guide to evict these pests once and for all. From inspecting and tossing infested items to employing natural repellents like lavender, we’ll cover every step to banish them. So grab some vinegar and your big kid pants, and let’s reclaim your pantry! Ready? Let’s dive in.

Key takeaways:

  • Inspect, Remove, and Discard: Check, toss, be ruthless.
  • Deep Clean Pantry With Vinegar: Remove, wipe, dry, vinegar bowl, voilà!
  • Change Storage Methods: Airtight, vacuum-sealed, organize, label, prevent infestation.
  • Keep Moths Away With Natural Repellents: Lavender, bay leaves, peppermint oil.
  • Freeze Dry Goods: Freeze, inspect, store, nip the problem.

What's Inside

What Do Pantry Moths Look Like?

what do pantry moths look like

These sneaky invaders are small, typically about half an inch long, and have brownish-grey wings with distinctive dark patches. You might spot them fluttering around your kitchen like they own the place.

You’ll also notice their larvae, which resemble tiny, off-white caterpillars. They love to make themselves at home in your grains, cereal, nuts, and pretty much anything not locked in Fort Knox-level containers. Spot any webbing? Yep, that’s them, too—turning your pantry into a haunted house is their thing.

Don’t forget the telltale sign: tiny white eggs. They’re hard to see but can be present in the crevices of food packages. If you’re finding this culinary nightmare, it’s time to take some serious action. Immediate, drastic action.

Inspect, Remove, and Discard

First, grab a flashlight. Those sly moths and their icky larvae love to hide in the shadows. Check the corners of your pantry, inside food containers, and even under lids.

Examine all dry goods. Flour, cereals, nuts, and grains are prime real estate for pantry moths. If you find any suspect webs or larvae, toss the infested items immediately.

Be ruthless. If it’s open or unsealed, it’s fair game for eviction. Don’t just throw out the obvious offenders; even partially opened stuff has to go. Trust issues? You betcha.

Use sealed trash bags. You don’t want those sneaky critters escaping and starting the party all over again.

Finally, check nearby areas. They might have staged an invasion on your countertop or pantry door. Don’t let them get away!

Deep Clean Pantry With Vinegar

Grab your trusty bottle of vinegar. This humble kitchen staple is a secret weapon against pantry moths. Why? Because moths absolutely hate vinegar.

Remove everything from your pantry. Yes, everything. You might find some hidden snacks, so bonus! Mix equal parts vinegar and warm water. Add a few drops of dish soap to give it some muscle.

Wipe down all surfaces thoroughly, from the shelves to the corners. Don’t forget those sneaky crevices where crumbs love to hide.

Let the surfaces dry completely before putting anything back in. No sense inviting the moths to another pool party.

For added oomph, place a small bowl of vinegar in the pantry overnight. The vinegar fumes will help chase away any stragglers.

Voilà! Your pantry will be clean, sanitized, and much less appealing to moths. Happy scrubbing!

Change Storage Methods

Switching up your storage can make all the difference. First, ditch those flimsy cardboard boxes and bags that pantry moths find oh-so-irresistible. Instead, opt for airtight containers made of glass, plastic, or metal. These containers act like a fortress, keeping your dry goods safe from invaders.

Next, consider using vacuum-sealed bags for items like grains and cereals. Not only do they keep food fresh, but they also prevent any sneaky moth larvae from getting cozy.

Label your containers with purchase dates to keep track of how long items have been stored. This ensures you stay aware of what needs to be consumed first, avoiding expired food that might attract pests.

Finally, don’t stack open boxes of food on top of each other. Minimize the clutter and make sure every item has a sealed home. Keeping things organized makes it easier to spot an issue before it turns into an infestation.

By upgrading your storage game, you’ll outsmart those pesky pantry moths and keep your food both safe and fresh.

Keep Moths Away With Natural Repellents

Lavender is more than just a calming scent; it’s also a fantastic moth deterrent. Toss some dried lavender sachets into your pantry. Not only will it smell divine, but pantry moths will be sending out their moving notices ASAP.

Bay leaves can also do the trick. Place a few in containers where you store rice, flour, or grains. Moths hate the smell, and you’ll be surprised how effective these little leaves can be. For bonus points, bay leaves are a cheap and easily available solution.

Peppermint oil is another natural hero. A few drops on cotton balls placed strategically in your pantry should keep those pesky moths away. Plus, it smells like you’ve walked into a candy cane factory.

The essential is to make your pantry as unappealing as possible for unwelcome little critters.

Step 1: Freeze Dry Goods

Freezing your dry goods might feel like overkill, but it works wonders. Pantry moths and their eggs cannot survive freezing temperatures. So, bye-bye, tiny invaders!

  • Here’s what to do:
  • Stick any potentially infested food in the freezer for a few days. Yes, it’s that easy.
  • Focus on grains, flour, nuts, and spices. They’ve likely gotten special attention from the moths.
  • Use airtight bags or containers before freezing to avoid any pest escapees.
  • After freezing, inspect the food carefully, then return it to proper storage.

Freezing ensures you nip the problem right at the start, saving you future tears over spoiled pasta. And who doesn’t love a good freeze?

Step 2: Clean Your Pantry Thoroughly

Grab your trusty cleaning supplies, it’s time for a pantry purge! Scrub every surface like it’s spring-cleaning day and you’re impressing a very judgy mother-in-law. Get all the way into those corners and crevices where moths love to hide. Who knew those little critters were such introverts?

Don’t forget the shelves, walls, and even ceiling. Use a mixture of warm water and vinegar to wipe down everything. Vinegar not only cleans but acts as a deterrent for future moth residents. Plus, it gives you that earthy, pickled scent – who wouldn’t love that?

Cleaning also includes vacuuming. Vacuum out every nook and cranny. Don’t leave any dry crumb or mysterious pantry dust behind. Remember to empty the vacuum bag immediately after to avoid moth escapees living to see another day.

Oh, and check the hinges and doorframes. It’s surprising how those little sneaky moths find the tiniest spots. If a nook exists, they will crawl.

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