Your kitchen can be a very welcoming space for unwanted guests that range from rats to roaches to fruit flies to ants. These three tips can help prevent such pests from making themselves at home, or eliminate them if they already have.
Safeguard Your Food Items
Pests can rarely get into the refrigerator or freezer, making them prime spots to store food that can be kept cold or frozen. Dried fruit and cereal actually last longer when they’re in the fridge, but a cold zone isn’t optimum for everything.
Food items that need to be kept at room temperature in your pantry or cupboards can be securely stored in cans, jars or sturdy plastic bins. Rodents and insects can chew through paper, plastic and even cardboard pretty easily, so you need a stronger barrier to keep them out.
Read More: How to Eliminate Fruit Flies
Safeguard Your Surroundings
A hole as wide as a pencil is big enough to let mice squeak through, while small cracks and crevices around baseboards and pipes can provide amply entryways for ants and other insects. Plug up larger holes with steel wool or spray foam. Turn to a caulking gun for sealing smaller crevices and cracks both inside and outside the home.
Other areas that can double as entry points include:
- Openings around water pipes under the kitchen sink.
- Holes inside cabinets and behind appliances.
- Openings under doors or in damaged screens.
Keep it Squeaky Clean
Keeping your kitchen squeaky clean is one of the most important things you can do to prevent pests. With all its food prep and activity, kitchens typically need cleaning more thoroughly and frequently than other rooms. In addition to the regular sweeping, mopping and wiping down of counters and appliances, other kitchen cleaning tips include:
- Rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher or sink
- Not letting dirty dishes pile up in the sink for a long period of time
- Regularly running your garbage disposal
- Checking for signs of over-ripening in fruit left out, as female fruit flies lay an average of 500 eggs on fermenting fruit
- Disposing of fermenting fruit and other pest-attracting trash in outdoor bins
- Regularly emptying kitchen trash bins
- Storing compost bins outdoors, emptying them regularly
- Not leaving pet water and food bowls out for extended periods
Paying keen attention to these tips can help eliminate existing pests while preventing new ones from coming in, ensuring your kitchen is only welcoming to the guests you specifically choose.