By Audrey Humaciu on October 31, 2012
Last week we were battling the common cold virus, this week it is something even more insidious and horrifying: Plodia interpunctella. AAAAUUUGH! Just in time for Halloween it’s The Attack of the Pantry Moth!
Consider yourself blessed if you have never opened a kitchen cabinet and been inundated by small moths fluttering out at you or worse, seen them sitting on a sack of flour sticking their nasty little moth tongues out at you and laughing their evil taunting little moth laugh. Ok, got carried away there for a second. But, I have been down this road before and it is a painful one. Luckily, my Little Man has still staked claim to the bottom of my pantry so, for simple lack of room, my baking ingredients are in another cabinet. Otherwise all of my dry goods would be infested, not just the smaller cabinet of baking ingredients.
Our Moth Conquering Odyssey the past few days:
STEP ONE: Kill every adult moth you possibly can. No catch and release, if they live they will breed and you will never have a night of peace as they flutter from light to light dancing in your face, sticking their little moth tongues out at you and… Whoa, there I go again. Luckily, they are slow enough that even I can swat them. I sacrificed a Krispy Kreme paper hat for the job, but it has been surprisingly effective for the task.
STEP TWO: Remove everything from the cabinet and inspect, and I mean EVERYTHING! Open boxes, look in all the little nooks and crannies. The larvae love to snuggle into tight little spaces to make their cocoons. Which is probably how the first one got in. The last time this happened they came in via a box of all natural super healthy cookies. This time, I dunno. Two bags stuffed full went immediately out to the trash.
Sunday night my husband handed me a broom and a bottle of champagne. I went to the kitchen for glasses and to my horror saw about 20 pupa nestled into the outer rim of the fluorescent light boxes. Without a seconds hesitation, I interrupted our celebration of the San Francisco Giants sweep of the Detroit Tigers to win their second World Series in three years to use the broom in my hand to dislodge the pupa. After sweeping them up and running them through the garbage disposal, the party continued (sorry, Honey!)
STEP THREE: Clean, clean, clean. Wipe down every shelf, wall, hinge, container, etc. to make sure no eggs or pupa escaped STEP TWO. The other half of my cabinet stores my plastic containers, all of those were dumped into scalding water and scrubbed (found pupa hidden in the ridges on the lids).
STEP FOUR: Put foodstuff into plastic or glass and then put it back. Two weeks ago, while shopping with Ma’am, I spied some nifty OXO storage containers and I mentioned I should get some since J and I often break flour and sugar bags when baking. Foreshadowing perhaps? I redeemed some credit card rewards for gift certificates and have a coupon, so those will be purchased this week. For now, I am using gallon zipper bags.
STEP FIVE: Rinse and Repeat. Just this morning I spotted two pupa nestled in the crevasse between the wall and ceiling in a “only a tall person can reach me spot”(sorry #2, Honey), so I know we aren’t done yet, but hopefully we have a handle on it.
And then I turn on the news or check my Facebook page and see the devastation on the East Coast and I realize that annoying as it is, this is just a minor inconvenience. Time to make a donation to the American Red Cross.
Until next time, happy eating.