How do you get rid of pantry moths?

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Are they the same as meal bugs, one stage of life cycle? They swarm around lights, then come in house, and sneak into cupboards. Have even managed somehow to get inside of unopened bags of brown rice and red beans, leaving stringy stuff, and outright white pieces of something -- larva?

  7 answers
  • Sheila Atchison Sheila Atchison on Oct 13, 2017
    They hate bay leaves and I found pantry moth traps recently.
  • Ginny Ginny on Oct 13, 2017
    Have you tried one of the old-fashioned fly strips that are sill available at big box hardware stores?
  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Oct 13, 2017
    It is the larvae that are getting into the bags and boxes. I keep everything like flour, sugar, rice, pasta, everything in plastic containers or glass containers to keep from getting the moths or the little beetles. Take care with any nuts, also as both will go for them. I use a seal a meal type machine for meat that I buy in bulk and started using it for keeping nuts safe, no air, no critters. I have a bird and I do the same with its food and nut treats and only take out a week at a time and get no bugs in them. It will take time and vigilance to get rid of them. Clean all the pantry shelves to make sure you get rid of them there. Check everything in a box or a bag for them. Freezing will kill them If they are in your rice or anything as long as freezing won't harm the item. I don't have a pantry, so any extras of anything will go to the store room, I go through a lot of pasta in our house, so I always have extra in the store room and I containerize those too. You can use anything for containers, I get the gallon screw top containers at Walmart for the stuff like sugar, most used pasta. etc. The plastic containers that are about four cups that peanuts come in are really good for holding many things and most are stackable. You can also see what is in them at a glance. I hope this helps!
    • Sue Sue on Oct 14, 2017
      Great ideas, thank you. And supportive to know I'm not the only one with the problem!
  • Ilene Davis Ilene Davis on Oct 13, 2017
    Years ago I was told if you lay bay leaves on your shelves bugs and stuff will stay away
  • You gotta dump everything that has been invaded and literally take everything out of your kitchen, I mean everything, including pots and pans. Wash every square inch of space. They hate Formula 409 and orange oil. Here are some links to help you out!



  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Oct 13, 2017
    Remove and discard any open food.Keep rice,pasta,sugar,flour etc.in sealed containers.Clean the entire pantry with white vinegar.Place pantry moth traps by Safer inside.
  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Sep 17, 2020

    Hey there Sue, We had an infestation of them last year. So frustrating and had to throw everything that wasn’t canned or in a sealed container out and completely clean and wipe every surface. We also bought sticky moth traps. Apparently, they have some kind of pheromone inside that attracts the moths and then they get stuck. We’ve also hung bay leaves in our pantry (my Mom’s advice) and that seems to work. They haven’t been back this year.

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