Now that the weather is cooler, let’s talk moths. From the pantry to the closet, these little pests can chomp their way through food and clothes.

Pantry and closet moths are different species, so they require different prevention and elimination measures. This week I’ll share a three-pronged approach to ridding pantry moths.

First, clean out your entire pantry. Yes, it’s a big job but it’s the only way to eliminate resident pests and prevent future ones from moving in. Toss anything that could be contaminated including opened and unopened cereals, grains, crackers, cookies, flour and so forth. It’s surprising just how easily moths infiltrate packaging, no matter how well sealed it is.

Once you’ve tossed any possibly contaminated items, wipe down every single inch of cabinet surfaces. Don’t forget corners, and where the door meets the frame. Crevices are extra important when it comes to moth infestations so make sure to tackle cabinet seams, too. Wipe out all debris with a damp cloth and then go over everything with another cloth lightly soaked in vinegar. Just be sure the cloth isn’t sopping, as you don’t want to create warping, bubbles or other water damage inside the cabinets. Next, wipe everything thoroughly with a dry cloth or paper towels. To be on the safe side, I also use a few Pantry Pest Traps by Safer (available at most Home Depot stores).

Put all of your newly purchased snacks and ingredients into airtight containers and restock your pantry. I find moths can still get into most plastic containers, so I have better luck with mason or ball jars. Just make sure the lid is tight, as moths can get into the smallest openings. This entails opening every package and transferring the contents into an airtight container, but think how beautifully organized everything will be once you’re done. If you always put new products into sealed containers, your moth problem should be a thing of the past. Bonus: This method is also mouse-proof.

Tune in next week for tips on discouraging dreaded closet moths.