How do I get rid of tiny moths in kitchen?

Asked October 20, 2015, 10:01 PM EDT

My kitchen has been overtaken by tiny kitchen moths. They lay eggs on my ceiling and live in my brown rice, flowers and grains. How do I get rid of them? I have tried removing the larve in the ceiling but they have taken over.

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

It sounds like you have pantry pests, the most common of which is the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella. These moths lay eggs in your stored food stuffs. Their caterpillars hatch, eat, and then go to the ceiling to convert into pupae, the intermediate life stage between larva and adult.

Management is focused on destroying the moths' food source(s).

- Locate and destroy the food source(s).

- Locate and destroy all the pupae (in their cocoons) at the ceiling; also check behind removable shelves and in the small peg holes in the cupboard/pantry.

- Store all unaffected foods, and new purchases, in tight containers. Best are rigid containers that seal with a gasket, or thick-walled plastics with tight lids.

- Consider storing perishable dry foods, cereals and grains in the refrigerator or freezer.

- Thoroughly clean the cupboard/pantry.

- Pesticides aren’t useful.

- After clean-up has been completed, obtain traps for pantry pests (flour moths) which will trap the male moths you missed during the cleanup.