…and found a pantry pest

“Fa la la la la…la la la la”, Mother Hubbard was happily singing a Christmas song as she went to her cupboard to pull out the secret ingredients for her famous Cranberry bread. As she was mid-tune, with mouth wide open, something awful happened. “Fa la la la… gasp, gulp, cough”. Mother Hubbard rushed to the sink in hopes of extracting what she had accidentally swallowed. What was that horrible thing that flew into her mouth, interrupting her jolly Christmas melody?!

Poor Mother Hubbard was terribly flustered but managed to pull herself together and make her way back to the cupboard. Very slowly, she creaked open the door in hopes of not being taken by surprise again. 1, 2, 3, out they flew. Mother Hubbard screamed. Her cupboard had been invaded. She wondered what those terrible pests could be?! She mustered up her bravery and looked one more time. She saw the pests fluttering around but she calmed when she saw they were just innocent moths…or are they?

Poor Mother Hubbard’s cupboard was infested with pantry pests, most likely Indian Meal Moths or Mediterranean Flour Moths. They are not that innocent. They come into your home on unsuspecting groceries and have a party in your pantry. They hitchhike on dried goods, grains, flour, pasta, cereal, cornmeal, rice, crackers, nuts, dried fruit, powdered milk, nuts, and even our precious chocolate. They also like pet food and birdseed. Mother Hubbard has another project ahead of her besides making cranberry bread. She now has to go through every product in her cupboard and search for these little critters. If I was visiting with Mother Hubbard I would tell her to look for certain signs of infestation such as; webbing inside of the food, on the lids, and the sides of boxes. Another unpleasant thing to search for is the maggot larvae. They look like little grains of rice. Once the inspection is done and critters are found, it is time for Mother Hubbard to throw out all infested foods into a sealed plastic bag and get it to the dump.

Mother Hubbard’s inspection is not over yet. She needs to search for the adult moth. They are grayish to coppery brown, often banded, small, and very narrow. They can be seen fluttering at night in a drunken, zig-zag pattern or tucked into the corners of the cupboard ceiling and walls. Clean the ceiling, walls, and shelves with bleach and warm water to eliminate any hiding adults or pupae.

Now that Mother Hubbard’s cupboard is sparkling clean and all the infested foods have been thrown away, Mother Hubbard needs to place The Pantry Pest Trap by Safer in her cupboard. This all-natural trap uses powerful pheromones to lure the adult moths to it. She will need to replace the traps every 3 months. This will help to keep her cupboard pest-free.

Mother Hubbard did not get to make her famous cranberry bread today but at least she does not have to worry about swallowing any more pantry pests. She went to the grocery store to buy all new ingredients for her Christmas bread and belted out a holiday song the entire way. “Tis the season to be jolly. Fa la la la la la la la la”.

Come see us at Van Wilgen’s. We would love to help!