A few years ago, our pantry was infested with pantry moths. I'd never heard of the insect, but I soon learned they are almost impossible to get rid of.

Pantry moths love grains like rice and even red pepper flakes. They lay their eggs in nests inside air-tight canisters, in pots or in shelving corners. It's brutal!

The Pantry Moth or the Indian Meal Moth was a problem for us about 3 years ago and we almost completely got rid of them. Now, these disgusting bugs are back, far less than a few years ago, but they're back.

We use the Black Flag Pantry Pest trap that actually works very well. We keep a fresh one in our pantry, changing them out every few months throughout the year. Over the winter and spring, we had no moths in the traps. However, this week, the moths are back and we've spotted about 10. Fortunately, almost all of them have been attracted to the trap and being exterminated; however, once they escape the pantry, they can survive anywhere throughout the house.

Pantry Moth trap by Black Flag. Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM
Pantry Moth trap by Black Flag. Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM
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Over the winter, we completely emptied our pantry, threw out everything stored in cardboard, and completely sterilized the food closet. Then we added traps we purchased at Lowes that are specifically for Pantry Moths and it seemed like we were in good shape. Then, we started seeing the traps were collecting more of the moths.

Pantry Moth trap by Black Flag. Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM
Pantry Moth trap by Black Flag. Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM
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Using the traps year round has helped along with making sure containers are really air-tight. A few years back, what we thought was an air-tight container really wasn't.  The moths were using the container with granola as their home.

An "air-tight" container filled with granola and infested by Pantry Moths. Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM
An "air-tight" container filled with granola and infested by Pantry Moths. Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM
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The "air tight" container of granola turned into a breeding ground for the moths and their larvae. Either the larvae were able to crawl into the container from the top, or the granola came from the store with the moth eggs already in it.

We discarded the granola container and we've thrown everything out that isn't an aluminum can, a sealed container or heavy plastic. Interestingly, the moths and their larvae can eat through plastic bags and make their way in under screw-on lids.

If you have these moths, throw everything out that might be infested clean out the pantry and completely sterilize and clean every shelf and nook and cranny. Be sure to add the  Black Flag traps which will work long-term to kill off the bug's offspring. And...good luck.

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