09 September 2007

A plague upon your house sir!

I'm feeling very old-testamont right now. First we had the floods back in July and now a plague of moths. The cute, dinky ones I wrote about back in May have followed us across council borders, are infesting one kitchen cupboard and have claimed squatters' rights. When I googled them I found out that they are flour moths and like to eat practically anything they can get their larva jaws into, like my herb & spice collection for example which has had, in the most, to be binned.
Last Saturday I had enough and cleared out all the food cupboards in the kitchen one by one, going through each shelf and binning anything that looked suspect or had cocoons on. Then each cupboard in turn was sprayed in bleach and closed up with what I thought was moth free foodstuff inside. Next day two of the three cupboards had moths in. So did the whole thing again and put things into plastic and glass containers to quarantine them. Next day two of the three cupboards clear of moths! But the third? Still infested! I went through the herbs and spices which are all in their little glass jars. The larva had gotten into them so into the bin went my massive collection. And the cupboard was rebleached and everything left out. This morning I put a few things back in and guess what. A few hours later, there's a moth, and on inspection of the things in the shelfs, I found some cocoons...
I am starting to take this personnally. It feels like there's a war going on between me and the moths and I have to confess, the moths are winning. So now everything is sitting out on the kitchen counters again having being inspected yet again for cocoons and the cupboard is once again seeped in bleach.
So any suggestions? I suspect I have two choices - either to bin everything in the cupboard, firebomb the shelves (or put them through the dishwasher) and hope that that clears the little buggers out, or put things back one at a time and see how it goes.

18 comments:

Ali said...

Sods. One of the little ba*****s ate a hole in my Boden cardigan. Have they NO respect. Replacing your entire collection of spices can't be easy on the pocket either. A pox on moths.

kirsty said...

What a pain in the butt. Here we get weevils. At the start of the wet season there are weevils in the flour. By the end of the wet season there is flour in the weevils.

velcro said...

Ali, my commiserations. We had clothes-eating ones (ate a hole in MrV's favourite jumper, and an adorable baby jacket thing the Count has) but flour moths have muscled in and taken over.

Kirsty, I couldn't eat cocopops when i was a kid because of weevils. The weevils resembled the cocopops far too closely for my liking.

Fairlie said...

Man...that would be freaking me out completely. I can't stand infestations of any kind. I once had a *very* bad experience with ants and a freshly baked chocolate cake for my daughter's birthday the next day.

What's the natural predator of moths? Frogs? Perhaps you could put a couple of frogs in the cupboard?!

Stomper Girl said...

I've had those flour moths and the fight went on for a while. I used flyspray as my weapon of choice, seeing as how I had to bin all the food anyway. And now everything lives in sealed plastic containers.

Fingers crossed no more plagues come and get you.

Aunty Evil said...

We had a similar problem not long ago. We saw some clove bags in a artsy fartsy shop, so decided to make them ourselves.

Tie a knot in the toe of an old stocking, fill with cloves (not garlic) and tie another knot in the top. Whole thing measures about 6 inches. Hang in the pantry.

2 things happen. The moths hate the smell and go away.

You love the smell and stand there with the pantry door open taking big whiffs.

velcro said...

fairlie usually the cats go after moths (incidentally one of them is named Frog) but not these ones. Poor you with the cake though. I don't like ants either.

Stomper - they're getting into containers! So far not plastic one, but they crawl along the threads of glass jars. Last night I cleaned the last infested cupboard out and put one tub back in. This morning it is still clear of moths! BUT...they've just moved to the cupboard next to it that was previously clear. Arghhh

Aunty, these ones seem to like cloves - at least they were in a jar containing cloves. They like bayleaves too. And they seem to thrive on bleach.

Mrs Thistletwat said...

Yuk moths. The most stupid creatures known to man (except for my cat who rolls in the middle of busy roads with his legs in the air).

Would putting a candle or tea light in the cupboard cause them to commit hari kari? Every time I light a candle outside there are always moths buzzing around it cremating themselves.

meggie said...

Oh yes, a Pox on those rotten moths!
It must be a global thing- the CCTPPO!(Cosmic conspiracy to piss people off) Because we have had them here in Oz too, & I swear they keep coming in on new flour etc from the Supermarkets.
We bought some sticky little trap things that seem to have captured them, & finally we are free of them.

caramaena said...

Oh jeez that would drive me round the bend!

Isn't there something about putting things in the freezer for a period of time to get rid of moths etc??

Good luck :)

velcro said...

MrsT, I suspect putting a lit candle in my cupboard would definately get rid of the moths but would have the rather drastic side effect of burning the place down. My father liases between insurance companies, builders etc and home-owners, deals with far too many fires caused by people using tealight candles.
Love the idea of a cat who thinks he is a sleeping policeman!

Meggie, I love your CCTPPO! I am going to use that one on well pretty much everything as, with a birthday looming, I am rapidly becoming a Grumpy Old Woman. Will keep a look out for the sticky traps and mention them to my sister who has moths too, but hers are clothing moths who don't eat clothes (possibly supermodel moths?)
Caramaena, you have to freeze flour etc for so many days ( i think 5) to kill the eggs and larva.

velcro said...

Goes off..checks cupboards and comes back......no moths!

Mrs Thistletwat said...

Yay result!

velcro said...

they're probably hiding somewhere waiting till I think they're definately gone, before leaping out and shouting "tadaaaa!"

Isabelle said...

Oh dear, how yuck! I've never heard of those moths. Maybe they don't venture north of the border... I hope! Trust you've now got rid of them.

Caro said...

Bugs, I hate bugs! Good luck getting rid of them.

I went to bake the other day and some had hatched in my flour. They weren't moths but whatever they were, I didn't want them there.

Molly said...

We had weevils here. Nasty buggers! They get into the flour. We keep it in an airtight containe, so how? Apparently they can be in there when you bring it home from the store, having climbed in at the warehouse! Had a devil of a time getting rid of them . Had to throw out several boxes of pasta too. Now I probably look very strange as I'm shopping---trying to peer through the cellophane to see if they're already in residence... hope all the cures worked!

Aunty Evil said...

So anyway, where are you?