Sep 16, 2011

It all started with a rotten sack of potatoes.

Actually, it goes back a bit further than that, to our dryer vent getting clogged again.

For several reasons that are too long to go into, but involve my husband being suspicious of duct cleaning companies, we’ve been letting our dryer vent directly into the laundry room.  Which is also our pantry.

Along with all the lint, dryers also expel a lot of humidity.  Besides making our walls a bit mushy, it also dampened some of our food, and sent a bag of potatoes straight to hell.

Mom: You know that horrid smell in the kitchen I’ve been complaining about?

Me: Yes?

Mom: I found out where it was coming from. It was the potatoes!  Thank goodness they were in that plastic tub, because they were practically melted into goo.  But that’s not the worst part.  They were covered in MAGGOTS.

Me: Maggots?  Wha?

Mom: Yes!  I was dry heaving the whole time.  Everything got bagged up and put directly into the trash.

And then she dry heaved again at the memory.

I have never been more happy to have my mom living with us.  Bless her heart for being the one to find, and clean up, that mess.  It made having a cold and no sense of smell seem like a God send.

It also shed some light on the moths that had taken up residence in the pantry.

Me: I bet that’s where the moths are coming from!

Mom: Those things are really hard to get rid of.  I cleaned out the maggots, so I’ll leave the moths to you.

That seemed like a totally uneven trade.  In my favor.  So I just nodded and went to bed, thinking that it’d be an easy job to tackle the next day.  How hard could it be to get rid of a few moths, especially after their breeding grounds had been eliminated?  So far sucking them up with the Dustbuster had been working just fine.

A few days later the moth population had exploded, completely taking over the laundry room/pantry and overwhelming my vacuuming abilities.  I knew it was time to finally take care of business when I went in to change a load of laundry and got dive-bombed by hundreds of moths, several trying to enter me through my nostrils.  I sputtered and flailed my way out, shrieking to Gilberto to come help me.

Cleaning out that damn room was harder than I’d ever imagined.  Not only did we have to remove every item and wash every surface, we had to open up every single container to look for cocoons.  I opened a brand new box of cereal and a moth flew out, straight into my mouth.  If I come down with some weird disease in the next few months, it’s probably from that moment RIGHT THERE.

There were cocoons under cans, in boxes, in bags and in the cookbooks.  There were even a few inside the blender and coffee maker.  There must’ve also been some inside the back of the washer or dryer, because despite our efforts, within a few days the moths were back.

I do have a very nice looking pantry now, though.  Filled with hidden worms in cocoons, but nice looking all the same.

So now I’m thinking that my mom definitely got the better end of the deal.

And as for getting rid of the moths, perhaps fly tape will work?  Though I’m partial to bleaching that room from top to bottom and just buying a new washer and dryer.

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