Telltale signs of pantry moth infestations include webbing along the corners of packages or on the product inside, flour or cereal products with an unpleasant odor, or sticky secretions that cause grains to clump together. The presence of small caterpillars or adult moths in or near the pantry is a sure sign of infestation.
Pantry moth infestations typically require the services of pest control professionals; it is not advisable that homeowners utilize pesticides to treat an infestation on their own. However, after identifying an infestation, it can be helpful to clean the affected area. Cupboards can be vacuumed and scrubbed thoroughly with soap and water, although these surfaces should be dry when pest control professionals arrive to set pantry moth traps.
Infested food must be thrown away, and affected containers should be washed with hot water and soap. Be sure that these containers are completely dry before using them again. To prevent pantry moth infestations, choose containers made of glass, tightly sealed metal or hard plastic. Items that are seldom used can be kept in the freezer, and old food should never be mixed with new food. Check to be sure that doors are closed and window screens are secure to prevent new infestations from coming in.