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For the past few months I've had pantry moths in my flat. At first very few but they grew in number. I tried some traps and they catch quite a few but it is not enough. I threw away all my infected food and bought them anew and put them in a new location. Additionally to that, I cleaned basically everything and closed up all holes in my cupboard. That helped a lot but they found a way to infest my new hiding place and now I am afraid that they will spread anew.

Do you know any way to get rid of them once and for all?

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To get rid of a pantry moth infestation is:

  1. Remove the moths, their larva, and their eggs.
  2. Prevent them to come back.

The first step you already succeeded by throwing away all possibly infected food, seal their hiding places, and prevent them to mate by setting up pheromone traps to catch all males.

Things to consider

  • really, really be generous in throwing away all food if you want to be sure. Moth eggs are too small for our eyes to see. Store food you want to keep i nthe freezer (this will kill the eggs).
  • clean all and everything from cans to cupboard to remove all possible eggs.
  • We will not get rid of 100% of all moths. They hide in the weirdest places (I found them sitiing in my kitchen radio) but if you catch all males in the traps then after all their life cycles went through they will not be able to spawn. Make sure to set up fresh pheromone traps regularly.

Now here is the harder bit. We don't want them back. Moths will enter your clean kitchen from the outside, from your neighbours cupboards, or from litter bins around your flat. Little we can do here. But quite often we will find that food from one supermarket is much more affected than from another. Therefore:

  • change your grocery store
  • watch out for infected food before you buy it (webbing often is the clue)
  • store food that often harboured moths in the past in the freezer (it was the ground almonds for me).
  • always store all food in air-tight containers after you had opened the packaging.

Still, when living in a city they will come back sooner or later. Get used to set up traps from early spring to late autumn.

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We have had excellent results with using one of those ultra-violet electronic fly-killers (usually seen in cafes, etc). After cleaning out the pantry and ditching bags and paper containers (plus any contaminated tins) we installed one of these, it's now been there for a couple of years and we NEVER have moths (except the occasional night moth or fly). Electricity usage is negligible, and a quick whizz with the vacuum cleaner every few weeks clears up the beastie bodies. We also have a similar gadget installed in the kitchen, paid for themselves many times over.

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