Moths in the Pantry

single moth.jpg

Finally, the daphne is blooming, the crocuses are popping up; and--ohmygod--those little, brown moths are everywhere. Yes, it's insect-hatching season and for Clean Chic, it means time to clean and reorganize the pantry as well as help a desperate reader with a pesty problem. 

Until next time, CC 


Dear Clean Chic, 

There are tiny, brown moths flying all over my house, especially in the kitchen. Will they end up in my closets, munching on my woolens and revamping my cashmere pullovers into see-through cover-ups? What can I do? How can I tell them to "Bug off!"? 

Sincerely, Bitsy Brownthing 


Dear Bitsy, 

Your cashmere is safe (and so are your other woolens). The moths you're talking about are more interested in your food, especially dry ingredients such as flour, nuts, rice, cereal and candy, as in chocolate (they're no fools!). Your best defense is a clean pantry with airtight containers. This chore will take about an hour but once it's done, those pests will be history. 

First, examine all of your food and discard anything with signs of moth attack: grains clumped together with sticky secretions; little webs or small holes in containers; and, like it or not, crawling larvae. Any opened food (such as flour or cereals) that you cannot thoroughly inspect, throw away. Put any washable containers that had infested food through the dishwasher (lids too). 

Remove everything from the pantry and vacuum thoroughly, using your crevice tool to get in cracks and corners (afterwards, toss out the vacuum bag). Wash and dry all shelves and drawers with soapy water. Then, put everything back and remember, keep all dry food in airtight containers. 

You could be done but Clean Chic knows better. Invest in some sticky moth traps (organic ones are available at most garden stores). They're a nifty preventative against further invaders. 

*Clean Chic Maintenance Calendar: replace the trap every 3 months..