Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pest control

It was going to be a day to catch up.  I got up early and made a batch of steel-cut oats for the kids' breakfast.  And, since everyone likes brown sugar, I figured I'd save a step and add it at the stove.  Then I opened the Tupperware cannister with the brown sugar in it and a couple of little white squashy things fell out onto the stovetop.

Plodia interpunctella, the Indian Meal Moth, in the larval stage.  And no, I hadn't cleaned my pantry thoroughly for a few years.  It was worst on the top shelf, which is above my eye level and where the honey container sat in a puddle of honey (Secundus doesn't clean up after himself) and the chocolate chip cannister had its lid ajar (Secundus again, with some others, not sealing it after grabbing a snack).  I mean, ick.  Even when the containers are sealed, they can crawl up into the crevices of the lids.
We have nice pull-out shelves in our tall pantry cupboard in our kitchen, remodeled 5 years ago.  So I pulled out the shelf boxes and cleaned them out, wincing each time I found a wriggly critter.  I threw away about 3 pounds of chocolate chips, half a pound of brown sugar, a bunch of crackers, nuts, and beef jerky.  Then I vacuumed out the nooks and crannies of the cupboard walls.  You know that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the one where they're in the Well of Souls and the snakes come out of the holes in the wall? Imagine that scene played out in grotesque miniature as the little worms poke their heads out of the pre-drilled holes where they had made their little nests.  Except even when I vacuumed, their webbing held them tight in there.  I had to poke each little hole with a toothpick and then vacuum again, and I'd have to go back every half hour or so to catch another one wriggling away.

I ran a couple dishwasher loads of the storage containers to sterilize them and will think about putting stuff back very carefully after I'm sure the cupboard is completely clean.  And maybe tomorrow or Saturday I can tackle the main pantry, which I'm sure has some issues too.

For some reason, I wasn't very hungry today.

1 comment:

juliealley said...

Ew. Very tedious and thankless. Hope you got them all.