Kitchens and pantries are quite prone to moth infestations. Moths usually lay eggs directly on the food or near it, making the food a health hazard and the entire room unsafe for humans. Thus, it is necessary to fight an infestation as soon as it occurs.
Generally speaking, mothballs are the best way to deal with these annoying pests. But can you really use mothballs in kitchens and pantries? Is there a safer alternative? Read on to find out!
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Are Mothballs Safe for Kitchens?
To give you a short answer: no, mothballs are not safe for kitchens, pantries, or any other food storage rooms. They are toxic and will make your food inedible. If you do end up eating the food, you will most likely get an upset stomach and have severe symptoms.
Besides making your food poisonous, mothballs will also give it a foul smell. In fact, all your kitchen cabinets or your whole pantry will smell of mothballs, which will be quite overwhelming.
What Should You Use Instead?
Luckily, mothballs are not the only way you can combat moths. For kitchens and pantries, you can just put up pheromone-based moth traps. They are safe for your food, they don’t have a smell, and they will work like a charm every time.
For the traps to do their job, you will have to follow the instructions printed on their package to a T. Besides that, you will have to clean everything properly and buy some protective food bags or containers.
The sections that follow will take you through what you need to do to ensure that your kitchen is moth-free once again.
Using Mothballs in the Kitchen: A Step-by-Step Guide
First off, you should take all your food out of your kitchen cabinets or pantry. Throw away anything that looks even remotely touched by moths, especially if it has no special packaging.
Then, it is time to clean everything thoroughly. You need to wipe down every inch of your cabinets, and it is best to do it in two steps. First, wash everything with warm water and soap. Then, use a weak bleach solution to wipe everything down once more, paying special attention to cabinet corners.
Aside from the cabinets themselves, you should wipe all existing food containers that you had stored. Ideally, you should take the food out, wash every box or jar, and then put the food back in.
2. Placing the Moth Traps
After cleaning everything, it is time to place the moth traps. Doing so is quite easy, as most models can stick to the insides of your cabinet walls. It is essential that you replace the traps as often as the packaging suggests and that you keep the cabinets clean while fighting the infestation and beyond.
The greatest thing about these traps is that they can help you get rid of moths and prevent them from returning. So, it might be best to always have a trap or two around in your cupboards if your kitchen is particularly prone to moth infestations.
When you purchase these moth traps, always look for those for food moths only. Those reserved for clothes will not be effective at all, and you will waste your money if you use them in your pantry.
3. Choosing New Food Containers
Before you can put the food back inside the cabinets, you should make sure that all the food containers you’re using are moth-proof. The most affordable option you can go for are zip-lock bags. They will keep your food safe while the traps take care of the moths. Besides, they will make your pantry look much more organized.
Apart from bags, you can also purchase some plastic containers with air-tight lids. You can get containers for everything from spices and flour to pasta and cereal. It is best to purchase an entire set of the canisters, as that will be easier on your budget. Of course, you can just purchase a few of them separately too, if that works better for you.
Both the bags and the containers will ensure that no moths can touch your food. Thus, even if an infestation occurs in the future, your food will remain safe, and you will be able to salvage everything after cleaning.
To Sum Up
As useful as they can be in other rooms in your home, mothballs are not safe for kitchens or pantries. They will make your food toxic and be more trouble than they are worth.
Instead of mothballs, you should purchase some pantry pheromone-based moth traps. Follow the instructions in this article while using the traps, and your kitchen will be moth-free in no time!