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Tiny White Worms on my Kitchen Ceiling ...turn to tiny moths

on 9/20/09 12:36 pm
Revision on 10/22/07 with
Oh this is so gross...I swear I'm a very clean person too. In the last 2 weeks i've found these teeny tiny worms on my kitchen ceiling. ( there smaller then a 1/2 inch, thin, cream in color w/ black spot on one end (head ?) I've also had a few tiny moths flying around. I went on the internet and I think I have some kind of    GRAIN BUG   that must have come into my house from food I bought a Shoprite.

Help Please ..Has anyone ever had to deal with this? What do I do?  Do I have to throw out everything in cabnets ? Even unopened ? I have so much food in this pantry. $$$$$$$
Do I have to throw away unopen protein shakes in pouches ? What do you have  to toss ? I assume cans can be kept .
RNY 2002 (regained everything)   Revised to DS 2007
5'8"  SW 246 - GW 150 - LW 143 - CW-148
Follow Your Dreams.... & Hold On To Them !!  
Angel to Karen W
Angel to MIssy
on 9/20/09 12:51 pm
I wouldn't start throwing stuff away till I contacted a company who will come spray your house.  They can probably tell you what your creepy critters are.  You could also catch one in a jar and take it to your county extension agent.  They are familiar with all kinds of things like that.  As for as it coming in with the groceries, I'd think they would be particularly bad in your cabinets or wherever else you store your things.  After you discover what they are, you'll be better able to deal with the problem.  Good luck, hope you don't lose $$.
on 9/20/09 1:03 pm, edited 9/20/09 1:49 pm - owensboro, KY
on 9/20/09 1:44 pm - Paradise, CA
I have had these before, if it is the same thing.  I went through my  pantry and threw away any thing that was opened.  It took me awhile to get rid of them.  The first time several years ago that this happened they came in with some bird food that I had bought.  When I got this again a couple of years ago (different house and area).  I assumed that they came in with some groceries I had bought.  Since I no longer had any birds.  I too am a very clean person.  This has nothing to do with how these things come to be in your pantry.  I spent two weeks killing those worms and moths.  It took me two or three times going through the pantry.  I went through and threw things away I thought was infected.  I still had signs of the infestation.  So another trip through the pantry.  I think that your protein packs should be safe.  I put new containers of staples that I bought in the freezer or fridge.  I stored my flour and sugar and bisquick their until I was sure that they were gone.  They really like bisquick for some reason.  Hope this helps.  Calling an exterminator might be a good idea they may have some other ideas.


HW 370
SW 337/CW 160/GW 159

on 9/20/09 2:02 pm - Mouseville, FL
DS on 07/13/06 with

I always put a bay leaf in flour and that keeps the vermin out.




Lynn B
on 9/20/09 2:06 pm
They are called Pantry Moths - They come in with flour, grains, nuts, pasta - that type of stuff. You have to throw out all infected food, empty and clean everything, They get into little spaces and can be hard to get rid of. I use air tight containers for all of those products now. Google them, there is a lot of info online. Good luck!

Lynn B
Banded 9/12/2005 ~ Revision to VSG on 9/7/2010

Looking for a support group - near Bridgewater MA - we've got a great one! We meet the last Monday of the month @ 6:30.

Amy Farrah Fowler
on 9/20/09 2:22 pm
These have nothing to do with housekeeping, and can be pestier in some parts of the country.

Look up pantry pest traps. There are several types, and most seem to work great, and are non-toxic. Most have a pheromone scent lure, that draws the moth to it, and gets it stuck on adhesive before it can get to the food or lay eggs.

Get rid of infected stuff, and then place some traps. That will be the end of the bugs.

I haven't had any type of pest for over 15 years now.
(deactivated member)
on 9/20/09 4:37 pm - San Jose, CA

We had this problem at home AND at work (and I work in a building that has laboratory animals, so this was a BIG problem).  It turned out I was probably the source of the infestation at work! I had bought some protein bars to keep at work -- in aluminum foil sealed pouches no less! -- and somehow the pantry moths got into the protein bars (which I never ate because they were GROSS -- I just figured I'd keep them around in case I got trapped in the building after an earthquake or something).  Those larvae can eat through ANYTHING! 

Our company mascot is a mouse, and I had all these souvenier BeanieBaby mice in different outfits, which I think were full of rice, because my mice got infested too and had to be tossed.  We couldn't spray because of the risk to our lab mice, and so it was a slow cleanup by trapping the moths and destroying all food items stored in our end of the building.  It was kinda embarrassing too, being identified as the source of the infestation.

At home it took a long time too -- those buggers got into closed packages of EVERYTHING -- they flattened themselves to get through the "seals" of tuppers and those click-top packages.  They got into the sugar AND the salt.  All the grains in the house had to be tossed.  And the larvae pupated in weird-ass places like in the crown molding near the ceiling.  We figured they came into the house with some food product (the protein bars?) and then multiplied in the pantry for a while before we realized what was going on.

Icky, but better than roaches!

* Gail R *
on 9/21/09 4:45 am - SF Bay Area, CA
After my last infestation, I put everything that was grain based into zip-lock bags. If I buy, say, pancake mix, the entire box and all goes into the bag. That way nothing has a chance of being infested.

~Gail R~  high wt.288,  surg wt 274, LW 143, CW 153,  GW164

Anna G.
on 9/21/09 5:26 am
I just got rid of a major Indian Meal Moth infestation, which sounds exactly like what you're describing. I had tons of the damn things and those larva were in everything! I had to throw out everything that wasn't canned. I did keep a few things that were very new, but I put them in the freezer just to be safe. 5 hours in the freezer will kill any of the larvae or moths.

You need to get some pheromone traps! That's how I got rid of them. It attracts the male moths and traps them on a sticky surface. Then eventually, with the males gone, you have no more moths.