How can I deal with pantry moths in my home?

Asked May 5, 2014, 11:22 AM EDT

How can I deal with pantry moths in my home? I have been using the pheromone traps for several months, and while they catch many moths, there are still more flying around the house, on both floors.
I have done the cleaning of storage areas and disposing of suspect grains, etc.
I have not been able to find where the eggs are growing and hatching...

Dane County Wisconsin urban integrated pest management

1 Response

In addition to human food, do not rule out pet food, bird food and even organic lawn care products such as corn gluten. Any of these products can bring pantry moths into your home.

A big infestation can take over a year to eliminate even with regular use of phermone traps and consistent use of glass or airtight plastic containers.

I will go through the recommended cleaning steps, just in case you missed anything. To be thorough, remove everything from storage areas. Throw all suspect items out and immediately remove the garbage bags out of the home. Wipe all surfaces. Vacuum crevices. Empty and wash any containers that were in the area. When you are absolutely certain you have taken all steps to thoroughly clean an area, install a pheromone trap before moving to the next potential problem area. Once you have installed a number of traps in potential areas, notice if any one of them is attracting more moths than another.

You may also want to check clothing areas just to make sure that you are trying to eliminate pantry moths and not clothing moths. However, with a substantial infestation of pantry moths, they can end up in closets among clothing as they move out of the infested area.

Even if you have taken all of these steps, be diligent in taking precautions for 1-2 years. Eventually, the lifecycle will run its course and they will disappear, if you have eliminated the source. Continue using phermone traps on a regular basis to catch any new moths that are brought in with new products. They are unobtrusive and non-toxic and will be your best bet to manage this once you have it under control. Patience and persistence are important tools for non-toxic pest control.

Note that some pheromone traps may seem more effective than others. I cannot endorse any one product but I encourage you to try several varieties/brands to find what works best for you.

Good luck!