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How to Get Rid of Pantry Moths

By: Rita Stadler

Pantry moths—sometimes called Indian Meal Moths—are burdensome. These little critters are notorious for getting into the following foods and processed goods:

One female moth can lay up to 400 eggs per mating cycle and if the conditions are right, these eggs can hatch in as little as 48 hours! Moths lay their eggs in the goods mentioned above. When the eggs hatch, moth larvae emerge. These larvae look like small worms and they feast on items in your pantry and leave behind silk webs. 

If you’ve noticed moths flying around your pantry or disappointingly discovered larvae or webbing in food items; you might have an infestation. 

The larvae may have been present in the food you brought home or a moth could have come into your pantry and laid eggs near or inside your food containers. Regardless of how your infestation started, getting rid of it as quickly as possible should be your priority.  

Follow these tips to get rid of pantry moths quickly.

1. Dispose of all of your dried goods

While no one feels good about wasting food, in this case it’s unavoidable. If you’ve noticed small worms that resemble moth larvae, it’s time to get rid of anything they could feed on. Moth larvae can chew through plastic bags and thin cardboard. This likely puts most goods in your pantry at risk.

Dispose of your at-risk food by removing it from its packaging, placing it in a compostable bag, tie it up, and immediately remove from your home. To ensure that moths and larvae do not return, place the tied-up bag in your compost bin at least 30 feet from your home. Place any packaging from these food items in a bag, tie it up, and immediately remove from your home. 

Tip: Prevent future infestations by storing dried goods like flour, oats, and grains in airtight containers.

2. Thoroughly clean your pantry

While moths might be easy to spot, their larvae is not. These teeny tiny worms can wedge themselves under the rims of cans, in tiny corners, and any other small crevice. Empty out everything from your pantry. Once emptied, wash all of your pantry shelves and drawers. If you have a door to your pantry, wipe the knobs and hinges with soap and hot water. 

Vacuum and mop the space meticulously. Throw away your vacuum bag. If your vacuum is bagless wash out the dust compartment. This will prevent moth larvae from making a home in your vacuum. 

Tip: Scrub all of your canned goods with soap and hot water, or–depending on how bad the infestation is–empty canned goods and recycle them. Missing just one egg or worm could be the difference between having another infestation or not. 


3. Dispose of all paper materials 

Paper-eating bugs love starches, sugars, and carbohydrates. Paper is actually a starchy food source for moth larvae. Paper bags, cook books, magazines, tea bags, and anything else with paper in it can contain larvae worms. 

Dispose of ALL the paper in your pantry to ensure no eggs or larvae are accidentally left behind. Before throwing out important papers or books, take photos of any information you want to keep.

Tip: You can try to save valued books or other papers by placing them in the freezer for 4-7 days. This will kill the larvae and eggs. Unfortunately putting paper in the freezer can sometimes damage it. 


4. Use a natural moth repellent

Get rid of any moths you may have missed and repel others from coming back by using Stay Away® Moths. Don’t put your pantry at risk of another infestation: Stay Away® Moths continuously protects your pantry for 30 days without the use of harmful chemicals. 

Stay Away® Moths works naturally by emitting a scent that is pleasant to people but offensive to moths. You can relax knowing you won’t have to throw away all of your dried food or stressfully clean every corner of your food storage space again. 

For continuous 30-day protection from pantry moths, simply place one Stay Away® Moths  pouch per 25 sq ft in areas where moths or larvae are present. Replace after 30 days. 


Tip: Use the bio-based Pouch Pod to prolong the use of Stay Away® Moths by 3X. This stylish protective pod is not only discreet, it slowly and consistently releases the pouch’s oils ensuring it lasts longer. 


“We were having huge pantry moths problems. I mean, catching 10+ every day in moth traps. The moth traps are great but I feel like they only draw more moths out. It just feels like a never ending cycle and PANTRY MOTHS ARE A NIGHTMARE. We hired Orkin to get rid of them once because it was just too much. This time I was really desperate to get rid of them without having to use chemicals to rid them. I just happened to come across this product that was recommended by the only ONE “how to get rid of pantry moth” blog. I wasn’t sure if this would deter pantry moths because pantry moths are it’s own nightmare categories of moths. It’s been two months now and i don’t see any hanging out on the walls or flapping around. This stuff really works and I’m really glad I came across this product!”

— Shirley bought 3 pack of Stay Away® Moths online.