We are quickly infested by food moths if we do not take a few precautions, because a single female can lay 150 to 200 eggs, or even 300 depending on the species, which will hatch in less than 4 days to release larvae… which will become moths in turn, ready to reproduce. An invasion of food moths can therefore go very quickly when you bring back from the supermarket a packet of rice for example on which a single moth egg is enough to generate a regiment of Lepidoptera. Who exactly is the flour moth commonly known as the food moth and what natural ways do we have to eliminate them?
What are food moths and are they poisonous?
The flour moth (Ephestia kuehniella) is a moth belongs to the family of Pyralidae. The so-called food moth should not be confused with Tineola bissellella, the clothes moth, the latter being a ringworm. On the other hand, there are different species of moths very close to the flour moth. Some attack cocoa, gingerbread or even nougats… Others are more specialized in dried fruits, and still others do not seem to go into too many details, also settling good in packets of rice than in a bag of candied chestnuts or a cardboard box containing dehydrated vegetables…
The food moth is able to pierce the packaging plastic or cardboard to reach food. However, we can be reassured: these flour moths do not represent no health hazard since they are non-toxic. However, it is strongly recommended to throw away the food products in which these undesirables swarm, even if this does not make them specifically unfit for consumption…
In which foods can food moths be found?
Many foods can suddenly be invaded by food moths such as:
- Flour (especially), semolina, corn, rice, oatmeal, muesli, pasta…
- Dried fruits of all kinds (dried banana, apricot, grape, dates, figs, etc.),
- Cocoa, cookies and number of other sweet groceries.
It is important to regularly take inventory of your cupboards and do not store unnecessarily large amounts of food.
Eliminate food moths naturally
here are ecological and economical solutions to remove food moths from cupboards and, even better, to prevent them from occurring, because prevention is better than cure…
- To clean regularly storage cabinets and shelves where food is stored such as cereals, flour (with or without gluten), pasta, rice, lentils, quinoa, polenta, and others. To scour while protecting yourself from food moths, you clean your house with:
- white vinegar,
- Black soap diluted in very hot water,
- Real Marseille soap.
- Still close well packets and bags of dry foods (cereals, pasta, rice, flour, etc.), but it is preferable as soon as they return from the supermarket to transfer their groceries directly into specific containers and then discard all packaging.
- Preferably store groceries in hermetically sealed glass jarsespecially since it’s prettier than half-ripped plastic packages, and it also allows you to keep your cupboards spotless for longer.
- Spray white vinegar in the corners of the cupboards and under the shelves.
- Using and abusing the treasures that nature offers us by depositing in cups or some grands pots to be placed inside the pantry (to be renewed as soon as they no longer give off an odor):
- Diatomaceous earth,
- A paste obtained by mixing sodium bicarbonate and essential oil of lavender or true lavender,
- Chestnut candies,
- Garlic cloves cut in half,
- A few pieces of cedar wood,
- You gros sel,
- cinnamon sticks,
- An apple of amber, which is none other than an orange studded with cloves,
- A freshly cut twig of bay leaf sauce.
- resort to essential oils of :
- Pepper mint,
- Officinal lavender,
- Laurier noble.
It is important to take particular care inside these storage units which are found in the kitchen but also in the cellar, laundry room, garage or scullery. It should also be noted that a food moth can, in hot places, spawn up to 6 generations in just one year! We can therefore opt for a specific pheromone trap to attract male flour moths. They will stick to the trap and will no longer be able to free themselves. Impossible for them to then approach the females in order to copulate. It’s a good way to stopper la reproduction food moths.