Saturday, September 3, 2011

They're Making Me CRAZY!

No, not my kids.....(well, at least not currently)...

We have an African Grey (a parrot).... I purchase our bird food in bulk (it's cheaper...well, maybe not).

A few months ago I had unknowingly purchased some bird food that was infested with Indian Meal Moths. I started to notice these pesky moths fluttering around....

Image via Wikipedia

At first I didn't think much of it... figured it was because the kids left the door open or something. Then one day I go to feed Mac (our parrot) and one of these things flew out. Hmm....well how did it get in there? 

So I took a closer look. BLECH. Larvae, lots and lots of Larvae all webby and crawling in the bird food. 

Well, my husband quickly disposed of the rancid bird food....but our battle continues with these pests!

Now, anyone who knows me in real life knows I am not an animal killer, I even tolerate insects in my home for the most part....but these were ruining my food. 

Little did I know, these moths can chew through packages to get to your unopened food and lay up to 400 eggs at a time. Well, let's say by the time I figured out how big of an issue this was we had some serious problems. I was now seeing larvae crawling on my kitchen ceiling (BLECH, again) and moths were everywhere. 

"The entire life cycle of this species may take 30 to 300 days. Female moths lay between 60 and 400 eggs on a food surface, which are ordinarily smaller than 0.5 mm and not sticky. The eggs hatch in 2 to 14 days. The larval stage lasts from 2 to 41 weeks, depending on the temperature" (Wiki)

So what are we doing? 

Well... we tossed out ALL our grain products. That is a big deal! Since we are a large family I buy in large quantities.... we tossed out soooo much food, it was very depressing. 

We keep our vacuum in our kitchen.  Yes, you read that right. Every time I go into the kitchen I vacuum up any moths and/or larvae I see. There was one point where I was vacuuming 100+ moths a day! I am glad to say I know only see about 10 a day...but still... I WANT THEM GONE!

These things seem impossible to kill... and they can get anywhere! 

We had contact paper in our cabinets (from an old resident of our home)... the moths got UNDER the contact paper and laid eggs! My husband had to rip it out and kill them! GROSS. 

These moths can chew through nearly anything, they can get into sealed containers (even Tupperware like containers) and unopened food! 

I seriously feel like I am fighting a losing battle with these darn things! They are driving me crazy... I have a hard time even eatting in my own home because I am always worried that these things have gotten to my food. 

*Sigh*. I don't want to lose my mind....what am I to do? Have you fought these evil villains? If so, will there be an end to this disgusting treachery of nature? 

4 fantastic comments:

The Smiths said...

Take heart, they can be eradicated. My family dealt with them numerous times growing up. We had (my sister still has) quaker parrots and other small parrot like birds. We had previously bough bulk food to save money as well but had the same issue with the moths. We had to switch to ordering online (nutriberries and pellet food) to really solve the problem. It worked out to be better nutritionally speaking for our birds as well. If you bring in questionable food again, you can freeze it to kill any eggs. A week or so in the deep freezer of a bit longer in a refrigerator freezer usually does the trick. We were just keeping the food in the freezer for a while too before we switched kinds. Keep at it and don't lose heart, you will one day be rid of them.

Oh, also, don't forget to immediately empty your vacuum as their eggs can hide in there and hatch.

Cindy @ Fenced in Family said...

Amazing! My friend-neighbor has these exact same insects in her house right now, and we had no idea what they were. I was just over there yesterday looking at them as we tried to figure it out, and my husband sprayed them with bug spray. The moths are in her laundry room, and the larvae are on her kitchen ceiling. Thank you soooo much for writing about this because I know it's going to be such a relief to my friend to find out what these things are and to read your tips for getting rid of them.

Kimberly said...

How frustrating! This would drive me crazy. I look forward to hearing how this battle goes. Hang in there.

Tami Winbush said...

I don't know but makes me itch just thinking about it We've been infested with fruit flies this year. I'm about ready to jump out a window.

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