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How-To: Get Rid of Moths in Your Kitchen

I just discovered a moth infestation in our kitchen. While I can handle a lot of creepy crawly things, finding moth worms in my nut mix is not okay. It turns out that in warmer climates, infestations like this are very common. In fact, it's unusual that it's taken me this long to get overrun by moths! While researching ways to send them packing, I came across some very handy how-to advice, which I've compiled here.

To find out how to get rid of moths if they've invaded your kitchen,


Here's how to get rid of those pesky winged invaders, courtesy of How To Get Rid of Stuff:

  1. Identify all of the places where the moths are present.
  2. Clean these areas exceptionally well.
  3. Remove all items from the areas.
  4. Vacuum every surface, walls, shelves, cabinets, carpet, etc.
  5. Scrub hard surfaces with a mixture of hot water and detergent. Scrub every inch because moth larva can attach themselves in even the tiniest of spaces.
  6. If the shelving is removable, pull it out and clean the edges and walls around it.
  7. Clean every surface that comes into contact with food, including your spice rack.
  8. Follow up the scrubbing with a vinegar rinse. Either put some white vinegar into a spray bottle, coat, and wipe, or apply it directly to a cloth and wipe everything down.
  9. The moths are likely originating from one or more of the food items previously stored in this area. Throw away every grain-based food item — even if it appears to be sealed well. Also dispose of nuts, raisins, flour, and tea.
  10. Any remaining food containers and items should be thoroughly cleaned with the same detergent/water solution and vinegar rinse before returning to the freshly scrubbed area. A single egg or caterpillar left hanging onto something can start this whole thing all over again, so be thorough.
  11. Kill any moths left flying around in the air. You can do this with a fly swatter, or use moth traps.

I'll be attempting all of these cleaning changes this weekend, and I'll let you know how it goes! Do you have any other ideas for getting rid of kitchen-lingering moths?

Join The Conversation
Ellenora Ellenora 8 years
My house has luckily evaded moth infestation (it could be I live in the Midwest too), but whenever one lurks into my house from the back door in summer and fall, you better believe I'm screaming for my dad to kill it. Moths scare me to bits, especially the giant black ones.
colormesticky colormesticky 8 years
I've had them get into pasta a couple times, so now I keep it all in its package but sealed in a Ziploc bag. So far, so good.
Suzy-Cue Suzy-Cue 8 years
I had an infestation of meal moths, which are the ones that gravitate to your kitchen. My exterminator said that they hide in the flaps (sealed w glue, which they eat) of all boxed products. You must put all boxed goods in the fridge, leave them for at least 2 weeks, and that kills them.
thelorax thelorax 8 years
That's a good idea, bluepuppybites. I've had pretty good luck with tight-sealing tupperware,'s when the moths/worms come in something I buy that I have problems...pancake mix and any kind of pasta in a box are repeat offenders.
Home Home 8 years
Bluepuppybites, I'm going to switch everything over to canning jars. You've had success with this method?
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 8 years
I now am a freak about keeping things in the freezer and glass containers if I can.
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 8 years
My sister was eating nuts one day and started gagging I said "what's wrong?" She showed me the container (a Rubbermaid tight seal one) and worms were crawling all over. She found some vodka and started guzzling and swishing her mouth out. She didn't eat walnuts for 2 years after that.
hanako66 hanako66 8 years
so gross...when I was little, we found them in bisquick and cereal yuck!
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