So, a few months ago, my husband and I saw a few moths flying around our house. We thought hmmm one of the kids left the back door open again and some moths got in.
Some time later, we noticed even more moths. Again we thought, We need to stay on those kids about leaving the back door open!
Finally, we saw enough moths and…evidence of other life cycles (ew!!) that we thought, Okay, this is a different sorta problem.
So, we cleaned our kitchen, threw out some expired food, sprayed some bug killer around the house, wiped everything down and called it done.
It was better, but it certainly wasn’t done.
Occasionally, we’d still see a stray moth here and there. And, then – wham – they were everywhere again and we were right back where we started.
My husband would go on these murderous killing sprees, stalking them through the house and killing them one by one. We thought that would do it.
We tried some traps.
That didn’t work.
Nothing seemed to really be doing it!
Finally, I had a meltdown about it and called the exterminator. By my description, he confirmed over the phone that we didn’t have a “moths getting into the house” problem but something called an Indian Meal Moth problem. And, on the spectrum of pest problems, this one, in particular, is a doozy, ranking just below rodents and roaches. (gag!!)
Indian Meal Moths usually come into your house via food, particularly pet food (guilty, we have a lot of that!). They multiply quickly and thrive in the temperature-controlled environment of your home. They live on your pantry items and they can get into anything and everything. Even brand new bags of food can become infested! They prefer to take up residence in your kitchen, but they can go anywhere and, most importantly, they can breed anywhere.
Gross. Gross. Double gross.
Yesterday, I spent the entire day pulling everything out of my cabinets, throwing food away, wiping down surfaces, washing dishes, killing moths (and others of their life cycle *cringe!*) and basically gagging and freaking out.
I don’t do bugs.
I especially don’t do bugs in our family’s food!
The exterminator came today. We were moving furniture, emptying more cabinets and basically tearing the place up. He’s given me strict instructions on how to proceed and assured me it will take weeks – WEEKS! – to entirely eradicate them.
I am mortified.
All of this was going on right under my nose. I didn’t have a clue what real problems were lurking behind “just a few moths flying around.”
I’ve had time to think as I’ve scrubbed and cried over my kitchen.
These moths are kinda like a lot of problems in my life. I ignore them, they get worse. I minimize them, they get worse. I “sorta” address them, but not completely, and they get worse.
Sometimes, you have to peel back what’s going on in your life, peek beneath the surface and soak that sucker in bug poison, respectively.
I have thrown so much out this week. Yes, almost all our food, which hurt because… that’s money! But, also, just a lot of crap. We’ve accumulated so much crap! I didn’t even know we had all this crap!
Well, no more!
After these moths are gone, I’m going to begin closely examining everything in our lives, not just physical things, like overstuffed cabinets of crap, but also the deeper things, like anxiety, and my self-image, and my job and my future and my relationships. I want the clutter out. I want what’s corrupted out.
It’s a hard lesson to learn. And, I’m not yet happy about it. But, I think I will be. Someday.