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The bane of preppers; the Indian Pantry Moth

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by darkminstrel, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    I have them. I also have 6 weeks less food because of those bastards.

    Our food storage is in a dark, cool corner of the basement and it's away from the traveled section so they weren't noticed immediately. They can chew through thick plastic and paper, and are capable of following the threading of a jar's top and get right into the jar itself. Mylar stops them apparently as does a good seal on a bucket. Also safe are any snaptite style containers with the rubber seal, I guess they can't smell the food through it.

    Indian Meal Moths and Their Control

    I had to throw out about 10 pound of dried potato, an entire 50 pound bag of flour, some dried and vac-sealed fruits, a half full 20 pound bag of rice as well as a case of crackers. So damned frustrated. I think they actually came from the rice as we didn't have them before that was purchased.
     
  2. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    The title of this thread looks like "Indian Panty Moth" and I laughed pretty hard.
     
  3. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    No, that breed just hangs around the dark corners of college dorms. Dunno which is the worse...
     
  4. Guilty

    Guilty Salem, Oregon Active Member

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    darkminstrel, how did you have your food stored? In the original bags and not in buckets? A little more information would be helpful so we can possibly learn from your mistakes or provide some useful suggestions so it doesn't happen again to you or to other members.
     
  5. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    The flour was in the original bag, I hadn't yet gotten it put in mylar. Same situation with the rice. The fruits and potato were sliced and dehydrated by me and were in vac-sealed bags. The moths can chew through incredibly thick plastic so the paper the flour was in was easy to invade. The food was waiting on a delivery of new mylar bags and o2 absorbers and the destruction took place within the span of about 12 days. The bag of flour was so infested with them that if you hit the bag a cloud of white powder would issue from a dozen holes.

    The worst part is that there is no real way to get rid of them beyond eliminating their food sources and waiting them out. Sure you can buy traps but those only capture the males. Any female moths are still going to lay eggs.
     
  6. Guilty

    Guilty Salem, Oregon Active Member

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    It is a shame that the moths got to your dehydrated fruits and potatoes too, especially because of the extra time and effort that it takes to dehydrate and package your own food. After I package dehydrated fruits and veggies in vac-sealed bags, I put them in 5 gallon buckets with Gamma Seal lids so I have easy access to the food. The Gamma lids are kind of expensive, but worth the cost IMO.
    As soon as I bring home the rice from the store, I put it in the freezer for a minimum of 72 hours to kill any critters and their eggs before I package it in mylar and plastic buckets. I let it come back to room temperature before I package it in the mylar bags so there is no chance of condensation inside the packaging.
    I don't store flour, I store wheat berries and grind my own flour. I have a L'EQUIP Nutrimill Grain Mill, the best price I could find was on Amazon and I have a GrainMaker grain mill for the non-electric option. You might consider storing wheat berries and learning to make bread, I recommend the Nutramill if you are just getting started since it makes the grinding process so much quicker and easier than a manual grain mill. Homemade bread is so much better tasting and much more filling than the store bought bread, once you try it you might not want to go back to store bought bread. Bob's Red Mill in Milwaukee, OR has good prices and stock on wheat berries and they are local. Bob's is also a great place for a weekend trip for breakfast or lunch as well as stocking up on dehydrated soups, beans, cereals, grains and more.
     
  7. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    My storage is actually in 5gal buckets, it's just that this select food hadn't yet been put away for long term storage. I won't invest in wheat berries as that means I also have to invest in a piece of machinery that could fail. Pre-ground flour requires no effort other than opening the bag. That convenience is an essential part of my storage plan. Perhaps in the future, but for the now I would rather put the capital into more food over the grinder.
     
  8. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Actually if you trap the males, the life cycle soon ends and you are rid of them. They've already ruined a lot of food, but at least you don't have new eggs and larvae because the female needs the male. The traps last about three months and I'd replace them. In 6 months they are all gone unless you bring in more.

    Link
     
  9. jdub75

    jdub75 PNW Well-Known Member

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    I can personally attest that the pheremone traps work...kinda gross how many moths we had & didn't even see.
     
  10. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    If you inspect your product well to assure you can't see any signs of moths or larvae, and then seal the product in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, they can't live there either. +1 for storing whole grains and grinding as needed. Whole grains can be cleaned. There is a tumbler and a velocity separator at the ranch to get rid of rocks and dirt, and I suspect it would get rid of moths and larvae too. Since the product will be cooked, I'm not too picky as long as I don't actually see a critter. :)

    PS Need to check. Maybe there's lots of protein in those moths, LOL. :)