Cut to spare the insect-phobic. Though given what I found last night, if you weren't phobic before, you will be once you click on the cut.



There were hideous crawly squashy yellow grubs clinging to the kitchen ceiling. Where they could drop off and fall into my hair. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!

Also, the moths are all fucking over the place. In every corner and ceiling and wall all over the entire apartment. In two days! How did this happen? Is this beyond the state where saucers of beer can help? Do I need to fumigate? Will they eat my clothes?

From: [identity profile] loligo.livejournal.com


Get many, many pheromone traps! Disinfect everything, and then if you want you can use diatomaceous earth in any crevices where you think they might still be hiding. I don't think you'll need to use toxic chemicals, and no, I don't think they eat clothes -- that's a different moth.

We had a pretty bad infestation a few years ago, but it was nothing like what you're describing! Despite our best efforts, they kept coming back every few months as a new generation hatched, but there were fewer each time, and I think we only did three or four cycles before they were gone for good.

From: [identity profile] vom-marlowe.livejournal.com


First: ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

And hugs, chocolate, beer, booze, what-have-you. I'm afraid you're past the beer trick. If you are not strapped for cash, I would call the pro's.

If you are strapped for cash: This is my suggestion. My brother didn't have it quite this bad, but when he did have something similar, this is what my mom did.
Get everything in your kitchen, except food in actual cans or jars, and throw it away--haul it all to the curb, asap, including everything in the fridge.

In another room:
Get a big tub. Fill it with hot, soapy, bleach water. Or just hot bleach water. Dip everything--and I mean EVERYTHING from the kitchen in it, and then lay the items on some drop cloth (plastic is fine. As long as it is new.) to dry. Dishes, canned goods, jars. I would toss absolutely everything that you cannot dip this way.

Remove all contact paper from your shelves. Wash, including the ceilings, with hot soapy disinfectant water. (You'll need to rinse it if you use Lysol, and bleach will bleach, fyi). A brand new mop is handy for this. Wash all interior cupboards. Floor. Everything.

Wear a mask, because you'll need to use enough bleach or disinfectant to kill everything and it will take a long while. I also recommend rubber gloves.

Slowly move from room to room doing this. Once things have been washed and are dry (let them dry in a moth-free zone), put them in big tuppers. New ones.

Er, if I lived anywhere nearby I'd wrangle up some friends and help you. This just sounds *hideous*.

From: [identity profile] green-knight.livejournal.com


And when you're done with the kitchen, you can start on every other room. If these moths are the ones I'm thinking off, they will get into *everything*. They prefer food, but will eat paper - so please be prepared to find the odd larva or two on your books or in your paperwork. Obviously, dipping in hot soapy water won't do the trick, but once you've done the cleaning, you've put all food in mothproof containers and you've taken up squashing every single moth you spot, you should be able to keep the infestation to a minimum. That is, unless you live in a place where they are so common that every time you buy food from the supermarket you need to shake it and look for the telltale fine crumbs that stick together, and every time you open the window more come in.


From: [identity profile] thomasyan.livejournal.com


so please be prepared to find the odd larva or two on your books or in your paperwork

That is truly a nightmare.

From: [identity profile] green-knight.livejournal.com


Indeed, but there's nothing you can do. Kitchen cabinets and food storage are relatively easily containable, but if you're anything like me you have books and papers *everywhere* and you simply cannot run daily checks of five bookshelves and twenty boxfiles, and that's not including stacks of mail and recycling, and...

Having said that, now that I don't have a regular influx of moths, I find maybe one a fortnight; and that's adult moths, so I'm not certain that they're not coming in. At lrast I no longer get them at the supermarket....
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)

From: [personal profile] the_rck


I've never heard of mealy worms eating clothes.

If you've got one or can borrow one, you might try a shop vac to deal with the immediate population.

Poking around online, I've found several bits of advice about mealy worms and moths (they have other names, but that's what my mother called them). Apparently, freezing incoming flour, oats, rice, etc. for at least three days will kill the eggs and larvae. Of course, getting the dead larvae out of the grains is harder. With rice, it's easy because the dead worms float. With flour, sifting thoroughly would probably do a lot. Oatmeal... I have no idea. The worms and eggs are, at least technically, edible. That is, eating them won't do you any harm except in so far as the prospect makes you feel sick.

People are reporting that bay leaves, jalapeno peppers and spearmint repel the little buggers and that storing grains with such stuff near the access points will keep them out. Several people state that leaving sticks of spearmint gum all over the place will kill the worms. I've never tried it, so I've no idea if it will help. Storing grain products in metal, glass or heavy plastic containers that seal thoroughly will also help prevent future outbreaks from spreading.

The most detailed discussion I've found so far is here: http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=348941 I found the website via Google, so I can't tell you much of anything about it.

From: [identity profile] green-knight.livejournal.com


If they're the ones I'm thinking of, then eating anything they've been at will disagree with you. I've learnt to look out for the very small holes in packaging that were the giveaway...

From: [identity profile] sartorias.livejournal.com


The owner needs to know. There might be a bad problem in one of the other apts. Two days--no way.


God that's disgusting. If you want to come down here to get away, feel free.

From: [identity profile] veejane.livejournal.com


When this happened to me, it was clear that the ceiling critters were attempting to crawl where their winged betters had already flown (to the cat food) on the other side of the room. We swept all critters off the ceiling, and did as [livejournal.com profile] vom_marlowe recommends with bleach (kitchen only), and were okay. No fumigation necessary.

(I am pretty sure that the moths that eat grains and the moths that eat clothing are not the same moths. Anyway, traditional moth balls are Very Bad News, so if you do want to be paranoid, use cedar or one of the alternatives.)

From: [identity profile] gwynnega.livejournal.com


How awful! It's like a scene from Suspiria.

I've found that boric acid works beautifully against ants, but I'm not sure whether it'd work for moths...

From: [identity profile] rushthatspeaks.livejournal.com


I have not read this entry, but would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for LJ-cutting this and the last moth one, and also hope that there cease to be moths in the very near future.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


You're welcome! And yeah, I guarantee you don't want to know. Off to disinfect the kitchen...
eredien: Dancing Dragon (Default)

From: [personal profile] eredien


We've been having this problem, actually. Though it is under control now. It's horrible.

From: [identity profile] rilina.livejournal.com


That sounds awful. And terrifying! I hope the solutions recommended above end up doing the trick.

From: [identity profile] wintersweet.livejournal.com


Been there, done that, can't get rid of them. Though it's not as bad as it was.
I hate them so, so much.

From: [identity profile] lady-ganesh.livejournal.com


Good luck! The people above have much better advice than me. Also: eeeew.

From: [identity profile] sapphsmum.livejournal.com


Those are yucky! When my Mom died I stayed at my parents house to help my dad finalize arrangements and to clean out her things that he wasn't keeping. She was a perfectionist when it came to house cleaning but the last year with the cancer left her unable to clean as well.

I found these critters all over and yes a lot of work to get rid of them!

Good luck with your cleaning! Christina

From: [identity profile] badnoodles.livejournal.com


Speaking as a professional entomologist, your clothes are perfectly safe. Your pantry moths are most likely the Indianmeal moth, Plodia interpunctella. The larvae of this moth are strictly stored product pests, notably grains and dried fruits. The adult moths do not feed, so even if you find them in your closet or laundry, they are nothing to worry about beyond getting moth bits out of your jeans.

Chemical treatment/fumigation is generally ineffective becase the larvae hide in such protected crooks and crannis. Cleaning out food and using pheromone traps is the best bet, but remember that the female moths are not going to be attracted to the traps, so you'll have to kill them as you see them.

From: [identity profile] cija.livejournal.com


Hi, I hope you will forgive a new comment on such an old post but I remembered you had this happen to you, and it is happening to me now, and I am so freaked out I can't write a post of my own detailing the situation & soliciting advice without freaking out much much more. (Basically what happened is, I had moths ages ago, around when you did, but they went away when it started to get cold (I thought) so I never had to do the full-apartment panic-cleaning. Except. they didn't really go away. Now there are tiny grubs hidden everywhere. I don't know how long it's been like this, because they're mostly not out in the open.

Anyway, I am genuinely afraid to google for information because I can't handle seeing pictures, so if by any chance you know, from when you had them--how long can they stay larvae without hatching, how long do you have to be afraid to reach into a cupboard or pick up a pile of papers? And: did they ever get to your books? They have gotten to mine and I am literally sitting here drinking to keep from crying.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


No prob! Horrible, isn't it?

They didn't get into my books; I thought they had but it was probably just some that fell in or something.

My advice: do exactly what I did: throw out ALL food not refrigerated, even in packages, and wipe down everything with a bleach solution, and buy Pantry Pest thingies and put them out, and kill everything in sight whenever you see them. That'll show the bastards! Got rid of mine in a week.

From: [identity profile] cija.livejournal.com


OMG SO HORRIBLE YES. I have found individual....things on multiple books from different bookcases now, almost all on the underside of the page block. Most horrible thing I have ever ever ever experienced. My only consolation is I don't think they're eating or otherwise damaging the books, just, like, hanging out there, and no more than one to a book, all from lower shelves. BUT I DON'T WANT TO BE AFRAID OF MY BOOKS IT IS SO HIDEOUS. But I am glad they can be defeated.

all right, I'm going back into the kitchen now. Thank you for the sympathy!
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