How do you get rid of pantry moths??


Help! We’re being overrun with pantry moths! I’ve cleaned, thrown away food & now keep everything that comes in a box either in a ziplock or transfer immediately to an airtight container. We’ve sprayed & use moth traps, but are still having a problem. Appreciate any help & ideas.

  5 answers
  • Kauai Breeze Kauai Breeze on Aug 18, 2018

    I have found most of my moth problem starts with dry macaroni. Those little buggers even chew through heavy plastic baggies! Get in the habit of putting any new dry pantry items, especially flour and macaroni, into your freezer for 24 hours before storing them in the pantry. That will kill any larva hitchhiking into your home.

    • Michelle Michelle on Aug 18, 2018

      Thank you! I’m going to start putting pasta and mixes in the freezer first. I threw out all of my dry goods & bought new in total frustration, and it still didn’t work. Hopefully the freezing will!

  • Georgia Kazma Clough Georgia Kazma Clough on Aug 18, 2018

    I’ve had those pantry moths climb under lids of screw on bottles. They also burrow through zip locks. The only way I know is to freeze the entire container to freeze them. They are real buggers.

    • Michelle Michelle on Aug 18, 2018

      Thank you! I’m going to start putting boxes & bags in the freezer. It’s totally driving me nuts!

  • Jan Clark Jan Clark on Aug 18, 2018

    Been there, Michelle, and it truly is frustrating. You have to stop the cycle. Killing the tiny eggs is the best start. Since you can't see them, you'll need 100% coverage. So, if you haven't already, clear out your pantry and wipe everything down with a disinfecting cleaner. Let that air dry. Then get some bay leaves (yup, from the spice section of your supermarket) and put them out on the shelves. That should do it. Bay leaves don't really smell, but the do repel nearly every kind of insect pest. You can also use Rosemary twigs if you grow it in your garden (which may have a scent). Next, absolutely keep everything in air tight containers. The reason: products and packaging often harbor unseen eggs of pest insects. If they stay in your pantry long enough, they may hatch and mature - and give you this problem. But if they are in an airtight container, the problem is localized to that container and you can just toss the contents. This problem was so bad when I was a kid in south Florida, we kept almost all our perishables in the refrigerator or freezer.

    • Michelle Michelle on Aug 18, 2018

      Thank you! I’ll try putting out bay leaves & Rosemary. I don’t know why I didn’t think of the bay leaves...I’ve been putting one in my flour canister for years.

  • Rymea Rymea on Aug 18, 2018

    You can buy the traps on Amazon. I only used one, it worked and lasted for a long time. All you do is hang it up in the cabinet where the insects are.

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Sep 17, 2020

    So sorry to hear that Michelle. 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.