If you’re like me, it’s seems that every time you dare to cook a meal from scratch, you end up having to throw one of the ingredients (i.e. brown rice or flour) out and run back to the corner store to buy a new bag because those damn, pesky pantry moths were living in them. We’ve all seem them in our cupboards.
Pantry moths almost inevitably seem to be in our grains, flour, nuts and seeds, but also go after foods with high sugar content like dried fruits, candies, cereals, cocoa powder and icing sugar. If you have pets, watch out for their food as well.
- Remove everything from your pantry or cupboard and thoroughly clean the shelves with soapy water.
- Dry thoroughly before you put anything back.
- Inspect all your food. If you see webs in the corner of bags, bits of grains stuck together, grains hanging from the top of the bag or worse, the actual pantry moths themselves, throw the food out!
- Remove all food from plastic packaging and place in airtight sealed glass, ceramic or hard plastic jars. Pantry moths can actually poke holes through plastic bags.
- If you must use Ziploc bags, double bag them.
- Do not roll up plastic bags with an elastic (like I used to do with my rice). The moths will make their way into them.
- Place dried bay leaves in the corners of your shelves and in your flour, rice and grain containers. They deter pantry moths and flour weevils.
- Place all your containers back on the clean shelves.
Prevention is key so clean your cupboards and pantries every few months to deter them from coming back.
If you run into maggots, like I did below with my roasted almonds, the same due care and attention above will help get rid of them. If you want to kill them naturally, place them in boiling water and wash your garbage bin out to prevent them from coming back. They like the smell of anything rotting. Watch out for dried fruits like dried figs. I once bit into figs only to have maggots crawl out of my mouth. True story!
If you do discover maggots, check your ceilings as well. They tend to make their way up to the top and hide out in ceiling corners. Get them down with a broom and throw outside or place in boiling water if you want to be sure to kill them. If you see their parents hanging around, aka house flies, kill them with a fly swatter.
Happy moth cleaning!