My Dirty Little Secret

P1150668Today  I am going to wage war.  By the time you finish reading this post I will be elbow deep in my pantry.

Yes, I have a dirty little secret.   Today I lay it all out in front of you all —-I am baring my soul.

I have pantry moths.   There.  I said it.  Pantry moths have invaded my house.

Those annoying little pests that find the tiniest hole in a bag of flour, box of cereal or bag of rice and make themselves at home.  I did not invite them.  They are not welcome here but I know how they got here.

I blame it on the birdseed.  In my love of all things nature I have bins in my garage to hold various types of  deer food squirrel food bird seed.  These bins seal but because there are little hinged lids there are some gaps and guess what?   Some of those gaps said ” Welcome Home” to those pesky little creatures and as a result they have just made themselves at home not only in my garage but also in my house.

The cats are amused by them and leap at them.  I have seen Buddy take down one or two in an afternoon and lick his chops after the little buggers met their demise at his paw.  But enough is enough.   When I opened my Tupperware container of oatmeal and found that they had made themselves a nice little nest there I decided it was time for drastic measures.

My sister had a similar experience with said moths years ago and was a great source of information.  So today please forgive me if I don’t answer your comments immediately.  I am arming myself with OdoBan, new shelf paper, garbage bags,  bay leaves and pantry moth traps.  It won’t be pretty but hopefully when I am done our infestation will be gone and I will have a nice clean pantry.


  1. Well I didn’t click “Like” today cause that isn’t a fun chore! Good luck. The OdoBan alone ought to do it.. 😉 That is some interesting stuff. We used to use it on our boat for mildew but we found it ran the spiders off!!!

    • It does every thing, doesn’t it? It is my go to cleaner—great disinfectant and all purpose cleaner. Thanks for the good wishes. Of course the past 2 days (after I wrote this post) I have seen nary a sign of them so I think they know what is coming. I will take no prisoners.

  2. I remember we had those when we had parakeets many moons ago. I wonder if there are larvae already in the seed? I have seen some in our birdseed and cracked corn in the garage as well. Good luck! I am going to get some better buckets that seal! I don’t want them in the house.

    • I bet that is where they came from. I have everything in tupperware or rubbermaid stuff but somehow they wormed their way in. And the worms are gross, in my humble opinion. that is what I have been klieg lately so the moths are on the way…

  3. Oh I just saw the “ran off spiders” comment. I’m getting some of that stuff! 🙂

  4. Eek! I have a huge bug phobia. I am now realizing that me storing bags of flour in plastic grocery sacks isn’t such a good idea. Do you have to throw out your food or is it ok to use?

    • I am going to throw most everything out probably. You can tell when you open the container if they are in there. I have never had a problem till this year so you might be okay. I know it was the birdseed so now I am putting bay leaves in that when I buy it AND using the traps. But first I have to clean the pantry and since tomorrow is trash day that is why I chose today!!! Now to get to it!

    • I have always used some kind of plastic (tupperware, rubbermaid) container to store my flour and baking stuff in. I was ruthless and just threw a ton of stuff out so I didn’t have to worry about a re-infestation in case they were in the cardboard, etc. They are just gross and I want no part of them! 🙂 The up side is now my pantry is all clean and organized!

  5. Allison Spruill says:

    Oh no! Good luck today! I’d use it as an excuse to go out to eat. 🙂

  6. You’ve motivated me to have a look at my pantry moths. :0

  7. Chris Chiles says:

    You dirty little girl….

  8. Rose Rich says:

    I’ll definitely check out the OdoBan. I’ve found those things in my cereal too!

  9. I have never had this problem. Sounds like a pain. Good luck kicking them out of your house.

  10. comebackmommajenn says:

    I have never had this problem. Good luck with your defense tactics.

  11. Oh no’s. Sounds like a lot of work but probably well worth it. Good luck!!!

  12. OK, am I the only one here who has never heard of pantry moths? What do they look like? I don’t want them, no matter what.

    I am interested in that OdoBan. Will it get rid of mice? Those rodents are my problem in my old old house with many cracks for them to slip through into the basement. Also, we have a partial crawl space and that seems to be emitting some funky earthy smell this year.

    I would say “have fun,” but your task today sounds like anything but “fun.” However, I do see that Mr. Diamond slipped in some “fun” with his comment.

    • Here you go, Audrey. If you had them you would know! They are annoying little buggers and of course as I start today I see no signs of them but I will forge ahead!!!!

      Don’t know what OdoBan can do for mice. It is a great disinfectant and has always done really well for me on odors and stains.

      And yes–Mr. Diamond had to make me laugh this morning with his comment. 🙂 Hope you are feeling better!

  13. Ohhh nnooo! These little buggers were my worst nightmare as a homeowner. Thanks to some granola purchased at the local health food store, we were infested for Months!! I had to finally throw out all our food in the pantry, buy new food and keep it in a very tightly sealed chest in the living room – And bomb the dickens out of our pantry over several days. then clean it all out, wait another week to make sure I didn’t see anymore. then put the food back in. It took me months to replace all the baking supplies, spices, etc. (since I found one of the buggers in a spice container of nutmeg…??!!!). Terrible, terrible things.
    Take my advice — wait a good week before you put any food back because if they have laid eggs, or whatever it is they do — it will take a week for the new pests to hatch. So you might think they are gone, and POOF! back they come.
    I now keep Bay leaves scattered throughout my pantry because the smell is supposed to keep them away. Good Luck!

    • I am hoping I got to them before they got too bad. I have not seen too many of the moths lately but have seen those gross worms so I have been killing what I could see up until D Day today. I think with all my measures I have succeeded. Time will tell.

  14. Saundra Shultz says:


  15. This explains a little. I’ve only seen here and there what I am now guessing to be a pantry moth, but in my bedroom. My house is being overrun by pests I can’t identify until the Internet steps in. Last year, it was drain flies. I’m at the point where it may be better to move.

    • Moving might be the answer….but if it is in your closets it might be the clothe eating kind of moths. And if you don’t get rid of them you will move them with you. 😦 Drain flies is a new one—I need to ask my friend Mr. Google about that one!

      • I’m to the point where I’m fantasizing about being forced to move back in with my (super clean freak) parents, my three kids in tow. But before that happens, I’ve called my housecleaning service because of your post.

        • I like the move back in with mom and dad idea!!! 🙂 Good luck with the cleaning service. I am sure you made a great decision in doing that. I am happy to say I am done with the project—all clean and tidy and hopefully moth free. Time will tell!

  16. Attack!

  17. Mary stutts says:

    I know the feeling. Good luck!

  18. I can’t stand having any kind of bug or mice in my house. I had bought a box of fllour at the grocery store. When I went to open it, out came some kind of flying bug. I took it back and they asked me is I wanted another one. I said NO, I just want my money back. As I was walking around the store I saw these same bugs flying around. Need I say more? I hope yours are gone for good.

    • I agree. If you see those guys in a store–run fast out the door! Chances are whatever you buy there will have eggs or something in it . Not worth taking the risk. I threw out a ton of stuff but I feel better about throwing it out in case there were little fellas in it. Better safe than sorry. It is all sparkling clean now so I feel better!

  19. Oh my goodness! What a crisis. They are awful invaders, that much I can attest to. I work in the food industry and they are nasty. A few facts we discovered the hard way: Their larvae can travel miles to their destination (food). They can wriggle their way into airtight containers as long as they is 1-2 millimeters of an opening. Only vacuum-sealed packages will are totally protected. They also invade your closet for your wool and silk things. It’s hard to tell who are more prolific reproducers— them or rabbits. You may end up having to fumigate…..

    Ever heard of pheromone traps? My sympathies to your household. Hell hath no fury than an invaded household!

    • Thanks for the words of encouragement. I really think I might have gotten to them before they got too bad. Stripped out skald paper, disinfected, pheromone traps , etc, time will tell!! But I am hopeful. At least I have a nice clean pantry now!!!

  20. Ewwww. That happened to me once. They were in my Quaker oats! So gross. Hope you get rid of them soon!

  21. Mere Frost says:

    Holey Buckets! Pantry moths! Never had them! But I do wage war with other pests! In the fall I have something called Box Elder bugs! They walk right up the outside walls of your house and try to find a way in! I suck them up in the vacuum when they do! Then we have these little flies with gossamer wings that ride in on you! I have a fly swatter close by at all times! I don’t know what their purpose is…and I don’t rightly care either! 😉

  22. You go girl. Take no prisoners….Annihilate every last one of them!

  23. Gosh!! good luck with the moths…

  24. Jennifer Reeves says:

    Commenting for Allison Spruill!

  25. Yikes! I didn’t know pantry moths existed. Is this specific to your region?

    • No I think they can be anywhere. They just love birdseed, pet food, flour, etc. I cleaned like a maniac so hope I got them taken care of. Time will tell….

  26. I hope they’re easier to get rid of than the current bane of my existence — mice!

  27. Ewww!The worst we have to deal with is the occasional cricket. My cats bat those around but never do any damage. I usually just pick them up with a tissue and toss them outside. But moths? In the pantry? No thanks! LOL

    • I would be happy to share. Not really. I wouldn’t wish any pests on anyone!!!

    • Mere Frost says:

      I hate crickets!!! They eat my tomatoes! If they would just finish one! Nooooo….they sample! Grrrrrr…… 😦 This year was a cricket’s holiday I am thinking! Had them in the garage! Playing a symphony in the dark!

  28. Brooklyn Galyean says:

    This is for Allison spurill. This is very interesting. I didn’t know there could be moths in a pantry.

  29. If I found any kind of nest inside my oatmeal I would most certainly wage a war. I currently have my own special infestation… There is a mouse living in my laundry room. It is equal parts adorable and an abomination and sign of my dwindling value as a human being. I need to get traps but I’m too scared of what happens when they go off. I am just not a fan of dealing with dead bodies.

    I hope you won your war… Let us all know how it turned out…

  30. cynthia warner says:


  31. Pantry moths are the debbil!

  32. Wow, yuck! I’m surprised they even got inside the tupperware–those things seal tight! Good luck on getting rid of those moths!

  33. Allison Spruill > Pantry Moths

  34. I wish our cats would take care of things like that. They only play with them then leave them laying all around the house for us to clean up.

  35. Oh man, cats are fascinated by anything like that… they just don’t get how big of a hassle moths and other such creatures can be, ha! 🙂 I read backwards, so I know you’ve already vanquished them– kudos!

  36. I’m glad you were successful. Att would have loved to have helped. got any mice, I’ll send him over

    • I am sure we will have another mouse incident sometime now since the fields are getting cleared off. They like to come in the house when their habitat gets harvested!!! Ick.

  37. All I can say is good luck! I’ve thankfully never had the problem and hope I never will.

  38. In the Tupperware? Say it isn’t so.
    Hope you have defeated the buggars!

  39. Is your pantry very warm? If you can, lower the temps in your pantry so the bug eggs found in all flour products don’t hatch. This is how you get bugs in sealed containers sometimes.

    • Pantry is just a cupboard in the kitchen so yea—it is warmish. I think I may have it licked–no sign of anything since I cleaned so I am keeping my fingers crossed that it wasn’t as bad as I thought and that I got all the offending items pitched in time!!! Woo hop!

  40. Hope they are long gone! If I leave seed in the laundry room through the summer, they hatch out of the seed or corn. Glad they’ve not made it to the kitchen!

    • I think I got them licked. No sign of them in the house or garage at this point. Bay leaves every where along with the traps and they are all clean so far. Yay!

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