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Aunt Norma's

Questions about Pantry Moths: Cook the Cookbooks?


Aunt Norma:  First of all let me tell you that I am SO SORRY that you are dealing with these miserable pests.... it's enough to make you go bonkers!  Hand in there, though- you CAN win the battle and get back to your normal life.  Let me address your questions:


Q:  I want to deal with all the cookbooks as they def lay eggs in them.  Suggestions...oven? How long? Temp?

AN:  Oh my.  That's tough.  It's hard to cook or freeze them enough to kill the eggs without damaging the cookbooks.  I'll tell you what, Lisa.  If I were you- and if you have cookbooks that are valuable both personally or monetarily, I would actually buy a big storage bin (like from Target or Home Depot) or at the very least get a big trash bag, and put the cookbooks in and then toss in about a cup of Diatomaceous Earth.  (Google it- it's an all-natural organic shell flour that is 100% TOXIC to insects but harmless to humans and animals)... you can get it very cheaply on eBay or Amazon- just make sure you get the food grade stuff and be careful not to snort it or get it in your eyes when you are using it.  I would send you some but I'm out and headed on vacation so don't have any more ordered.. but I use it all the time.  It's not so great on the adult moths- mostly b/c they fly and they have to have direct contact with the powder for it to kill them...but if you are worried about eggs it will work on the larvae IF there are eggs and IF they hatch.  I don't think you can get the oven hot enough to kill the bugs in the oven without catching the cookbooks on fire.  If you decide NOT to try the diatomaceous earth- I would suggest putting the cookbooks in baggies and freezing them for a week or so. 


Q:  Can I leave dried beans in ball jars in the pantry or do they need to be refrigerated?
Now, during cleaning, and in general?

AN:  These are a FAVORITE of the stupid pantry moths...You should inspect each jar carefully and throw out ANY that have webbing or evidence of moths in them.  Open the lids and look around.  Place these in the freezer until the moths are GONE, and perhaps after that if you have room to keep them safe.

Q:  Do I need to keep crackers, rice cakes and teas in the refrigerator even after all pantry moths are gone from our home? 

AN:  Well... this is tricky.  When I first had pantry moths- I got so paranoid that I kept EVERYTHING in the freezer for months after the last moth was gone.  even cereal and cake mixes, haha)  Better safe than sorry- but as long as you are NOT seeing moths, then you can assume that it is safe to keep such items in the pantry... but be on the lookout for late bloomers- some eggs don't hatch until months after the initial infestation.  If you see even ONE moth- put your grains and goodies away for safe keeping and mist the cabinets with Aunt Norma's Pantry Moth Spray to keep the repellant scent fresh and protect your food from re-infestation.

Q: When setting up the pheromone trap, do I put it in the pantry, in the kitchen or elsewhere? The moths are in cabinets and pantry and cracks in doorway etc. (so not one location).

AN:  Place the trap out and the moths will come.  Do NOT put it in your pantry or moths hatching in other places will fly INTO the pantry with the food items.   I find the best place is on the top of the refrigerator or on a top shelf somewhere out in the open.  The scent of the lure works for about 20-30 feet, so one trap per floor of the home...the moths will find it. 


Q:  Thank you!!!!!


AN:  You are most welcome- please keep me posted.  This is just the worst to go through- but the good news is that you will have a sparkly clean, clutter-free kitchen when you are done.  I wish there was an easier way- but these moths are the dickens!  Good Luck!

 


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