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Old 06-27-2022, 08:43 AM   #21
Ria P
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Wiltshire, UK
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Default Re: Flummoxed by the pantry moth

A few weeks ago i killed a couple of pantry moths upstairs.

I saw the odd one here and there but today i lowered a shelf in Rodney's cage and lifted a few items of furniture to check for poops (they've been a bit smelly lately).

I came across one adult pantry moth in his substrate, grrr.

I decided not to panic because i didn't want to upset Rodney unnecessarily.

Last time i evacuated him and Betsy into temporary cages and deep cleaned everything. I did not find any more moth or a nest of moth anywhere in either cage.

Betsy didn't care about the temporary cage but Rodney was very very upset.

Today i put him in a transport box and took all the substrate out. I checked through it and found nothing. Same as last time.
I replaced half of the substrate with fresh and used some of the old but kept it lower than normally to keep an eye on it. I'm keeping it sprinkled herbs etc free for now for the same reason.

My reasoning now is that the pantry moth are about and deep cleaning Rodney's cage won't stop them from coming in from somewhere else. They can't come from the hamster food because i freeze everything.

See how it goes.
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Old 06-27-2022, 09:16 AM   #22
cloudy
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Default Re: Flummoxed by the pantry moth

How annoying! I hope it is just one pantry moth and there are not any more. I wonder where they are coming from. It is good you know it is not from the hamster food.
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Old 06-27-2022, 09:34 AM   #23
Pebbles82
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Default Re: Flummoxed by the pantry moth

I can see the reasoning there. If you can see some in the house. Although one moth can lay 200 eggs a day. So if there's one in the cage there may well be larvae and moths hatching out fairly soon. Difficult if Rodney was so upset last time.

I think I'd be tempted to wash everything and change the substrate though. If you can do it in a few hours/same day, he'd be ok in a pet carrier or temporary cage possibly. I think the main thing is being back in their own cage at night. With lots of treats etc hidden to distract them. And nip it in the bud.

Then squish anything else you see fluttering about. If it's in the cage it's almost certainly hatched out in there. They just crawl at first.

As you know I had this with Pickle about 18 months ago. I can only think I missed freezing some treat sticks or something (although I suspected the hemp mat too which hadn't been in the freezer).

A full cage clean isn't that bad unless you have to remove some things for longer.

The time I had the big outbreak was when I found the cage crawling with moths under the substrate - they do crawl before they fly. And under the cupboard where the food was. Once I did the full cage clean I didn't get any back in the cage at all - they were just all over the house and in the food cupboards! Laying eggs on walls, curtains and food cupboard etc. New ones hatching out every day. I ended up washing walls, curtains and using umpteen types of moth traps. Some of them were actually carpet moths as well (had two varieties hatch out).

Sorry!

With Pickle it caught it in time after seeing a couple of moths near the cage and nothing got into Moo's cage below (because they clearly started hatching in Pickle's cage).

I'd still be tempted to do a full cage clean to try and nip it in the bud.
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Old 06-27-2022, 10:13 AM   #24
Ria P
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Default Re: Flummoxed by the pantry moth

I don't think that Rodney's cage is the source or hamster food. I work in different houses and have seen pantry moth in pet free homes.

A few weeks ago i found a dead pantry moth on a window sill upstairs and two live ones on walls within a couple of days but nothing since, until today.

Had they layed 200 eggs each, the house would be swirring with moths.

At least they are not harmful and don't bite or sting.

I could get wood shavings and use them for a while with Kaytee only inside the house. That way i could see any hatched pantry moth easier.

I would have thought that eggs or larvea would be inside the house near the hoard. I completely emptied the cage and wiped it out so the old hoard has gone together with the nest and bedding. Poor Rodney but he went straight into his house to sleep when i put him back.
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Old 06-27-2022, 10:31 AM   #25
Pebbles82
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Default Re: Flummoxed by the pantry moth

Maybe they were normal moths? I've had the odd one of those fluttering about and worry whenever I see one ha ha. And squish them.

The eggs aren't visible to the naked eye really. It's only if they hatch out that you can find some kind of webbing stuff and occasionally a larvae (which can look like a bit of food or seed). Telling signs are the webbing (although I didnt't have any webbing the first time - maybe because they were already hatched).

Total pain though. Washing things removes any eggs from items. Hope all is ok - fingers crossed.

I think they show up just as well, if not better on white bedding actually. The eggs you won't see whatever the bedding.
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Old 06-27-2022, 11:18 AM   #26
Ria P
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Default Re: Flummoxed by the pantry moth

I didn't have my glasses on and saw something move so grabbed a handful of substrate with it in it but annoyingly, didn't see it in the bucket. I'm just wondering why it didn't fly. It crawled very fast and was the size of an adult moth. Hmm.
I'll keep a very close eye on Rodney's cage. I just rummaged around Gertie's but she gave me one of her looks. Had to back off or she would have nipped me.
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Old 06-27-2022, 12:04 PM   #27
cloudy
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Default Re: Flummoxed by the pantry moth

Reading that about Gertie made me think of this:
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Old 06-27-2022, 12:20 PM   #28
Ria P
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Default Re: Flummoxed by the pantry moth

Lol!! Yes, that should have Gertie's photo on it.
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Old 06-27-2022, 04:10 PM   #29
Pebbles82
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Default Re: Flummoxed by the pantry moth

Ha ha. I like that sign. This moth thing can drive you bonkers! It's not nice and I don't envy you. I must admit I was dreading finding something in Pip's cage as I'd left it so long, and relieved that I didn't.

Maybe you could temporarily put Rodney in a pet carrier or other cage while you remove everything from the cage for a good look and take all the substrate out. You can always put it back again.

One tip I found when doing a big or full cage clean that's going to take longer, is to have the hamster in another room, so they can't see, smell or hear you messing with their cage. I found that seems to distress them more than the changes. They know their cage is being messed with. So I used to put our first hamster in the pet carrier, upstairs on our bed with a blanket over. He'd just go to sleep (mind you none of the other hamsters have gone to sleep in the pet carrier so they've usually been put in a travel cage in another room).
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Old 06-28-2022, 12:11 AM   #30
Ria P
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Default Re: Flummoxed by the pantry moth

I've done this already yesterday, when i saw the moth. I took everything out, put Rodney in a carrier and checked through the substrate. I chucked old, slightly smelly substrate out and spread the clean out on the floor. I vacuumed and wiped the cage before putting everything back in.

My thinking was that if there's one moth, there must be more but i couldn't find any. I kept the substrate lower than normally, without any toppings like dried herbs, flowers etc so i can keep an eye on it.

I used to dislike white substrate but can see now how practical it is. Far easier to spot anything that shouldn't be there. I'm checking through all seven cages, will stop sprinkling herbs etc and scatter feeding (half/half).

I never had the type of infestation you had first time round and only ever saw the odd pantry moths around the house.

In a way i'm glad now that i don't have huge cages. The Alaskas and Hamster Heavens are manageable and set up in a way that most things are attached to the bars so will lift off as one unit.

I would also like to know where they actually come from. Can't be hamster food because i freeze everything and can't be human food because i don't bake so have no flour, sugar etc in the house. Everything is in sealed glass jars anyway.

And where did it go when i took it out of the cage. Nothing flew away, nothing in the bucket and nothing in the cage.

There's one possibility though: i'm going mad or senile or see things that aren't there.
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