Ridding food cabinets of pesky moths

GARDEN Q&A

October 22, 2005|By JON TRAUNFELD AND ELLEN NIBALI | JON TRAUNFELD AND ELLEN NIBALI,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

We have moths flying from the kitchen and little worms on the walls. We threw out all the dry goods, and cleaned and sprayed the cabinets with insecticide. Do these moths get into fabric?

Your visitors are Indian meal moths and their larvae, common pantry pests. They eat grain products, dried fruit, nuts, spices, even dried flower arrangements, and love birdseed and dog food. They do not feed on clothing. Empty your food storage areas, vacuum all cracks and crevices, and wash with soapy water. Thoroughly vacuum the rest of your kitchen, concentrating on places where you notice the larvae. Dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag. If you suspect more food may be infested, place it in the freezer for a few days. We do not recommend the use of pesticides in the home near food. For more help, see our Web site or call us.

What is the best way to ripen green homegrown tomatoes?

Select fruits on the vine that have started turning white or pink at the bottom. These will ripen for you indoors. Place in a paper bag or wrap in newspaper. Adding an apple or banana to the bag hastens ripening. The apple and banana give off ethylene gas, the natural ripening agent. Solid green tomatoes can be fried or pickled.

Jon Traunfeld, regional specialist, and Ellen Nibali, horticulture consultant, work at Maryland Cooperative Extension's Home and Garden Information Center. Call the center's "hot line" at 800-342-2507 (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.) or e-mail plant and pest questions through the Send a Question feature at hgic.umd.edu.

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