Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,402
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

I've been struggling with them for a while now. Each time I think they're gone, I run into one flying around the house, and I'm climbing on chairs and sofas trying to catch them. The kitties are enjoying catching them. DD went to use macaroni that was 3/4 full and not that old, and there were a bunch in there! I told her to toss the whole thing. I hate to throw everything out that's in there, but I might have to. Any advice? What can I do to get rid of them for good? Do I have to call an exterminator? TIA! 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,187
Registered: ‎03-09-2010



Call the exterminator!!! My friends battled these moths for months -- everytime they thought they were gone NOPE.


They emptied every closet & of course, pantry area.  The exterminator told them they had "nests" (or what the proper term was) and source was bag of bird seed & cat chow kept in pantry!  


Once he exterminated he set these "sticky boxes" all over & within a month they were gone!


Living in FL I keep everything in my Lock n Lock (I should have stock in LNL😉) that is packaged in "boxes". When I get home from grocery store I transfer all pastas, crackers, etc. to them.  I can't stand the bugs here😡 & I don't want them invading my house!

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,674
Registered: ‎03-14-2010

Yes, call an exterminator.  One time I stored a bag of bird seed in the cabinet under the kitchen sink.  That stuff usually has eggs in it that you can't see (that's what the exterminator told me).  I took everything out of the cabinets and cleaned.  Two days later they were back.  The eggs hatched and little worm like things turned into moths.  They hatched behind the cabinets where I couldn't get to them.  So I called the exterminator, he had me empty the kitchen completely (again), and he sprayed.  I had to leave the kitchen empty for a couple of days, then clean (again).  Nasty little things.  No more bird seed in this house......ever.

I threw out everything that wasn't in a can or in a tight container. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,527
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: Pantry Moths

[ Edited ]

I could share my gross story with you but I will spare everyone. What you need to do is get pantry moth traps. I ordered mine from Amazon as I live in a small town and no local place sold them. Follow the instructions and get these traps out ASAP. They are your best line of defense. BUT, if you have a continuing source of food that they can feed on then you might not win. Google all the products they love to eat. My source was black oil sunflower seeds that we feed our outdoor birds. You may have to throw out some of your food items, and others you may need to keep in Lock and Lock type containers for awhile until the problem is gone.



Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,638
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Pantry Moths

[ Edited ]

Usually they come from birdseed. You will have to throw many things out and check everything!!! After that the little sticky traps that attract them to the trap will usually do the job. You have to make sure you remove any larvae.They are attracted to pepper like dried cayenne, packages of Taco seasoning, rice . The first time it happened to me I had the exterminator come . The next time was about 10 years later when I had a bag of infested birdseed in the garage. They found their way inside again. You can get the sticky traps @A-ma-zon. Good Luck ! Oh yeah Lock and Lock for storing rice, pasta etc.


I did not see the above posts when I wrote this.Sorry for the repeat.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,503
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Pantry Moths

[ Edited ]

When I still lived up in WA, I got them from bulk peanuts in the shells that I had bought at a feed store to feed the squirrels.  I kept finding these little moths flittering all over the place & after seeing & killing about 8 of them realized I had a pest problem & I needed to figure out where they were coming from.  I had the plastic bag of peanuts up in a cupboard in my laundry room & the inside of the plastic bag had a bunch of webby looking things in it.  Once I got rid of the bag & washed down the inside of the cupboard, I didn't see any more of them.


ETA:  The plastic bag was in a brown paper sack in the cupboard, so it wasn't really visible if you looked in the cupboard.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,788
Registered: ‎08-18-2016
Ok, don't laugh. At Dollar Tree, in the kids toys aisle, I bought 3 orange "butterfly nets", which worked great for catching tiny flying pests. They weren't kitchen moths but about the same size.

Rakes and shovels were brought into the basement one year instead of being stored in the garage. The following April something on the yard tools hatched and I had tiny fliers!
It's the ones that are already flying that breed more, so it's imparative that you catch and destroy every one you see flitting about.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,517
Registered: ‎08-13-2011

Store everything in the pantry in air tight containers, that includes flour, pasta, cereal, cookies, everything.  Put items in containers as soon as you bring them home.  Eliminate their food source.  Store bird seed outside in metal containers.  Squirrels will chew through plastic.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 679
Registered: ‎06-13-2011

They hate lavender, I bought a bunch of lavender leaves and put them in the pantry, also spread them around the shelves,A bit messy but really helped. I also had small insect huts that I put in cabinets and on top of refrigerator, really helped. All foods store in tight lid containers.We got ours from contaminated bird food, they are hard to get rid of,but you can do it. Good luck!

Super Contributor
Posts: 424
Registered: ‎09-28-2013

For a long time, years ago, I kept bay leaves tucked in my cabinets. Also wonder if peppermint oil would work.