The most obvious sign of pantry moths is the crumbly cobweb-like webbing they leave behind. But if you’re seeing the webbing, it might be too late.
It’s the larvae you want to focs on – those small, thin white maggots that seem to get into everything. Which, just FYI, they can! Measuring a teensy 12mm these kitchen pests can bite through plastic and cardboard, heck they can even work their way through a screw lid jar if it’s not tightly closed, which is why, if you have a pantry moth problem, you need to get to the source.
Also called the Indian mealmoth, pantry moths love the heat – and dry food, especially cereal, flour, bread, pasta and rice. But, good news: to survive, the eggs and larvae need to be in temperatures of 10 degrees or more. So the best way to clear your pantry of these annoying creatures? Freeze those suckers out. By placing your food in the freezer for up to a week you’ll kill off any eggs and larvae.
If that’s not practical there are other ways. Hello pheromone traps! These special pantry moth traps lure the males into a triangular box with sticky walls. Another natural way to prevent an infestation is by placing peppermint teabags in the corners of your cupboards. If that doesn’t work, try a couple of drops of lemon essential oil on a cotton ball. Just be careful to store dried food in airtight metal or glass jars so the scent of the oil doesn’t flavour your food, and you keep the bugs out.
Often arriving in packaged food, the eggs are so small it can be tricky to spot them, but if you do see them or the larvae, throw out your food, scrub your cupboards and drawers with soap and water or a vinegar solution and start again.