Pantry? Moths

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hermilove
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Pantry? Moths

Post by hermilove » Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:26 pm

I seem to have an infestation of what I believe are pantry moths in my tank. No matter how many I kill more keep coming. I'm not really sure what to do to get rid of them? Has anyone experienced this before?

Edit: (If they aren't pantry moths they're tiny and silvery if that helps) I also don't know why they would be in the tank? I'm thinking of picking up some moth traps to put near the tank, but I'm not sure how effective it would be.

https://imgur.com/a/7Hd7LJt

Also there's been some "strings" under the food dish when I pick it up, sand clinging to them. I've scooped out the sand in the area but it hasn't appeared to help.
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Re: Pantry? Moths

Post by wodesorel » Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:02 am

Those do look like pantry moths, or maybe clothes moths. 😕 I can't say I've ever seen this issue in a tank before! The strings may be silk from the caterpillars, or it could be mold growth.

Are you positive they are coming from the tank, and not ending up there from another breeding location?

You may need to go a little nuclear - deconstruct your tank down to bare substrate and remove the top layer to physically remove any larvae. Clean all items thoroughly to get any pockets of larvae that might be in/on them.
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hermilove
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Re: Pantry? Moths

Post by hermilove » Sat Jun 06, 2020 11:22 am

Well, I just found a grub under the food dish. So I'm thinking they must be originating from the tank. I'm just hoping I won't have to replace the entirety of the sub to get rid of them. Thanks for the advice. I'll boil what I can, clean everything down, and remove substrate.
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Re: Pantry? Moths

Post by GotButterflies » Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:35 pm

I'm sorry that you are going through this! Did you recently feed them seed? Sometimes I get moths in my birdseed...that's the only thing I've ever seen moths in. I've never seen them in my hermit crab tank.
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hermilove
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Re: Pantry? Moths

Post by hermilove » Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:56 pm

I hadn't fed them seeds, but I seem to have gotten rid of them (or almost!). :cheer: Clearing out the top layer of sand, cleaning decor, continuously scooping out sand under the food dish (where they were making strings), and then killing any moths I saw seems to have worked. I'll post an update if there's any change.
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Re: Pantry? Moths

Post by SilverHermits » Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:35 pm

Pantry Moths suck, I currently have a infestation of them in my house (have no idea where their coming from, they seem to pop out of no where). They might be attracted to the lights in your tank (or the heat, I'm not a entomologist so I'm just guessing). You crabs will eat them if they get the chance, extra protein. It's not fun when they (the moths) drown in the water and make it oily, with the moth traps be careful if any chemicals are involved don't want your crabs getting sick.

I'm pretty sure the sticky strings are silk made from the moth caterpillars (or it might be fungus, but I don't think it is), I've had them as well. Try spraying the area with salt water, if that doesn't help maybe replace the substrate/remove and bake it to get rid of anything living.

Good luck!
I have had hermit crabs for over 9 years so far (Yes, I got them when I was 7) I currently have 6 hermit crabs (last time I checked anyway) split between two tanks, one is a 30 gallon and the other is a 35 gallon with a 15 gallon topper tank. I believe I only have Purple Pinchers.

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Re: Pantry? Moths

Post by AwesomeHermit » Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:08 pm

For some reason my hermits have become very sick at one point when I found a dead moth in the water. It scared me because they didn't, or barely moved for few days straight. Eventually they recovered. I don't know for sure what caused it, the moth or something else
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Re: Pantry? Moths

Post by Karen1216 » Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:18 pm

I've been having the same problem on and off for a year. I've have my hermies for more than 7 years and this is a first in the tank. I've never seen the caterpillars but I've seen a newly hatched moth coming up from the substrate. I've had issue with pantry moths in the past in my pantry. I've noticed that they or the caterpillars have come hitched a ride from packages from the pet stores but I've always have been able to get rid of them. I guess the crabitat is too inviting to pass up.

I simply try to get rid of them as I see them. Sorry I cannot be more helpful. :(

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Re: Pantry? Moths

Post by CombatMist » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:21 pm

I've had a few fruit flies magically appear in my tank which had a screen. Eggs on the dried fruit I put in I think.

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Re: Pantry? Moths

Post by hermilove » Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:44 am

Well so far everything I've done hasn't seemed to work. There's been times when I think they're gone and they come right back! I'm going to do a complete sub change now to hopefully permanently get rid of them. I've been seeing some even outside the tank and want to keep them from getting all over the house.
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hermilove
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Re: Pantry? Moths

Post by hermilove » Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:26 pm

Well 250 lbs of sand and 3 bricks of Eco Earth later and hopefully I'll have some moth free substrate. Sadly I found a lot of empty...and not so empty shells from over the years. :cry::cry: I've had most of these guys for about 10 years and they had been with other people before me in not great conditions. I'm not sure if it was old age or something went wrong but it sucks....I hadn't seen some of them up in awhile but I was just hoping...maybe in denial...it was some long molts. Even got a lot of new bigger shells. :( Hopefully the three remaining guys will be ok. One of them keeps screwing the lid off the tub I have him in. (I didn't tighten it all the way but still, I'm impressed)

Also adding some screening under the lids, at least for now to make sure things don't get back in. In case the moths caused the couple recent deaths as AwesomeHermit was talking about.

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Re: Pantry? Moths

Post by CombatMist » Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:59 am

Have you cleaned the room the crabitat is in? Could the insects be coming from outside the tank? Is there a way for insects to get in the tank?
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Re: Pantry? Moths

Post by hermilove » Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:12 am

Well since I did the sub change so far I've seen no moths. I'm pretty sure they were coming from the tank, as I had seen a grub, they form the stringy silk under the food dish, there were "clumps" in odd places that may have been eggs or an egg sack of some kind, and moths that couldn't quite fly yet. They also never infested the tank sitting right next to this one. I'm guessing they came in with some food and found the perfect habitat in the tank.

There are gaps in the lids for airflow and attachments but I've now put screening underneath the lids preventing any escaped moths from the cleaning (that I didn't swiftly smoosh) from returning. When I did the sub change I re-cleaned all the decor, boiling what I could.

While I did change the entire sub, it seemed the bugs only went so deep, but it was hard to really tell where as it was all across the tank even away from the food. If I was removing several inches from the top I just went for it all as the best solution to really clean everything. I'm really hoping this was the solution and there will be no more moths. I may do the same in the Ecuadorian's tank (the one next to it) as a preventative measure. (boiling decor, new sub, and screening) Unlike with the PPs these two guys are both up top which is a lot less stressful for me and the crabs. If they weren't I would definitely wait as there are no moths that I've seen. The three remaining PPs that I found thankfully were not molting and have been enjoying their newly refreshed tank.

I've also been wondering if stumbling upon a dead crab when digging and them consuming the remains kills them. Some sort of toxicity in the body? I found some of the empty shells buried somewhat close together. As happens they may have also found a molter. I mean they also could have been old, they've been in captivity for a long time I suppose, almost 10 years(?) with me, likely a few or more with their previous owners I adopted from, however old they were before they were picked up in the wild. No matter what, I still just feel guilty as I am the one responsible for their care, although I know nothing lives forever. I am happy I gave them a much longer and happier life they they would have had without me though, since they couldn't have even molted in their previous habitats. It all could've happened over the span of years as well since the sub hasn't been changed in a long time. I'm sorry, I'm probably rambling at this point, I just feel sad at the loss of my little guys. They really hold a special place in my heart.
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