It’s a well know fact about me that after living in India for 3 months I’m a big fan of all things Indian. Well almost, I definitely am not loving this horrid little creature:
This is an Indian meal moth aka pantry moth or flour moth. It has a life-cycle of 30 – 300 days and it can be transported in cardboard and plastic. It’s a common problem – I mean who hasn’t had weevils in their flour at some point.
The first notion that we had a problem was when Ian opened a jar of a well known brand Fig and Pomegranate Jam and discovered a larva nestled in his purple nest of fruity pulp. He thought he’s just put a bit of butter from his knife into the jam when OMG the critter wriggled! I took some photos and flicked off an email to the manufacturer’s team who were horrified and came and got the jar for testing. I had seen a couple of moths in the pantry but took no notice of it really until I started trawling the internet for what this wriggler could be.
We had some spare time the day that they came to get the jar so Ian and I thought we’d look further into the pantry quandary – based on the reading I had done, this was going to be a problem. And yes it was. It was like hitting the mother lode of bugs when we got to the dry goods shelf where flour, coconut and all my baking products were sitting. They had eaten their way through plastic bags and thin cardboard and were having such a lovely time eating and reproducing. They were also found in pasta and basically anything that didn’t have a vacuum seal on it. I tossed out a good $200 worth of foodstuffs (because I like to keep my pantry full in case of Armageddon :P). They were in folds of packets and corners of boxes. It made my skin crawl.
So Ian cleaned out the pantry and I washed dishes all day. If you look on the bright side it was a forced clean out and I will have to buy dry goods as I need them for a while and not store heaps of shit that I’ll never use. We’ve put pantry moth traps on the shelves which have a pheromone that attracts the males. I’m going to have to get some bay leaves to tape on the walls. You can also use vinegar to clean the shelves too.
According to the world of the Internet pantry moths can be killed off by freezing for a week or heating in the microwave for a brief period.
A big shout out to the well known Barossa brand for their co-operation and to Ian for his help in tackling this problem. It was just gross and hopefully will not happen in that amount again. I can only imagine how cafes and restaurants must constantly be on the vigil for pantry moths and other weevily kinds of bugs.
Have you had any problems with bugs (other than head lice!)? How did you solve it? Would love to hear from you.
PS : Reno update – roof has been designed and posts put in today. BBQ has mostly been assembled but is under cover until roof completed.