How to Get Rid of Pantry Moths

A moth is a type of insect that closely resembles the butterfly. Although there are different kinds of moths, we will be discussing the pantry moth, also known as the Indian meal moth. Pantry moths infiltrate your pantry and cupboards via food that you brought home from the store. They thrive mainly on flour, cornmeal, rice, nuts and seeds. Pantry moths have three parts to their life-cycle. Female moths lay eggs that hatch into larvae, which eventually mature into adult moths. Larvae leave a silky mat around the food that they eat. You may notice the silky thread on the food packages. It's not difficult to get rid of pantry moths, as long as you take a two-pronged approach: extermination and prevention. It's best to prevent an infestation. But first you must know how to get rid of them.

Here's how to get rid of pantry moths.


  1. Inspect everything in your pantry, not only flour and grains. Inspect cookies, dried food and anything sweet. You're looking for moths, larvae and eggs. Discard any infested food outside the house.
  2. Remove all the cupboard shelves and vacuum the cupboard thoroughly.
  3. Make a soap solution with warm water. Wash down the shelves, walls and doors of the cupboard and dry them well.
  4. Discard the cloth you used as well as the vacuum cleaner bag, in case there are some larvae stuck to it.

Here's how to prevent another pantry moth infestation.

  • Carefully examine food packages before bringing them home. Don't buy broken packages.
  • Store all grains in airtight containers with tight-fitting lids.
  • Rotate the food in your pantry, using up the older purchases first. Don't leave food around for too long.
  • Avoid leaving any food around that may be eaten by moths. Make sure your kitchen appliances are kept clean and free of food debris [sources:Pantry Moth Trap, Nest].