Using Bay Leaves to Repel Bugs in Pantry

Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2005 02:44 pm
My girlfriend asked me to pick her up a big container of bay leaves at Sam's. She said that she puts some in her sugar, flour rice etc. She also places a few on her pantry shelves. She claims that bugs hate the smell of the stuff. I checked on the internet, and there does appear to be references about using bay leaves to keep the creepy crawlies away.

Anybody have any experience with bay leaves and bugs?
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Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2005 03:01 pm
My daughter-in-law, a woman of great resource, gifted me with bay leaves for my pantry closet.

Insects are repelled by many herbal smells--which makes sense for the survival of the original plants. The bug figures that a strong smell means "not nourishing".

Of course, you can go too far. Remember, in days of yore, m'lady's furs were stored in the garderobe to take advantage of the latrine smells.
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Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2005 04:42 pm
Phoenix, I had a bad pantry moth infestation a few years ago. We used the lures to trap and kill the ones we missed with bleach-water spray. But, then, we placed our food in plastic bins with bay leaves. Why not try it, it seems to help and the leaves are cheap. By the way, lavender is another bug repellent. I put a little satchel of lavender in with a 5-pound bag of flour and now I have 5 pounds of lavender scented flour. Which is nice, but I can't use it for cooking.
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Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2005 04:49 pm
Lavender used to be a culinary herb--lavender flavored dishes were supposed to promote calm and serenity.


Littlek's Lavender Tea Biscuits--absolutely legal!
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Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2005 04:54 pm
I used to do it all the time in Los Angeles. You have to change them though, once in a while, as the scent wafts off as you keep opening things, or maybe just with time. Personally, I lucked out several years ago when our local Pic & Save had a sale on large glass jars - I'd guess they are at least a gallon and a half size. They were for making sun tea...

I like glass, instead of plastic. Anyway, the bay leaves worked with flours kept in those. In Los Angeles I had to buy bay leaves. Here in north north, where I haven't had a single bug in my pantry for years because it rarely gets over 65 degrees... I have four bay trees (laurus nobilis).
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Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2005 05:00 pm
Noddy - I did try lavender cooking. Maybe I'll bring the bag down the the cape this weekend to see if my mother has any ideas..... she's made good lavender-scented cookies before. But, then again, she's made some seriously nasty food too.
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Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2005 01:12 pm
Not in the sugar, but in the flour, yes. Keeps those little weevils out. And if you don't want the flour to be scented with bay, you can tape the leaf to the inside of the lid rather than mixing it in.
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