The Best Things You Can Do to Keep Pests and Insects Out of the Kitchen

published Jun 24, 2017
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(Image credit: Susanna Hopler/Dzm1try)

Some people may prefer granite over marble. Some like galley kitchens versus open concepts. If there is one thing we can all agree on when it comes to the kitchen, though, it’s that pests and insects do not belong in there. “Eh, I don’t mind all those ants in the pantry,” said no home cook ever.

That’s why we’ve been working on a bunch of stories to help you trap, outsmart, and even banish these creepy crawlies from the kitchen. And we’ve put them all in once place. Keep reading to learn how to handle six of the most common — and not fun! — problems.

(Image credit: Susanna Hopler/Dzm1try)

1. Flies

Sanitation is the number-one way to reduce any kind of insect in the kitchen — especially flies. You’re going to want to wipe down surfaces, empty your trash can, and maybe set up a fan or two.

(Image credit: Susanna Hopler/Studio_G)

2. Fruit Flies

The best defense against fruit flies is to eliminate their food source. If you have produce that’s getting a little soft, toss it or move it into the fridge. If your garbage can’s attracting fruit flies, take it to the curb.

3. Grain Beetles

From their name, you might imagine that these tiny beetles like to live in containers of flour, cereal, or rice, and you’d be right. There are two main types of grain beetles, and luckily, the methods for getting rid of both are basically the same. The steps go something like this: Inspect the food in your cabinets, clean the cabinets themselves, and then put everything away properly.

4. Mice

If you have one mouse, you really have more than one (sorry!). To gain access into your home, mice can fit through holes the size of a dime. This usually happens around October through February, when mice are looking for warmer climates, but there are some things you can do to prepare. Fill any holes leading to your house from the outside, and stock up on snap traps — they’re the most effective, according to our friends at the National Pest Management Association.

5. Palmetto Bugs

“The American cockroach remains active year-round where the temperature is 70°F or higher,” says Michael Bentley, an entomologist with the National Pest Management Association. So right about now … if you see one (or many!), you have to act fast.

Here’s what you need to know and do: 5 Things to Know About Palmetto Bugs

(Image credit: Susanna Hopler/Dzm1try)

6. Ants

“Ants are the most commonly reported pest in the country,” says Bentley. They’re especially going to be more active this year because we had an unseasonably warm and mild winter followed by a warm and mild spring. To eliminate them, your best bet is to find the source or their point of entry. Just follow the trail.

Have you had to deal with any pests or insects lately? Tell us in the comments what happened.