Your guide to keeping food moths, fruit flies, and other horrors at bay in your kitchen

I will never forget my first run-in with them. It felt sort of dirty, and not in a good way. It was a Sunday morning, The Archers on the radio, mixer lifted on to the kitchen counter, oven preheating. I lifted a plastic tub of flaked almonds down from the shelf and to my visceral and skin-crawling horror, well, the tub was crawling, moving, pulsing with tiny white larvae. The top of the container was thick with white webbing.

Do you have the enormous good fortune to be reading this somewhere in the Outer Hebrides? If so, now seems as good a time as any to ask whether you could hear the scream that pierced the calm of my London kitchen. I was surprised no one called the police. In fact, they probably should have as over the ensuing 24 hours I did thousands of utterly merciless murders (sorry-not-sorry, once again, to the man who called me speciesist when I wrote about killing clothes moths).

Food moths – Mediterranean flour moths, Indianmeal moths, Ephestia kuehniella, Plodia interpunctella, whatever you want to call them – no thank you, strictly not welcome here, and I will do everything I can, armed with vacuum cleaner, hot soapy water and bin bags, to rid myself of them. By the powers vested in me by Kilner and Ziploc, be gone from this place.

If you find even the merest hint of an infestation (you may see the tiny moths fluttering about, too), don’t waste a second. Start by taking everything out from the cupboards. Next, give cupboards – and shelves and drawers – a thorough vacuum, then toss the bin bag or empty the cylinder contents into the outside bin. Give everything a thorough wash with hot, soapy water, paying close attention to any dark, hidden places. I thought I had got rid of them all and then found some taking a nice rest cure inside the drawer runners.

Next, inspect everything before you put it back. Look carefully for webbing, larvae and pinprick holes in packaging. Examine under paper labels and packet seals, and around the rims and lids of jars. They love flour, cereals, grains, nuts, dried fruit, some dried herbs and pasta particularly, so pay close attention to them. Toss anything that shows signs of infestation into the outside bin. If you have dried goods such as flour that don’t appear to be infested but which you’re worried about, seal them in a plastic bag, and put them in the freezer for a week to kill any larvae, before decanting them into Kilner or other glass jars, or plastic tubs with tight seals.

When everything is soothingly moth-free and order is restored, stick some food moth pheromone traps up in your cupboards (Demi Diamond Food Moth Traps, £6.99 from stopmoths.co.uk). These work by attracting the male moths, which stick on to the paper and then can’t mate. They also provide a good way to monitor whether you still have an infestation –

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How to Kill House Flies

Sometimes you have the occasional house fly that annoys you. Other times though it is a more serious problem. There are house flies everywhere and it is more of an infestation problem that you need to deal with. Learn how to deal with this problem so that you can get rid of house flies.

The first step is to clean up and get rid of the breeding ground of the house flies. If you have an infestation, there is something in the house that they are breeding in. Get rid of any garbage. Clean up pet litter like the cat litter box. Throw away old food in the pantry. Seal up all containers of food. Wipe down all counters. The cleaner everything is the less likely it is that the flies can continue to breed.

To get rid of these flies manually put a little bit of rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle and spray this towards flies that you see in the home. This does work, but you probably would rather have something that worked automatically for you without having to get rid of them yourself.

You need to make some traps. Take hot water and sugar and blend these together. Put this into small jars and cover them with plastic wrap. Poke holes in the plastic wrap so the flies can get in. This should attract quite a few house flies. Do this day after day until the flies are gone. The more traps you use the more you will catch. Be sure to empty out the trap each day and refill them.

Another trick is to put something like rotting fruit inside the oven. The flies will be attracted to it and all be in the oven. Shut the oven and turn it on and it will kill the flies. Clean up the oven afterwards.…

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