LESLIE: Evelyn in Arkansas is on the line and has a question about controlling meal moths. What can we do for you today?
EVELYN: I have been, for about a year-and-a-half, have really had a pest problem with meal moths – m-o-t-h-s. And I guess – I know they come in with floured foods or cereals or things like that, dried grains. And they feed off of that and produce larva in the food. I’ve thrown out so much food, because I’ve always kept a lot of food because I have nine grandchildren. So I’ve always got a lot of food in the house. But I’ve had to just dump the house numerous times to get rid of everything and cleaned all my cabinets, bleached them. I’ve done everything. I’ve been online looking for things. I called pest control.
TOM: What do the pest-control companies tell you about these meal moths?
EVELYN: They said, “Yep, you have meal moths,” and left.
TOM: What, they had nothing they could do to help you out?
EVELYN: They didn’t have anything. No suggestions or anything.
TOM: Well, that seems like you don’t have the right guys there.
EVELYN: So, I checked with Orscheln – you know, the farm supply – and they guided me to some moth traps that have the pheromones, which is a female hormone that attracts the males to the glue traps.
EVELYN: And they worked, as far as getting the males. But still yet, what happens to the females? They’re still laying eggs that have been impregnated.
TOM: Well, a couple of things come to mind for controlling meal moths. First of all, I’m sure you’ve done this where you’ve taken everything out, right? And you’ve cleaned everything. And when you clean stuff where you have moths that are left behind, what you want to do is use a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and warm water because they really hate that vinegar smell. So a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and warm water.
When you start to restack those shelves, the other thing that you can do is you could add in – make sure you put all of your dry goods in plastic or glass containers, like Tupperware containers, with airtight seals. What you do want to leave out and maybe create a sachet of is peppermint leaves or bay leaves or mint or cedar chips. Because that does tend to deter the meal moths from being comfortable in that space. So you could maybe make a couple of sachets of those and keep it in the pantry, as well, and then see how you do.
Because I think that if you get all of that food, all those dry goods in sealed containers and if you clean it thoroughly and you use the vinegar solution, then I don’t think you’re going to have as much of a problem as you have right now. If you do, you need to get to the right pest-control company, because there are products they can put down, that are commercially available, that will make them totally go away.