What is the best way to rid a food pantry of moths?

Pat Howard
by Pat Howard
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My pantry is overrun with moths. I would rather not use commercial insecticides. Any home remedies available?

  9 answers
  • KattywhampusLOL KattywhampusLOL on Sep 02, 2017
    Good Morning Pat .... I am pretty sure at least 80% of the population here in the States has this problem; I know I do! The link below tells you what you can do to keep the situation under control. Nothing will keep them completely away forever, but you CAN keep them under control so you don't see more than a few each year. As soon as you DO see one, you can betcha it is laying a family somewhere, and if you don't take action you will soon have enough of them to carry you on a flight around the neighborhood ;) LOL Well, Good Luck Pat :) Thanks for asking HOMETALK for solutions :)

  • They hate formula 409. You must take everything out of every cabinet, inspect for infestation and clean clean clean. You can wipe everything down with hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol, but alcohol is flamable - so take care. I purchased an "orange guard" type product. Here are a couple links to help you out.


  • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Sep 02, 2017
    Well, Pat, you try to find out where moths have access to your pantry. Where are the eggs getting in? If you store paper bags, use cardboard boxes the food comes in, or use old cardboard boxes to organize the pantry, you probably have found the source. If you have seen several moths, you need to check for weevils in grains, ants around canned food, and roaches on the floor of the pantry. Clean every inch of the pantry AND clean or wipe off every item in the pantry. Throw away old, infested and loosely stored items. I think you ought to use strong chemicals to clean the shelves -- like bleach, or ammonia, or vinegar and baking soda. Choose ONE and don't mix cleaners. These cleaners are definitely chemicals, but they don't have brand names. Best wishes 😇

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Sep 02, 2017
    What sort of moths live in your Pantry? I would call the Public Health dept and ask for their help........

  • Sch8457940 Sch8457940 on Sep 02, 2017
    The listed ideas work, sticky traps catch them and their spawn. You will be surprised how many you catch. Get rid of onions, open fruit, and open flour , don't forget the pancake batter. I store all my flour and mixes in Tupperware or mason jars. Haven't had a pantry moth flying loose in ages . I replace the traps regulary , they are evidence that the critters are still coming in but you are in control. I never buy a leaky bag or box from the store as that leaky bit of flour is a carrier. Good luck.

  • Becky Becky on Sep 02, 2017
    It's hard to do, but yes, really get rid of all the staples in the pantry first. All pasta, rice, crackers, flour, etc., that isn't truly sealed (like in glass or a can). I've found bugs in unopened pasta packages and chocolate chip bags where they manage to make a hole in the bag. Clean it all well. Then get a pantry moth trap at your hardware store. These have a scent that will lure the moths in and they'll die in the trap, but it's better than spraying insecticide in your cupboard. Here's an example - http://www.homedepot.com/p/Terro-Pantry-Moth-Trap-T2900/204170491

  • Pennie Collins Pennie Collins on Sep 02, 2017
    Personally, I would throw out all grain products, clean, and put everything in plastic.

  • Dodie Dodie on Sep 02, 2017
    After cleaning everything with bleach and discarding any foods that could be harboring weevil and eggs. I used small organza bags filled with bay leaves. I thumb tacked th bags in back of pantry above each shelf. I also dropped a couple of leaves in bottom of clean canisters of rice,beans,pasta. For flour products I poured into Ziploc bags then placed bags in canister with bay leaves on bottom. It's been over a year and I am just seeing the tiny enemies again......so I am repeating process this week and refreshing all bay leaf bags.

  • Emily Emily on Sep 02, 2017
    WE had a terrible infestation once when I stored bird seed in the food pantry. Took us a very long time to rid ourselves of them. What finally worked was a little cardboard moth repellant we got from our local hardware store. Yes, to cleaning, discarding, plastic containers (moths can be in these if in the food stored). Knock on wood we don't get these again but I would head right out to hardware store for those cardboard things.