Look at this little thing.
Imagine it to be about one and a half centimetres long.
Looks harmless enough, right?
A family of those has been in one of our kitchen cabinets for … months.
When we first noticed the flour moths, we had no idea what they were or where they came from, and we didn’t pay them much mind – we had more important things on our hands, or so we thought. Those little brown things on the ceiling were a bit weird, but well.
Then I brought over a friend, and we cooked together, and we got some pre-cut almonds out of the cabinet to roast … and were greeted with little white worms I had never seen before. I jumped, literally jumped – I had just poured living things into my hot pan, a living thing that had been living in my food!
The friend knew exactly what it was – „flour worm“, she said expertly. „You probably have more of those in there“
A desperate search began to find all infested products. Finally we decided to just throw everything away that had been open and were advised to clean out the cabinet – and everywhere else that might be infected – with vinegar water, which Ian finally did because I kept gagging whenever I saw one of the worms. (Did I mention he is awesome?) I guess it was the fact they were near my food that made me nauseous – usually, I like insects (out of my apartment, that is, and even those inside are usually brought out alive if possible) and have been known to sit on the sidewalk to watch a caterpillar crawl.
We thought that would be it.
Oh, how wrong we were.
Apparently, those little worms have strong teeth – they also found their way into closed packages of noodles and flour, and soon we had another outbreak on our hands.
And we just couldn’t deal anymore.
We threw away anything infected and a few more things just to be sure. And then we said „We’ll do the cleaning part soon.“
Cue Executive Function Fail: It didn’t happen. We regularly checked everything for moths and worms, but totally forgot to do the necessary clean-up work.
Then we saw them again – by now, seeing one of those would trigger a meltdown in at least one of us, sometimes both.
„We’ll deal with it“, we say as we try to comfort each other in our helplessness, because compared to all the other stuff we have going on, it should be easy – and then we don’t, because between all the other stuff going on, it’s so easy to shut the cabinet door and forget what might still be lurking inside.
This happened about four, maybe five times.
I did some more research, trying to find out what we were doing wrong. The recommendation was to clean the infested parts of the kitchen out once a week with vinegar, and heating the nooks and crannies that were hard to get to with a blowdryer because that would kill off the eggs. For six weeks. The mere idea had Ian’s voice shaking. More on our plate?
„We could call an exterminator“, we say, and then we say „Come on, this should be doable, and an exterminator is very expensive.“
And we swear to do it ourselves.
That was three weeks ago.
Guess what hasn’t happened.
Guess what turned up in our cabinet a few minutes ago.
Guess who just slammed the cabinet door shut and got out of the kitchen, pronto.
This is one of the moments where it really, really sucks that both of us are prone to EF-fails, lack of spoons and meltdowns.
Now I’ll go find us an exterminator.
I hope Ian is up for calling there, because if I have to say the word „flour moths“ aloud, I might break down.
But what the hell do we do if he’s not?