Getting Rid of Pantry Moths

Matija Marohnić

There’s a good chance that at some point in your life you’ll start seeing moths in your apartment. It’s tempting to just shrug it off and kill them as they come, because that’s very easy to do considering that they have the reflexes of a brick. However, they leave powder stains when squashed, so your walls will get dirty pretty soon. Maybe you decide to start killing them in flight, or sucking them in with a vacuum cleaner (it’s very satisfying). However, you’re still treating the symptom rather than the illness, which becomes painfully obvious once you start seeing larvae.

Pantry moths and their disgusting babies.

Similar to human children, if you see one larva, there are probably more. They are fucking disgusting and pretty embarrassing. To temporarily hide them from your guests you could try murdering the ones you see right before your they arrive, but that didn’t [work so well] for me because my walls soon got filled with new ones.

In this article I’ll talk about how I got rid of pantry moths, which are a completely different species from clothing moths. I thought those two were one and the same, but now you know better.

Pantry (a.k.a. indian meal) moth vs. clothing moth.

Ok, no more pictures because I’m feeling nauseous.


The solution varies depending on your situation and the way you store food which doesn’t go in the fridge (like flour and dried fruit). You should take each item of food in your pantry and check outside and inside if there are any moths, larvae or web-like thingies (pupas). If you see any of those things inside, I suggest throwing the item in the trash, hopefully it wasn’t anything too delicious! If the item was clear, put it somewhere on the side.

If you’re curious, the main source in my case were walnuts.

There are also eggs, but you can’t watch out for them because you can’t really see them. If you suspect that an item might be “infected” (standard zombie terminology), but it’s too precious to you, you could put it in the freezer for a week, which should kill any signs of life. I wouldn’t be that excited about eating dead moth eggs, but whatever floats your boat.

Other than in the food, pupas (where the gruesome magic of transformation happens) are often formed in corners of walls. Look for them and destroy them passionately.

After you checked and cleared every item, you’re left with empty shelves probably covered with black crumbs, which might be moth feces (I don’t know nor do I care to find out). Thoroughly clean those shelves with a cleaning product just to be sure and place those items back on the shelf. In the future try keeping your food in closed containers.

By the way, I heard that chestnuts repel pantry moths similarly to how lavender repels clothing moths. I haven’t tried it yet, but you could.


During the next week or two you might see a couple of larvae, but if you successfully identified and threw out all of the moth orgies, those aren’t new, they were probably just hiding from the massacre you unleashed upon them earlier. If the larvae are tiny, this might be a cause for concern, because they are young.

But hopefully you’ll start seeing these fuckers less and less.

Hopefully.

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