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Kelly J. Cooper

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What's Bugging You? [Jul. 18th, 2009|05:35 am]
Kelly J. Cooper

In response to my previous post, iy asked me about moths and snails.

Here's my response, with some additional notes, for handling grain moths...

For getting rid of kitchen moths, AKA grain moths, there are a couple of vendors who offer "scent traps" - they're pieces of sticky cardboard and you open a scent lure and drop it onto the sticky bit. The cardboard is folded into a triangle shape to minimize the dust landing on the glue, so the stick stays sticky. They're open on either end so that the scent of the lure can move with the air in your kitchen.

I've used both Safer's Pantry Pest Trap and SpringStar Bird Seed Moth Traps to excellent effect. I like scent traps because they're targeted & minimize chemical crap in my kitchen. They attract the males and the buggers get stuck, so no breeding, which gradually depletes the population.

However, if your infestation is quite bad, you'll need to ALSO clean the kitchen from top to bottom. Focus on the trouble spots, take everything out of the pantry and throw away anything not sealed in a can, glass jar, or foil (certain snack bars and chips are safe because of their foil wrappers, others not so much).

No matter how good the plastic container, the eggs are microscopic and the fresh born maggots are so tiny they can get into ANY PLASTIC. I cannot emphasize this enough! Given time, they WILL get into even the best, highest quality plastic or rubber-ware. Chuck everything edible. Remove (if they're removable) the shelves and wipe them down with a good cleaner or diluted bleach. If you have those cabinets with extra holes for moving the shelves around? Get Q-tips and hit EVERY HOLE. They're like maggot condos for the little fuckers.

Their favorite foods are grains, nuts, and chocolate. So they'll focus on your pasta, your cereal, and your candy bars first, then everything else second. Even if they don't like it, they'll worm their way in to try it.

Dip the bottom of every can, jar, and bottle into a diluted bleach solution (or your best natural alternative), wipe with a clean cloth, and then put back on the shelves after they've been washed and dried.

Buy all new pasta, cereal, other grains, etc. and, if you can, put them into glass containers. Tape the name of the food (cut from the cardboard box) on the OUTSIDE of the container. Don't put it inside - the eggs often hide in the cardboard. Put scent traps everywhere, but focus on putting them up high - on top of the fridge and cabinets - so the air currents can carry the scent to the flyers.

They like to go UP, so focus less on a dirty floor and more on cabinets - do NOT neglect the tops of the cabinets! Maggots will crawl up the walls & cocoon in the corner where the wall meets the ceiling - this gives the moth the best chance of being able to fly away. Watch the walls & doors of your cabinets for travelers heading up - squish them when found. Get a new mop or something that you can use to wipe them off the walls out of reach. Clean the webby stuff from wherever the walls meet the ceiling. And, of course, continue to squish & kill any moths you see.

Once you've got the infestation under control and your traps aren't constantly full, you can go back to using your standard rubber-ware (which you've thoroughly washed and possibly even soaked in a diluted bleach solution or something else really strong) as it does slow them down more than if you just have cardboard boxes of pasta in your cabinets.

I speak from the experience of TWO major infestations. One back at the Ranch, where they blossomed in an ancient open bag of walnuts, and one here in our current place.

And if you find even just a little bit of webbing inside a box of ANYTHING, chuck it and take out the garbage. It's infested.

[User Picture]From: dietrich
2009-07-22 09:59 am (UTC)
Another tip I've found useful: if you buy anything in bulk at the grocery, stick it in the freezer for 24 hours before storing it in your pantry.

I had success cleaning with baking soda, also.
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