Aunt Norma's


Dear Aunt Norma,

 I think that our Pantry Moth Spray worked.

I used two applications and most of the moths have left.

However, for the past two weeks, we keep finding a moth or two each day in the empty pantry, some times more.

I purchased and put one moth trap on the top shelf where we find most of the moths (they seem to to the ceiling.
However, after a week, I have not seen one moth in the trap...........................; but,...........I we killed 2 this morning.


Is it normal for us to keep finding moths post treatment (with your spray)?
Is it possible that these moths are from old larva that is hidden in the walls and the moths are just coming alive to fly?

Any suggestions will be appreciated.
HI, R___, and thank you for contacting us.  It IS perfectly normal to be seeing some moths around after you spray.  To be honest, the fact that you are only seeing a few is good.  With one female moth being able to lay up to 300 microscopic eggs per day, it is highly probably that some of the eggs are missed during the cleaning/ spraying process.  Basically, the spray/ moth trap system works by 1).  killing exposed moths, eggs & larvae, 2).  repelling any remaining moths or moths that hatch after you spray from setting up shop again in the pantry, and 3).  by interrupting their life cycle/ mating (the moth trap captures and kills the males).  In my experience, it can take up to 4 weeks to completely stop seeing moths, and during this time it is important to keep the food safe from the moths so that they can't get in and start the process all over again.  I advise keeping what you can in the freezer, and putting the remaining items that will return to the pantry in airtight sealed containers.
That being said, there are a couple things you mentioned that I want to address.  First, the moths should NOT be returning to the pantry after you have sprayed.  The fact that you are finding moths IN the pantry concerns me, and likely means that either there is a source that you haven't found (like behind the shelving in the wall, or from the outside through a crack in a window or ??) or that simply some of the eggs were in a hard-to-reach area and are hatching after you sprayed.  Let me ask you some questions:  are the cabinet doors being left open; and if so are the moths staying IN the pantry until you find/kill them?  If the doors are left closed do the moths fly out after you open the doors?  Are there any windows near where the pantry meets the ceiling? (you mentioned that they are congregating near the ceiling...)  If you can further describe the area I can help you pinpoint what is going on and help you find a solution. 
Next, I find it interesting that you aren't finding moths in the trap yet are seeing moths in general.  This could be a good sign, meaning that the cabinet is proving an undesirable habitat for the moths b/c of the remaining scent from the spray.  If this is the case- the moths cannot smell the lure b/c the essential-oil repellent is confusing their sonar/ smell; or it could mean that the moths are more concerned with getting AWAY from the scent than mating.  Also it could mean that you have only female moths, but I find that unlikely.   
Here's what I would advise you to do:  Keep the food out of the pantry for a couple more days if you can stand it, leave the pantry doors OPEN, and place the pantry moth trap outside the pantry about 5-7 feet away from the pantry- like on top of the refrigerator.  (make sure to only use one at a time or they cancel each other out).  Next, take a flashlight and get up into the ceiling/ pantry area where you have seen the moths and see if you can find anything:  cracks or crevices, nests...  Finally, I would spray the Pantry moth spray on the ceiling (or spray onto a damp rag and rub on the ceiling) and douse the top shelving area making sure to get into cracks or holes.
Please keep me posted on what happens over the next week or so... I am committed to helping you get rid of these pests!

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