Pantry Moths #833312

Asked June 02, 2023, 7:33 AM EDT

In March of 2022 we realized we had an infestation of pantry moths. We had noticed the small, flying moths two months prior, but just thought they were coming in from outside. One day I opened my cabinet in the kitchen and one flew out, so I thought maybe I needed to check my flour, sugar, etc. I did- and noticed nothing unusual. A week later I went to use a spice (from that same cabinet on a lower shelf) and found that it had webbing under the lid. It turned out that almost all my spices were infested. A neighbor had grown hot peppers, dried and put some in a glass jar for us. I used it once in January 2022, realized it was too spicy for my taste, and never used it again. Lid was on tight but come to find out there was a whole family of the moths growing in that jar. Threw away every single spice jar, all things in the kitchen with any sort of grain, vacuumed all cabinets with a bagged vacuum, used hot vinegar water and scrubbed all cabinets in entire kitchen, rubbed peppermint oil on all shelves and installed pantry moth sticky traps in every cabinet. (several days worth of work!!!) Then, we found them in our screened porch- webbing behind a wood box and in some garden gloves. So, we emptied the ENTIRE porch, vacuumed, scrubbed with vinegar water. Scrubbed all porch furniture, etc. Then, we found them in our fireplace. There had been a black circle in the back we saw when we removed the logs. I felt it was a piece of a mouse -eek. I took a grill spatula and scraped it out, really well and threw it away. Took out all the gas logs (they are STILL not put back in!) got rid of all the fake embers, vacuumed as best we could. Put in the traps. That was all in 2022. We have spent so much money on the traps. We replaced them when they were full and put new ones in. We also put some in our basement. In June of 2022 I saw little larvae falling on the glass cooktop (makes me want to throw up typing this) and didn't stop searching until I found the source. There was a dead mouse in the cabinet above the range hood! Remember, we had emptied and cleaned every single cabinet in our kitchen in March, so I KNOW it wasn't there then! My husband removed it, we removed everything in that cabinet and took it outside- got rid of whatever we could and kept the rest of the items outside (Nothing remained in our garage!!) and left it out there until I could scrub it with hot vinegar water, inspect it, wash it again, then I ran it through the dishwasher. I never put it back in the cabinet for two months. We put 3 traps in that cabinet. Over the winter months (January 2023- April) we didn't have ANY activity in the brand new traps! We thought it was ok and we had won the battle. Ever since June, the fireplace traps are getting more full. The kitchen traps are catching a few, but we are just so DONE with this. We do NOT know what to do. We really want to be able to use our fireplace again but I can't take a chance of putting embers back in if there is a chance they will lay eggs in it!! What can we do? I've called and spoken with 5 pesticide companies and they all tell me that spraying isn't going to help. My question is: Are the ones we are catching resulting from the ones we had previously or do we have another "Source" we need to locate?? We are EXTREMELY Frustrated and disgusted and do not know how to proceed. Can you PLEASE help give us some advice? (I wanted to attach a picture of one of the traps but for some reason, after trying for 30 minutes, it will not allow me to send you the pictures I took).

Franklin County Ohio

Expert Response

Since you are in Franklin County, I suggest you call the Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteers<personal data hidden> Option #4 OR Call Directly<personal data hidden> for information.

An Ask Extension Expert Replied June 02, 2023, 11:31 AM EDT

Loading ...