The Attack of the Indian Meal Moths

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

We ate out a lot this past summer. I don't think I even opened a kitchen cupboard all summer long until last night, when I discovered Indian Meal moths and lots and lots of their babies EVERYWHERE. Hmmm, let's see: undisturbed conditions + lots of food= pretty much their ideal habitat. According to Wikipedia, these moths move into pantries quite often. How is it that no one has ever informed me of this? Well, no insect of ANY KIND moves into this kitchen and gets away with it, and after the way I treated them, I doubt they'll ever return. Every single cupboard was emptied and scrubbed down. As I dumped our food into the compost bin, I tried not to add up the cost of each product gone to waste. I'm not sure how these nasty insects and their spawn piggybacked their way into our kitchen, but they're long gone now. Once the kitchen was spotless and free of all insects (and food), I packed up the kids and drove to the grocery store for some more glass containers and dry ingredients. Mission accomplished. All our food is now in sealed glass containers, which is what I was aiming for all along, but since we didn't quite have enough containers, some things like pancake mix, quick oats, quinoa, couscous, and snack food (all favorites of Indian Meal moths, apparently) were sitting in our cupboards in their original containers. This is not the case any longer! Never again will I buy something that I cannot pour into a sealed container once we get home. Even the cat food is now in a sealed container. I tackled the kitchen, despite the cold I've caught from the kids, and despite that I can't remember the last time (I really can't) I had more than four hours of sleep.

Oh, yes. Then there's the REALLY fun part. Did I mention I clogged our garbage disposal trying to jam dry ingredients down the drain instead of putting them into the compost where they belonged? I clogged it better than anyone has ever clogged a drain before. The pipes were packed solid. So, after dismantling the pipes beneath the sink myself, I turned on the garbage disposal (Landon told me to, (why do I feel like I'm an eight year old kid pointing across the room saying, "He told me to!") then hurried out the door to work for an early morning meeting), and a mixture of rice noodles, bay leaves, coffee grinds, Liquid Plumr, and more water than I ever need to see in my lifetime at 7:30 in the morning before I've had coffee shot out everywhere and made my kitchen look like someone had projectile vomited in every direction. It was that exact color. Who knew these things mixed together would take on the color of vomit, chunks and all? And true to form, I started dry-heaving, because that's what I do when there's vomit everywhere.

And that's when Landon left for work, and when my day should have begun like it always does--with coffee!

It would be nearly noon before I finally had some coffee, and afternoon coffee just isn't the same as drinking it first thing in the morning, but it at least helped keep my eyes open while I read Sam a batch of Mercer Mayer books that arrived from Bookmooch this afternoon. I hope the rest of the week is much less eventful, and involves a lot more coffee.


Anonymous said...

If it helps Karli, your description of the disposal incident made me laugh so hard I cried. If you were not INTENDING to go for the humorous documentation approach, I apologize. My worst drain-clogging experience occurred in the midst of a huge Thanksgiving meal preparation at my house but thankfully, the food stayed in the sink.

Anonymous said...

Great post! I went through the same process as you (except the drain part!). I thought I'd gotten rid of every possible habitat for the larvae, but a couple weeks later saw more new moths flying around! Then I discovered the problem: a "plant expert" had suggested I put, from time to time, coffee grounds (fine espresso in my case) into the soil of some of my plants. Sounded good, but it turns out the moths, finding no other home, deposited their eggs into these selfsame grounds! I had to throw out the whole plant!

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