Larva in the kitchen, ick.

We have a minor infestation of what appear to be pantry moth larva in the kitchen. I’ll go through the pantry, toss anything they might eat that isn’t sealed, clean the shelves, etc. No problem there.

However, this is the gross bit - we’ve got the little bastards somewhere up in the range hood. I found a dozen or more wiggling around on the stove when I got home last night. I sealed up all of the cracks I could find and pulled the filter off…frankly I was expecting to find a writhing mass of the creepy things but only saw about a half-dozen.

I ran the fan at full speed for a while and that caused a dozen or two to appear in a cabinet above the range (the vent for the hood goes up through that cabinet). I had sealed up all the cracks I could with caulking and foam earlier but there may be some little hole that I missed. I’ll take care of that but this still points to them being up in the vent someplace…

So how can I eradicate the things? They’re evidently not good with temperature extremes so tonight I’m going to get a big pot of water boiling and run the fan to try and steam 'em to death up there, or at least make them come out where I can mop 'em up.

Does anyone know if it’s safe to spray something like Lysol disinfectant up into the vent? I’d be careful about doing this with the fan running since the spray contains a lot of alcohol, don’t want a fireball, but if I shoot it up there, let it sit for ten minutes and then run the fan is there any likelihood of that causing any problems?

Or you could cook something smoky and knock 'em out that way.

Funny, I was thinking about larvae just this morning (don’t ask).

Sorry - I thought you had a volcano.

Bad jokes will get you a severe pumicement.

Have you tried bug spray? If it’s going* out,* it shouldn’t be much of a hazard in the kitchen. Hopefully you have food covered.

In the long run, find out what’s attracting them and eliminate the source.

I thought about that but I’m a bit nervous about spraying Raid right above the range.

Cover or put away food. Turn on exhaust fan. Spray. Relax and go out to eat that night.

Some googling around turned up that Terminix makes a non-toxic (to mammals) crawling insect killer so I’ll probably give that a go.

Death to the crawly things.

Pantry moth eggs can be in grain and cereal packages when they are brought into the home. I think there was a discussion about this recently and many people related stories of doing a scorched earth on their kitchen but still finding larvae and moths appearing.

See this thread for example.

When we had them cocooning on our kitchen ceiling, I just sucked them off with the vacuum cleaner.

Found about four small larva when I got home today, squished 'em - this was a substantial decrease in numbers compared to the other day. Sprayed the upper cabinet interior and then up into the fan/vent with the Terminix stuff (it smells mostly like cinnamon, not too bad).

Was not greeted with a bunch of dying larva falling out of the vent or anything repugnant like that. This weekend I’ll be doing the aforementioned scorched earth cleansing of the cabinets and eliminating any potential food sources.

Extractor fans seem to me to be quite an unhealthy thing. A direct connection to your roof space suspended over your food preparation area can’t be a good thing.

The proper way to vent is outside, not into the attic.

an exhaust fan without a clean filter is a food source area for all kinds of bugs.

What kind of range hood is it? If it’s a standard one it’s not too expensive nor too hard to replace. It’s like replacing a ceiling fan.

I think if it were me, I’d just toss it.

It appears to be a standard type (don’t recall the brand name) and I did suggest this to my wife. However that’s a weekend project and I needed to do something right away so that the stovetop didn’t continue to be the Larvae Playground.

And yes it’s vented to the outside - venting to the attic is a really bad idea (moisture, grease, fire risk) and prohibited by code (not that whoever built the place stuck to the code even when it would have been simple to do so).

Do you ever encounter the adults, or only the larvae? Any flying insect killer can take care of moths, and that will take care of the eggs and the disgusting little wiggly bastards.