Thanks to my mother in law, I now have a new tip to pass on to you! While cleaning an older lady’s kitchen, my mother in law kept finding bay leaves here and there. When asking her client what she wanted her to do with all the bay leaves, she reportedly asked her right back – “Don’t you know about bay leaves? They’re for the bugs!” After some quick research, it seems that this “old wives tale” checks out – bay leaves actually do seem to keep pests out of your kitchen, and there’s an actual scientific explanation behind it.
Bay leaves contain – according to my sister in law, an entomologist, many natural insect repellents like alpha pinene, beta pinene and lauric acid. Who knew? Clearly not me, or I would definitely have some in my cupboards by now! By adding some bay leaves to your containers of flour, oats, rice, and other grains that you are storing long term, you may be able to avoid the dreaded pantry moth. And avoid the immense hassle and expense of throwing out contaminated food. It’s been suggested to use FRESH bay leaves if you can, and to replace them a few times a year. The older and dryer the leaves are, the more broken down the active repellents will be.
And there you have it! I hope this quick little trick saves you some possible future hairpulling that may have come from any unfortunate infestations!