We see our kitchen as the heart of our homes. It is where we store our food and prepare our meals, which is why we want to get rid of kitchen pests when they invade.
We always put our best foot forward in maintaining its cleanliness for the sake of everyone’s health. But what if you suddenly see some critters lurking in the shadows of your kitchen?
In one way or another, kitchen pests will eventually emerge and make their presence known no matter how meticulous you are in maintaining the area’s cleanliness. These unwanted guests can easily see an opportunity through the smallest cracks or crevices and can even hitch a ride from your favorite grocery store straight to your home.
Therefore, it is important for every homeowner the best things to do at times when pesky pests are invading that sacred kitchen.
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The Key to Get Rid of Kitchen Pests is Prevention
Prevention has always been better than a cure. As mentioned earlier, pests will always find a way to your kitchen sooner or later, taking precautionary steps can help minimize damage when the time comes. Here are our top 3 favorite go-to tips:
⦁ Wash those dirty dishes immediately.
The sight and smell food residues and leftovers are an invitation for different types of kitchen pests. Secure all corners and areas used to prepare the meals. Sticky spots of fruit juice drops and condiment spills should be scrubbed with soap and wiped clean.
⦁ Secure all your food in proper containers.
Keep all your fresh fruits and vegetables inside your refrigerator’s crisper drawers. Doing this helps you avoid inviting fruit flies and ants into your home while keeping your food at best for longer duration. For other types of food supply such as sugar, flour, and cereals, make sure that you secure them in airtight jars before placing them inside cupboards.
⦁ Keep every corner of your kitchen dry and free from leaks.
Drippings from leaky pipes under your sink can provide good water supply for pests like cockroaches. On the other hand, molds can easily grow in kitchens with high humidity which can then lead to food spoilage.
Types of Kitchen Pests
Your kitchen is considered as a goldmine for a wide variety of pests. Your best defense to keep your kitchen free from these unwanted guests would be to gear yourself up with critical info on:
- what these pests are,
- how they look like,
- what they eat,
- how to spot them,
- and how to eliminate them.
Listed below are some of the most commonly encountered pests in any household kitchen:
Cockroaches are a common sight among many apartments. You see them hanging at the kitchen cabinet or running across the kitchen floor. These stubborn pests grow to about 2 inches in length with three pairs of legs and wings to fly around with.
The three most common species of these insects are the German, American, and Oriental cockroaches. They are considered to be a very stubborn type of pest because they can live for about a month without food; two weeks without water; and about a week without its head. Apart from contaminating our food with different types of bacteria and viruses, the presence of cockroaches can also cause asthma.
How to Spot Them
Cockroaches are nocturnal pests. They sleep or hide during the day and stay active at night particularly when the lights are out. They prefer moving around in dark, cramped places so it is oftentimes a challenge trying to spot them.
You can usually find cockroaches in hidden corners where there is ideal warmth with easy access to food and water. They are mostly under the sink and inside cupboards.
Getting Rid of Cockroaches
At first sign of infestation, make sure that you seal off all possible entry points (cracks, holes, crevices, vents, windows) first before you proceed to your actual extermination procedure.
One way to deal with cockroaches is through baits. You can either use store-bought bait or come up with your own home-made bait by mixing powdered boric acid, sugar, and flour. Place your baits in areas frequented by these pests. You can also use commercial insecticide sprays. These solutions are formulated to kill roaches in a matter of minutes if not seconds. Spray some along walls, crevices, holes, underneath furniture, and other cockroach hiding spots.
For serious cockroach infestation, it is best to call and seek help from professional pest exterminators. Check out this guide. for more information on getting rid of cockroaches.
How to Get Rid of Ants
Ants are considered the most common and most hardworking scavengers of leftovers and food spills – be it in the kitchen or in other areas of your house. All it takes is a single scout releasing a pheromone to call out an army of six-legged ants straight to a detected food. Due to their size, it is easy for ants to gain access to your kitchen. If you see ants in your kitchen far too often, chances are that there’s already a colony living nearby or even inside your home.
Dirty dishes, food residues, and crumbs are an open invitation for ants. They get one when they see one. And they never work alone. Although most species of ants are not as harmful as other kitchen pests, their mere presence is such a nuisance. Besides, they can eat through packages of your food inviting other pests for a chaotic free for all inside your cupboard.
How to Spot Them
It’s quite easy to spot these pests. They are not as evasive as other kitchen pests and they scavenge food out in the open, day and night. If you are suspecting that a colony is already inside your home, simply follow their trail and you’ll be pointed to the right direction.
Getting Rid of Ant Problem
Perhaps the easiest way of dealing with an ant problem in your kitchen is by wiping its trail with a sponge damped with soapy water. This will help wipe out the pheromone scent and prevent reinforcements from getting into your kitchen. If you happen to have a more serious case of ant infestation, you can try and make your own DIY bait made of borax powder and sugar.
The sugar is meant to lure in the ants while the borax does the killing. Unsuspecting ants will carry the bait back to its colony and eventually kill the rest of the army. Check out this guide. for more information on getting rid of ants in the kitchen!
Some of them are quite small and sneaky while others can be quite enormously gross. No matter their size, having rodents in your kitchen is a serious problem. If you happen to see one messing around in your kitchen, chances are that there’s a gang of ‘em hiding underneath your sink, inside your cupboard, and within your walls. And before you know it, rats and mice have already caused serious problem throughout your home.
Rats and mice are filthy pests. They carry a truckload of bacteria and viruses that can cause serious diseases such as Lymphocytic choriomeningitis, Leptospirosis, Salmonellosis, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, and Tularemia. Apart from being hazardous to human health, rat and mice infestation can also cause problem in the integrity of your home’s structure. They can and will gnaw through walls and chew on electrical wirings.
How to Spot Them
Mice are relatively small compared to rats. Mice move faster than rats and they usually nest near an established food source. Rats on the other hand are both burrowers and swimmers.
Rodents can live in the sewers and burrow their way into your property. They also live inside walls, attics, basements, and underneath wood floorings. Droppings and gnawing marks are basically the things to look for if you are to spot these pesky rodents.
Getting Rid of Rodents
The use of spring loaded mousetraps is the most traditional but still effective way of exterminating these gnawing pests. You can use cereals and vegetables as bait for mice while meat and grains are more enticing for rats. Place these mousetraps along their verified tracks and near their nests. Mousetraps however, have little success rate on rats since these pests tend to avoid anything placed along their tracks. Live traps and snap traps are effective alternatives.
When mousetraps fail, you can always move on to rodenticides. These are pesticides specially formulated to kill mice and rats. If you have pets or children at home, it is best to utilize bait stations to make sure that your rodenticide bait doesn’t fall into the wrong stomach.
A single mouse or rat can breed around 60 to more than 70 a year. For more serious cases of rodent infestations, it is always a good idea to seek professional assistance from certified pest exterminators.
Shane Dutka is the founder of Pest Strategies, a website resource providing guides and articles on pest removal best practices.