How to Get Rid of Tiny Worms in My Cupboards

Protect food by storing it in glass and metal containers.
Protect food by storing it in glass and metal containers. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The tiny worms found in your kitchen pantry and cupboards are larval moths, flies and beetles. The readily available food source and warm environment make an ideal spot for the immature insects to thrive. Unfortunately, it also wreaks havoc on your family’s food source and budget. Eliminating and preventing tiny worms in your pantry is possible without the need for introducing harmful chemicals around the food stored inside.

Things You'll Need

  • Zippered plastic bags
  • Outdoor trash can
  • Vacuum
  • 3/4 cup chlorine bleach
  • 2 tbsp. liquid dish soap
  • 1 gallon hot water
  • Rubber gloves
  • Kitchen sponge
  • Airtight containers

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Remove all the pantry’s contents and inspect them for infestation. Look for desiccated bodies, active wigglers and eggs. Place the items inside zippered plastic bags and freeze them for three to four days, or discard the items in an outdoor trash can.

Vacuum out the pantry, paying attention to remove any carcasses, insects or eggs from the corners of the pantry. Empty the trash can’s contents in an outdoor trash receptacle to prevent larval re-infestation.

Create a mixture of 3/4 cup chlorine bleach, 2 tbsp. liquid dish detergent and 1 gallon hot water. Slip on a pair of rubber gloves and dampen a kitchen sponge with the mixture.

Wipe down the inside of the pantry with the bleach solution, including the walls and under the cabinets. The bleach mixture kills any existing larval insects without creating potential issues when the food is reintroduced to the pantry.

Allow the pantry to dry and air out for eight to 10 hours before restocking it with food.

Store the food in airtight metal, plastic and glass containers to prevent re-infestation, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension. Zippered plastic bags and plastic wrap are not sufficient to protect the food.

Tips & Warnings

  • Immediately clean any spills and sweep up crumbs from inside your pantry and kitchen to prevent attracting insects to the space.

References

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