4 Ways To Get Rid Of Pantry Moths In The Kitchen

You’ve probably seen these guys in your pantry or near your clothes. You may have dismissed them or did some light vacuuming as a result of their presence. While you might fear the common house spider and kill them, pantry moths do more damage and are an enemy of the home. If you spot one of these flying menaces in your pantry, it’s safe to say that there are plenty more moth eggs and larva around. Here are some tips and tricks on how to effectively handle a moth infestation.

1. Dispose of All Dry Goods

To effectively remove the moths and risk spreading the infestation, bag up all the dry goods in your pantry. While that might seem like an extreme move, if you find one moth in your oatmeal chances are there’s more; an adult female moth can lay up to 400 eggs. To be on the safe side, ditch the flour, sugar, rice, pasta, and other dry goods in your pantry. After you’ve bagged all the dry goods, be sure to take them out to the curb.

2. Deep Clean The Pantry

Once you’ve disposed of the infested dry goods, do a deep clean of the pantry, just because their food source is gone does not mean they are. Moths’ tiny bodies can hide out in the smallest of cracks and the crevices of containers, so be sure to bleach the food containers. Wipe down the pantry with a 50/50 vinegar and water solution, add some peppermint oil to the solution–moths hate the smell of peppermint. After cleaning and vacuuming, wait a week or so to restock the pantry to make sure the infestation is gone.

3. Set Out Moth Traps

Think twice before you grab the pesticides, as they don’t work well on moths and it’s not safe for the kitchen. Save the moth balls for other places in the house, since their scent is so strong the food in your pantry may end up smelling like moth balls. A great odorless and food-safe option are moth traps. The traps are sticky and release pheromones that attract male moths. The moth will get stuck inside and die; this type of trap puts a wrench in moths’ mating process, less males moths mean less eggs.

4. Prevention

How do moth infestations begin? A lot of times they get into your home by hitching a ride on food products that came from moth infested warehouses. When you’re at the store, double-check the cans and packaging of food items before putting them in your cart and when you get home give the can a rinse–just to be safe. Purchase airtight glass or plastic containers to store your dry goods in, as this will help decrease the chances of another infestation. Another trick is to put peppermint leaves, bay leaves, or cedar chips in a sachet and place it in the back of your pantry or cupboard, that will deter moths from making a home in your food.

If you tried the methods mentioned above and are still having with moths, give Amco Ranger a call and we’ll come out and assess the situation. Our goal is to deliver the highest quality service and answer any questions you may come across so you can live a pest-free lifestyle. We’ll happily come to your home and provide you with a FREE inspection.

What Causes Moths In The Home?

Although people think of protecting their clothes when it comes to moths, did you know that moths love breeding in your carpets? That is why they are often referred to as carpet moths. But what causes carpet moths, and why do they eat your clothes and carpets?

Identifying Carpet Moths

Carpet moths are easy to spot and generally have the following traits:

  • Small with a mottled brown color and black spots across their front wings
  • Have a wingspan measuring between 9 and 16mm
  • Both their hind and forewings have hairy fringes.
  • The moth larvae leave their casing behind. If you find something in your carpet that looks similar to rice, this is a sign that you probably have moths.


What Causes Carpet Moths?

The larvae of carpet moths eat the keratin proteins found in skin and hair. They have a strong attraction to fur, silk, wool, and other high quality and natural materials. If you don’t have silk or wool carpets in your home, there’s still a chance you will get moths. They can fly in from outside and will happily make a home in synthetic carpet fibers too.

Within the pile of a carpet or rug, moths can hide their eggs safely out of harm’s way. Once the eggs hatch, they turn into hungry larvae. Even if the larvae don’t eat the actual fibers, they will still eat dirt that collects in them, such as food crumbs, hair, skin, and other household dirt. These are filled with all the nutrients they need to grow.

They also like eating dirty clothes for similar reasons. These items will be covered in hair, skin and sweat, all rich in keratin.

Another contributing factor to carpet moth infestations is the climate. They prefer warm temperatures, so are more active during the summer.

Prevent Carpet Moths

The best remedy is to not have any carpeting. However, if that’s not possible, cleaning and especially vacuuming your carpet regularly can control carpet moths from becoming an infestation.

Keeping clothing freshly laundered before going back in your closet or drawers is another strategy. Also, using pheromone moth traps can help curb the population.

We Can Help

If you already have a moth infestation, give Amco Ranger a call. No matter how intimidating or pervasive your pest problem, you can trust that we know exactly how to handle it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Give us a call today if you need help getting rid of pests in your home in Cottleville, St. Peters, O’Fallon, St. Charles, St. Louis, and surrounding communities.