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Food moths

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default Food moths

Post by Jaded Green on 20th May 2010, 10:00 pm

Does anyone have a suggestion for getting rid of these? However many times I turn out my cupboards and clean everything, make sure all the food is sealed in jars, they still return.

I was thinking of replacing the kitchen, as I can only think they are deep in the fibreboard of the cupboards, but a friend tells me that another of our friends did just that and they still came back.
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Post by Mike on 20th May 2010, 11:59 pm

Depends on what sort.

If what you mean are the adults of flour weevils, all grains need to be in tight containers and putting a couple whole bay leaves in each might help.

Seriously, you need to identify in order to break the life cycle. Replacing cupboards not going to be the elast bit of good if the larval stage is elsewhere. You can ignore the adults if you can eliminate breeding success as then they'd soon die out.

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Post by Snoopka on 21st May 2010, 6:17 am

I take it you must be talking about Indian meal moths:

Indianmeal moths are the most common moths infesting food in the home. Moths, which may be found inside infested products or flying about the house, have a wingspan of 1/2 to 5/8 inch. The base of the front wing is pale gray or tan and the outer two-thirds is reddish-brown with a coppery luster. The wing markings are distinctive, but may not be clear if the scales have been rubbed from the wings. The larvae are off-white with shades of yellow, pink, green, or brown and grow to 1/2 inch. Only the larvae feed in infested products, which can be any dry stored food or whole grain. Foods infested with these insects will have silk webbing present on the surface of the product. Larvae often leave the food when mature and may move long distances before stopping to spin a cocoon. It is common to find caterpillars and cocoons on ceilings and walls. Adult moths may be seen for several weeks after the food source has been removed

You can see them fly around at the moth stage, they are quite easy to kill then, but by then they have laid eggs somewhere else. It is particularly tricky if you buy food in bulk, as it is best to just buy small quantities - infestations come and go - an Australian friend told me that she routinely turned out all her cupboards once a year and got rid off everything to keep it under control. Unfortunately they occur in lots of the foodstuff that is "healthy" (nuts, dried fruit, cereals of any kind, rice, flour, etc...) One way is to try and freeze as much as you can, as it stops their life cycle.

I first came across these pests when I was managing a large health food shop in London - the staff and I used to have to play all sorts of tricks to ensure customers did not realise that we were badly infested. (especially in the store-room). It was a losing battle.

Now i get them in my kitchen as it gets very hot here, and some years are worse than others, but by killing the moths and keeping a close eye on susceptible products, and keeping cupboards as spotlessly clean as possible, the problem is quite manageable.

However, I did find out that the moth can carry some disease (until then I was not concerned about that), so that if you use foodstuff where they have been it is better to cook it first. I have been known to just get rid of the cobwebbs and the little maggots, if they are in flour or oatmeal, and just cook or bake it.

I can't see how possible it would be to avoid them altogether, except by eating thoroughly sanitized and deadened food. Those pests will occur in most products that come from hot countries.
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Post by Snoopka on 21st May 2010, 6:23 am

I just came across a new tip against those food moths: apparently they don't like bay leaves, so you should scatter those in your cupboards.
I also forgot to say that you should vacuum your ceilings and walls carefully where many are bound to hang out.
http://www.thathomesite.com/forums/load/disaster/msg0923475410367.html?23
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Post by Jaded Green on 21st May 2010, 7:45 am

Thanks for this. Really useful
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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 21st May 2010, 9:00 am

yes bay leaves do work. We used to have a really bad infestation in our old cottage but strewing bay leaves in cupboards and in containers worked a treat.

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Post by AngelinaJellyBeana on 21st May 2010, 12:14 pm

Brilliant, thanks for that. I wondered what the little blighters were
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Post by Compostwoman on 21st May 2010, 1:29 pm

Psoscids are not very nice, either.....

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 21st May 2010, 1:56 pm

Pscoscidj and mash is quite nice.

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Post by Jaded Green on 22nd May 2010, 9:30 am

Fresh or dried bay leaves?

I'm going shopping later.
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Post by flute on 20th February 2011, 8:25 pm

This just caught my eye, will bay leaves also work on keeping away clothes eating things? Practically all of my tops have little holes in, but noone else's clothes do. Sad

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 20th February 2011, 9:07 pm

Not sure, flute. Camphor might be better.

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Post by flute on 20th February 2011, 10:28 pm

Thanks! Will look into it.

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Post by polgara on 20th February 2011, 10:41 pm

Lavender helps

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Post by Compostwoman on 20th February 2011, 10:56 pm

EO of Cedar is best of all.

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Post by mr_sfstk8d on 21st February 2011, 2:06 pm

Many of my chothes have little holes too. But in my case it's usually "catching" a tool oddly or weld spatter, lol. Suppose you might relate to the molten metal 'berries', CW?
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Post by Compostwoman on 21st February 2011, 2:50 pm

Oh yes...also burn holes from flying embers in all my outdoor fleeces!

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 21st February 2011, 4:41 pm

"And the inevitable pinhole burns all down the front of my favorite satin shirt."

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