A Guide to Eliminating Pantry Pests


January 16, 2018 - Brian Reynolds

Have you pulled out the baking flour from the pantry and noticed little critters inside the bag?You need to get rid of your creepy-crawlers for good before they end up baked in a cake! Bugs are attracted to food. Of course, they want to set up shop in your kitchen, especially your cabinets. If you’re noticing little bugs in your pantry, they are most likely pantry moths. Like any infestation, it can be a pain to eliminate them. Your best bet is to prevent pantry moths in the first place. But, bugs are often something you don’t think about until they’ve moved in. Read on to learn about how you can get rid of these bugs and how to prevent future infestations.

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Getting Rid of Pantry Moths


Preventing an infestation is the best case scenario. The second best is to catch it in its early stages. If you’ve only seen one or two pantry moths you might not think you have anything to worry about. But, those moths have probably laid eggs in your cabinets. The important thing is to get rid of those eggs before they hatch into larvae. When you see the first signs of bugs, it’s time to get to work.

Empty Everything from Your Pantry


These little guys like to hide in dry goods. That means, if you’ve seen one moth, there’s probably more where that came from. Empty everything from your pantry and throw it out. This includes packages that are sealed tightly with a plastic top. Eggs and larvae can hide between the lip of the lid and the container. You can hang on to your tupperware, but be sure to thoroughly clean it.

It’s certainly annoying to toss money in the garbage. But, there could be eggs or larvae hiding in those packages. However, there is one alternative to wasting all the food. You can try putting some things in the freezer which will kill the eggs, larvae, and moths. Keep them in frozen for at least 2 days. This is also a trick you can use for clothes that have been exposed to moth larvae. Though, to be truly safe, the best bet is to just toss everything. Now that everything is out of the way, move on to cleaning the cabinets.

Clean Your Pantry


First, thoroughly vacuum the inside of the cabinets. Pay extra special attention to corners. This will get rid of eggs and larvae, but also crumbs of food that will attract future moths. If you can, pull the shelves from the cabinets and vacuum in those crevices. Next, wash down everything with hot soapy water. But, don’t stop there because you’re still not done! Finally, wipe down everything with a half-and-half mix of vinegar and water.

Take Out the Trash


You’ve thrown everything away, including the paper towels used to wash down the cabinets. Take out the garbage right now. Letting the garbage sit can mean that the larvae might have time to turn into moths. Then, they’ll make their way back to your cabinets. All your work will be for nothing! If you’re tossing the garbage into an indoor laundry shoot, be sure to thoroughly seal the bag. Twisting the top of the bag and wrapping it with a little duct tape will do the trick.

Wait to Restock Your Pantry


Give yourself about a week or so to restock the pantry. The longer the better. You can keep checking in the pantry and see if any moths show up. If they do, repeat the above cleaning process or call a professional. When it’s time to restock, take measures to make sure that an infestation doesn’t happen again.

Preventing a New Infestation


Pantry moths are often transferred into our cabinets when we bring home groceries. It’s important to prep your dry food goods before putting them on your shelves.

Cans and Jars


This one is a pain, but if you want to be sure that you’ll stay moth-free, it’s a must. Spray and wipe down any cans or jars with a disinfecting spray. Be sure to get the edges where eggs like to hide.

Dry Goods


Empty dry goods from their packaging and empty them into air-tight containers. You should be putting everything into its own container. That means probably having to invest in a lot of tupperware. On the bright side, all matching containers look attractive and organized! It’s important that the containers are airtight. That way if an egg did make its way in there, it will stay contained. If you ever run out of containers, you can store food in the fridge or freezer. Things like nuts, sugar, flour, and coffee do just fine in the freezer. Breads and cereals will keep nicely in the fridge.

Other Measures


Finally, make sure that you inspect your cabinets often. For moths, as well as for food crumbs. Luckily, now that everything is in containers there will be less cereal and sugar spills. Even if you don’t see something, it never hurts to periodically vacuum and wipe down the insides of your cabinets. If not just for your own peace of mind.

Do You Have a Pantry Pest Infestation?


Whether you have moths, ants, mice or cockroaches, getting rid of them on your own is tough. You can put in all the work, but still run the risk of them returning. Often, your best bet is to just hire a professional. That’s especially true if the infestation has progressed. Washing away webs and eggs is helpful, but professional grade bug sprays are the most reliable. If you need help getting rid of pests, give us a call. We can give you a free estimate today!

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