pantry moths reorg

Reorganising The Pantry and Getting Rid Of Pantry Moths

About 12 months ago my pantry looked like this after decluttering.  Decluttering is an ongoing effort and the pantry was needing some decluttering again late last year.
Decluttering - Pantry after

Also late last year, I undertook some work with Tupperware and for part of it received some new Tupperware.  It sat in the box over Christmas as I knew it would take time to sort the pantry, wash up the new storage containers and reorganise.
Pantry DSC09386

My hand was pushed though; we came back from holidays to an awful case of pantry moths.  I do like to keep supplies of items and those not in storage containers must have been infested and it spread through pretty much all the supplies of pasta and rice I had.

This post from Apartment Therapy was the best I found on how to get rid of them.

To get rid of the pantry moths I:

  • Threw out anything that looked remotely suspect.
  • Vacuumed out the cupboards and then used hot soapy water to clean the shelves and walls of the cupboards.
  • As we were in the middle of a dry spell, after I wiped them down with a towel, I just left the cupboards open for a while to make sure they were completely dry.
  • I then spread bay leaves everywhere. Apparently they repel pantry moths, so I even stuck them in the little holes that the shelf supports stick in.

Pantry DSC09434

However in a hurry, I did however do two things wrong:

  • I didn’t  wipe with vinegar .
  • I did put in the pantry some food items that were not in storage containers. They were new so I thought they would be okay. They may have been free from infestation and I may just have missed some moths eggs when cleaning, who knows what the cause was, but within a week, I opened the pantry and I saw moths again.

Pantry DSC09426
So I repeated the process and this time, used vinegar to wipe down the shelves and walls of the pantry.

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I poured straight vinegar on to a cloth and started wiping. I also wiped the outside of the containers as well.
Pantry Moths DSC09985
Then I wiped eucalyptus oil on the shelves as well and did the same for the inside and outside of the pantry doors. Again I just poured a small of amount of eucalyptus oil onto a cloth and wiped.

Pantry Moths DSC09984
I then made sure everything had a container. For food items like some additional flours that I didn’t have a container for, I am storing them in the freezer until I can out them in a container. The freezer is supposed to kill off weevils and insect eggs in the flour. Apparently you can store flour in the fridge or freezer which I didn’t know. You need to make sure it reaches room temperature before using it though.

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Not sure exactly what part of the second time round process did the trick, but it worked!  I am pantry moth free at the moment which makes me happy!

Pantry Reorganisation

So the pantry seems much barer now without my stock pile of goods, but I would rather that than pantry moths. Here are few of my favourite additions to the pantry storage collection:

Pantry DSC09428
Spice containers. Love having the labels on the top, so I can easily identify them. I am going to make small labels for my other spices too, to save the pick up, put down, dance I do with them every time I want a spice for a recipe.

Pantry DSC09432
I had been storing my onions and potatoes together, which apparently you should not do. According to this website you should:

Avoid storing potatoes with onions because, when close together, they produce gases that spoil both. Now they have their own space!

And lots more airtight containers for the variety of crackers and nuts we have.

As I was putting everything back into the pantry, I used the Guide ✼ Plan ✼ Check ✓ which is the free download you receive when you sign up to my newsletter. (It has individual checklists for the pantry, fridge and freezer as well as other guides and checklists that are useful for the home.) I noted the items that I was out of and I also used the tips in the guest post from Kyrstie last year on 12 Pantry Essentials, so the pantry could be well stocked.

Have you had trouble with pantry moths? If so how did you get rid of them?