After seeing an unpleasant dream at night, my throat parched. Half asleep, I dragged myself to the kitchen and switched on the light. A nightmare was awaiting there. Several cockroaches were having fun on the kitchen floor and they scurried away when the light fell on them. I am sure many of you would have had the same experience. If not cockroaches, it could be ants or sometimes flour bugs or meal moths.
Unfortunately, once your kitchen gets infested, you have to put in a lot of effort to eliminate them completely. Being the busiest part of the house that is highly susceptible to getting dirty, due care should be given to maintaining your kitchen neat and hygienic. And just like everything else, prevention is better than cure.
So, how can you prevent pests from infesting your kitchen? And what are the tips to get rid of them completely once infested? Let’s hear from experts who have years of experience in pest control.
Getting Rid of Cockroaches In Kitchen
Cockroaches are carriers of diseases like diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera, typhoid etc. You can opt for several approaches to preventing and eliminating cockroaches in your kitchen. You can prevent access, starve them or use poison.
To prevent access, seal off cracks and holes in your kitchen cabinet. Lenny Brickowsy of Juliei Salone recommends using steel wool or caulk for the same. Water-resistant sealants too can be used for sealing off cracks near the sink or doors. Peter Bowers-Davis who operates Integrum Services recommends spraying insecticides before closing the gap for maximum results. You could also use a kitchen sink strainer to prevent roaches from entering through the drain.
The next method is starving them by ensuring they don’t have access to food or water. Jordan Foster of Fantastic Pest Control recommends fixing any leaky pipes to ensure roaches do not have access to water. Lenny also recommends keeping the sink dry and never leaving dirty dishes in the sink at night.
Next, ensure your kitchen cabinets are clean and there are no sources of food for roaches. Jordan recommends cleaning the kitchen cabinets regularly and ensuring there are no food bits or leftovers on the cabinets. Ensure all food items are stored in airtight containers. Wipe spills immediately and keep opened packets of food and leftovers in airtight containers. He also suggests keeping pet food sealed tightly as roaches are fond of dog and cat food.
Yet another tip that Jordan recommends is keeping bay leaves in cabinets. Though they don’t kill roaches, they hate the smell and thus act as a repellant.
If cockroach infestation is rampant, glue traps could also be immensely useful. Jordan suggests keeping them behind cupboards, under appliances, underneath sinks, and in any other small space where you believe the cockroaches are hiding.
Related reading: How To Maintain A White Kitchen?
Getting Rid of Ants, Flour Bugs and Mites In The Pantry
Flours, pulses and other pantry items are stored in large warehouses before they reach the supermarket and thence your kitchen. So, there is a high possibility that larvae of flour bugs and mites could already be present in the food items you buy. Jerry Herbert of Extermatrim Exterminating suggests placing all non-perishables in the freezer overnight to kill any pests that might already be there in the packets.
Next, ensure your cabinets are clean and store all produces in airtight containers. Keep bay leaves or dry chilly inside the canister containing flour, rice and pulses and also sprinkle them in the cabinets to deter pests.
To get rid of ants, Lenny recommends mixing 1 part of boric acid with 3 parts of sugar and sprinkling around the areas where ants tend to get together. Alternatively, you can sprinkle diatomaceous earth (DE) inside the cabinets and pantry. He says, ” DE works by dehydrating the insects’ exoskeleton, which causes them to die after ingesting it. Simply sprinkle DE around areas where pests are present, then vacuum up any leftovers every couple of weeks until no more pests remain!”
Finally, before closing down the kitchen for the day, wipe the countertop and mop the floor with essential oils like lemongrass, eucalyptus or citrus to deter pests and also keep the kitchen pleasant.
Other Tips To Keep Kitchen Pest-Free
- Always store food in airtight containers. Ensure you do not keep biscuits, snacks or any other food items opened in the cabinets. Many people close food packets with a rubber band and keep them in cabinets. But small pests can easily get inside such packets.
- Always keep a bay leaf or dry chilly inside the container used to store pulses, rice and flours.
- Wipe the cabinets with soapy water every 1-2 weeks to ensure they remain clean. Attend to spills immediately by wiping them off and spraying diluted essential oil over the area.
- Ensure that you take out the trash on a daily basis. Keep the garbage bin closed all the time. Also, clean the bin regularly.
- If you have pets, ensure pet food is not left out for long periods of time.
- If you find pests in any pantry items, get rid of them by spreading them on a plate and drying them in the sun. If pests still prevail, discard them.
- Always keep new packets of pulses, flour and other grocery items in the freezer overnight before transferring them to airtight containers. This kills off any pests that may remain.
- Fix leaks immediately. Leaks not only attract pests but also mold which is extremely difficult to remove.
- If you buy groceries in bulk, transfer them to appropriate airtight containers immediately. Else, store them in the freezer.
- Never add new dry food to the container that still has old produce. If the old one has pests, it can infest the new food and vice-versa.
- Discard expired food in the pantry immediately.
- Always keep the sink dry. Clean the dirty dishes immediately and ensure it is clean and dry at night.
- Keep fruits in the fridge or inside an enclosed fruit basket.