How To Prevent Pest Infestations in Your Kitchen
The kitchen is a favorite spot for pests to make their home, so preventative measures are essential. After all, deterring pests is far easier than eliminating them once they’ve gotten comfortable. Follow these tips to keep pests from infiltrating your home.
- Clean Up After Meals
Kitchens are among the most popular areas for infestations as food is often readily available. After you make a meal, clean up any food scraps immediately. Wipe down all countertops and clean all dishes (or at least put them in the dishwasher). Your goal is to make it look and smell like there was never food there in the first place.
- Store Your Food In Airtight Containers
Pests are incredibly skilled at finding food, even in areas where you feel like it’s safe. Sometimes even storing your food on a high shelf or on the fridge just isn’t enough. Whenever possible, store your food in airtight containers. Not only does this prevent pests from being able to access it, but it also eliminates any smells that might tempt them.
- Be Prepared to Act Fast
If you notice just one bug or rodent, there are probably others hiding. Make sure you have appropriate pest control equipment available so you can administer immediate treatments before infestations grow. For insects, diatomaceous earth is a popular choice for kitchens, as you may not want to use insecticides around food. For mice, traps are ideal.
- Seal All Cracks
Pests often gain access to your home through cracks in your home — even tiny ones. Use a caulk gun to seal off any potential entry points. This is especially important if you are worried about ants, but even larger pests such as mice are able to squeeze through very small openings. Make sure your home is sealed like a fortress.
- Take Out the Trash
Even if your waste bin closes completely, the scent of old food scraps can lure in pests. As soon as your trash can is full, tie up the bag and dispose of it. If you have a weekly trash pickup, get an industrial-sized trash can so you can store your bags outdoors away from your home.
- Check the Pipes
Inspect the pipes underneath your kitchen sink for any openings where pests could enter. If you see any entryways, seal them with caulk or glue or jam steel wool into the openings. Mice can squeeze through an opening as small as a pencil, so be vigilant.
- Clean the Floors
Sweep and mop your kitchen floor on a regular basis. Even if your floor looks clean to the naked eye, tiny crumbs that you may not notice can be a big meal to insects and rodents. Additionally, even a small spill can start to give off a scent over time, which can be quite alluring to tiny creatures.
- Remove Clutter
Eliminate any cluttered areas where pests could hide. For pests, an ideal home has areas where they can retreat quickly if they feel endangered.
- Throw Away Expired Foods
Once food has gone bad, it starts to give off an odor. Even if you don’t notice it, hungry pests may detect it and start seeking out the source. Pay attention to expiration dates, and toss anything that seems questionable.
- Turn Off the Lights
Insects are naturally attracted to light. Light can also draw in outdoor rodents seeking shelter. When you’re not using the kitchen, turn off the lights.
- Use Bay Leaves
The pungent aroma of bay leaves can be unpleasant to some pests. Add a bay leaf to any dry food products such as rice, grains, and pasta.
- Use Traps
Even if you don’t currently have an infestation, you can never be too careful. There are many different types of traps available, including glue traps, electronic traps, and spring-loaded traps. Place traps in obscure locations where pests may be inclined to make a home, such as under the oven, behind the fridge, and under the cabinets.
- Be Vigilant
If you’re worried about pests taking control of your kitchen, you must adopt long-term habits to keep them at bay. Add these simple action steps to your regular routine. You may slip up from time to time, but as long as you stay on top of kitchen cleanliness, you should be able to prevent pests from getting too cozy.