Friday, May 23, 2014

Pantry moths and pantry storage

Where we live in San Diego, there really aren't any bothersome bugs. No mosquitos, gnats, etc. We leave our sliding door open a lot (including screen) because there really aren't any bugs to worry about. Except the moths.

 Having lived here for 8 years now, I have had issues with pantry moths three different times. They are annoying, mostly so because they're so hard to get completely rid of unless you do a total purge of your cabinet.  About a month ago, I had my second incident with pantry moths and began the purge of the cabinets. I thought I had caught them early on and applauded myself. But I must've missed a box or something because I started finding them again a few days ago! So I started over again! 

I've already fixed our pantry situation, but afterwards came across these two posts that might be useful to others:

How to clean out and check for pantry moths, here
Here's another blog post with tips and her experience.

What did I do?
Well I started with the standard empty everything out and check it. This time around I just chucked everything that wasn't in an airtight. I'm not doing this again in a few weeks!

Then I washed out the cabinets. I first did soap and water, then did a vinegar wash. Remember to get the tops of shelves too! Also wipe down all jars or cans!

Then I began putting stuff back. I had made the mistake last time of assuming that once I was rid of the moths, I was done and could resume my standard habits. This time around, I said no more boxes or non-airtight goods in the cabinet. Pastas, crackers, cornmeal, raisins, whatever - they all need to go into something airtight. We had been putting most of those things in ziplock gallon bags but that didn't work. 

So I picked up a couple of airtight containers but those things can add up fast! So I started searching around the house for what I already had... and lo and behold, I had a ton of empty jars that I had been saving and gathering from neighbors. I had been saving these for craft projects, and had a total "duh" moment of "oh these would be perfect for storing all the pantry stuff..."

And they are perfect! We will now be making a habit of putting pantry items into airtight containers before putting it into the cabinet. Even a lot of unopened food packaging is not immune to moths (cardboard boxes or even cardboard containers for things like corn meal). Sealed bags are not immune. So into containers they will all go!

Here are a few of my jars: raisins, black beans, barley, Israeli pearled couscous (with cooking instructions inserted because I can never remember the boiling time), and panko. 

I think it looks a lot nicer than the boxes too :) And definitely cheaper than buying a bunch of new containers! Hopefully these will be moth-proof. We'll also be trying the bay leaf tip to ward off moths!

No comments:

Post a Comment