Help needed PLEASE!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by prairie hill, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. prairie hill

    prairie hill Well-Known Member

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    Left this question on the Families forum also....

    We have been invaded as never before by miller moths. We've been here 11 years and never have they descended as they did this evening - actually never, ever seen them this bad. Does anyone have an even SEMI-effective way of dealing with them?

    THANK YOU for any help.
     
  2. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    You're trying to get rid of them IN the home correct, not outside...
     

  3. prairie hill

    prairie hill Well-Known Member

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    Yes - INSIDE. How do they even GET inside anyway? Every year they appear from nowhere and invade houses, outbuildings - don't know what climates do NOT get invaded, but they love it around here. Any ideas?
     
  4. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    A light suspended over a bucket of water, they will fall in it and die.

    Don't electrocute yourself please.
     
  5. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    I'm assuming they are in your flour and stuff? We control them by sprinkling food grade Diatomaceous Earth in the flour, cereals, pasta, etc that they get into. When we do that, we have NONE.
     
  6. LvDemWings

    LvDemWings Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunatly you have a big job ahead. You'll need to go through your pantry and any place that any type of food is stored (animal food too) and inspect each item. Open the boxes of cake mixes, bags of flour, rice, pasta. Get rid of everything that is buggy or has webs. Look in your spices also. My house got hit real bad one year and now everything goes in jars or bottles. Floury stuff goes in the freezer first then in jars.
     
  7. Sumer

    Sumer Well-Known Member

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    and squirt some dish soap in the water so the wings get stuck and they cant get back out
     
  8. halfpint

    halfpint Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If these are the same as meal moths, they are very difficult to get rid of, we tried for a few years, we'd think they would be gone, and then they would show up again. They tend to get into any of your food stores, as Lvdemwings said.

    How we finally got rid of them was when my husband was scheduled to spend 6 weeks in NY, we removed everything from our pantry & cabinets (including canned food as we found that they would breed under the labels) - we did put some items in the freezer - and just before we left we scrubbed every cabinet and put DE around the edges. Then we set off bug bombs throughout the house. About 3 weeks later, my FIL came in and set off another set of bombs. We came home after the 6 weeks, cleaned the pantries and all surfaces of the house, and we've never had the things since.

    I doubt you could spend 6 weeks away from your home, but it might take extreme measures to get rid of them, as it will only take one to begin a cycle over again. You may have to put all your food into airtight storage containers or refridgerate/freeze for a while. Since they will build their coccoons under can labels, almost nothing is safe to keep out until you are completely rid of them.
    Dawn
     
  9. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If these are Miller Moths as you describe, there are a few things that will help in addition to the soapy water under the light. They are nocturnal and as dawn approaches they seek shelter to hide from the birds. They look for cracks, like between the screen door and the jamb, or up under the edge of the siding, or under the edge of the doormat, etc. They like a tight squeeze.

    The soapy water will harvest some, but more will come to the light than get caught. This kind of trap basically harvests them. It doesn't discourage or stop them.

    A light attracts them, unless it's a yellow bug light. Get one if you already haven't.

    This bug is a migrator. It lays its eggs in the dirt. In the spring, when they hatch, they fly a long distance to find plants with the right "juices." Then in the fall they return to their birth place. Unfortunately, if you are in the path or have plants they like they will be a nuisance. Some years are far worse than others.

    Another step that will help stop them getting inside is to apply a pesticide on the outside around the areas they like. Home defense is very repellant and the moths will back away from the door jamb, or window trim before they enter.

    This is not a pantry pest as has been speculated above. Miller moths are pretty common and easy to identify, so I am also guessing you know what moth you are seeing. My comments are applicable only to the Miller Moth.
     
  10. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Unapologetically me Supporter

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    We have them too, and they are a huge pain.
    We use soapy water, flyswatter, etc. not much works.
    Keep the door shut as much as possible especially at night and hang in there, they'll be gone in a week or so.
    Prairie Hill, we are in western Nebraska too, Cheyenne County.
     
  11. prairie hill

    prairie hill Well-Known Member

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    gobug - you're right - these are not the type of moths that breed inside and invade containers, etc. They are the mature stage of army cutworms. BLEECCCCHHHH. (But thanks for the input, folks who mentioned the other kinds - I know those are a pain for many.), nor are they the kind that eat holes in clothes. They are SOOOO filthy though and make such a nasty mess. BTW, I noted you're in Colorado, so you do know these guys...

    Cornhusker - you're in our neighborhood - we are in Morrill county. :) Did you get invaded night before last? Although they descended en masse, perhaps these nasty high temps might help get them going to their summer mountain home faster, eh? (Don't wish them on you though, gobug...)

    Thanks for the input, folks.
     
  12. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes I do live in their path. As an exterminator I have dealt with them many times. I haven't seen any unusual amount this year though.