How to Kill Pantry Moth Larvae

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Things You'll Need

  • Bleach

  • Glass jars


Before you bring any dry foods into the house, place them in the freezer for four to seven days to kill any larvae they may be harboring.

Sealed glass jars keep pantry moths out.

Pantry moths are pernicious little pests. You sweep the dust off the shelves, repackage your food and yet those little blighters keep coming back. The key to their success is their small size and instinct to hide. To kill all the pantry-moth larvae in your kitchen, you'll have to starve them out, then find all their hiding places.

Step 1

Remove all packaged food from the pantry.

Step 2

Throw away anything you don't need to keep. Sort through the rest to check for moth larvae or casings. Or place it in the freezer for 4 to 7 days to kill any moth larvae feeding inside.

Step 3

Place the food in glass containers with flip-on or screw-on sealed tops. Pantry moths can eat through paper, cardboard or plastic to get at food.

Step 4

Clean the pantry thoroughly with diluted bleach (1 tsp. per quart of water). Remove the shelves. Check and scrub drawer tracks, cracks, nooks and crannies.

Step 5

Clean the containers that you removed. Check them carefully for moth larvae, eggs or casings. Bag any that you find and throw them away outdoors.

Step 6

Replace everything on the shelves.

Step 7

Place bay leaves in the corners and intermittently along the walls of the pantry. They will deter the pantry moths from laying eggs.


Meg Butler

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.