For many of us, one of our biggest kitchen goals is to have a space which is warm and welcoming. However, what do can you do if you get unwelcome visitors in the form of kitchen pests? Bugs and pests love kitchens for almost the same reasons as us humans do! Namely that they provide essential elements for them to survive – food, water and shelter.
Pests in the kitchen can be problematic for numerous reasons. They provide a health risk and can chew through your food boxes, contaminate areas or leave their droppings, and generally make your kitchen not such a nice place to be.
With that in mind, we explore common bugs and rodents that can come into the space, and how to you can prevent pests in your kitchen.
How to Prevent Mice in the kitchen
Rodents infestations can cause havoc in your kitchen. In the winter months, mice and even rats can start to seek shelter in your nice and cosy home, and can leave rather a trail of destruction behind – chewing through walls, and even more dangerously – wires.
Additionally, rats and mice carry a slew of germs and bacteria which can make householder seriously unwell, and their droppings are a particular risk, so always keep an eye out for rodent droppings. Pay particular attention to areas such as underneath kitchen units.
The best way to prevent mice infestations is by ensuring that they cannot gain entry in the first place. Remember that mice can gain entrance through the smallest of spaces, so make sure to look behind your kitchen furniture and appliances for any possible entryways. If you find a gap, use caulk and steel wall to seal up the holes so that rodents can’t get in.
How to Get Rid of Ants in your kitchen
Ants can be a particular problem as thanks to their small size, they can access areas of the home easily. Like over pests, they come inside if they find good conditions, and a food source, so if you want to prevent them coming in the first place, it’s a good idea not to leave any food waste lying around.
However, on the plus side, unlike rodents, they tend to be pretty easy to spot – as the entire little army tends to march into your kitchen! Effective ways to get rid of ants include a mixture of vinegar and water, or of course ant killing powders or sprays. Of course, as your kitchen can be a food preparation area, take care when using anything that contains a poison.
Ants leave trails of their scent when they find a food source, so it’s very important not just to get rid of the ants, but to also ensure that they don’t come back. Make sure that you eliminate their point of entry.
Stopping flies getting into your kitchen
A common problem in the summer months, flies in the kitchen aren’t just an annoyance (we’ve all had that buzzing noise drive us crazy)! They’re also dangerous when it comes to health – as they can easily spread germs and bacteria, including salmonella as they flit from surface to surface.
Thanks to the fact that they are small, and airborne, it can be tricky to physically stop flies from getting into your kitchen – although measures such as fly screens, fly traps or certain sprays can help, it’s better to and prevent attracting them in the first place, by ensuring that your kitchen is kept clean – and free from food and food waste.
Tips to prevent pests in the kitchen
While certain pests are particularly attracted in certain ways, there are some things that you can do to generally make your kitchen a less attractive prospect to bugs and rodents. The upside is that they’ll simultaneously make your kitchen a nice place for you and your family too!
Don’t leave any food waste lying around
One of the biggest attractions to almost all pests is food. And, they can be pretty partial to our human leftovers – so make sure that you clean up after every meal, and don’t leave dirty dishes lying around. If you really can’t face the washing up straight after your meal, give your plates a good rinse in the kitchen sink, so there are no scraps for pests to be attracted to.
Empty bins regularly
Be sure to empty your waste bins as soon as possible, in particular, any which may contain discarded food or items with remnants such as packaging.
Keep your kitchen clean
Vital to keeping those unwanted guests away, make sure you keep your kitchen as clean as possible. Wipe down surfaces thoroughly, as even the smallest crumbs can attract insects. Don’t overlook the inside of furniture such as kitchen drawers or cupboards.