Of all the places you could run across creepy pests, why your kitchen? Now, not only do you have to worry about seeing them, you have to worry about finding them in your food? It’s almost like pests are trying to ruin your life.
Well, the good news is, it’s not about you at all. Actually, pests are just interested in the same thing you are when you head to the kitchen: food. Bugs and rodents of all shapes and sizes gotta eat, just like everything else. What better place to eat than the room where you’ve left out all these goodies for them? Obviously, however, those goodies aren’t for them. Here’s how to make sure they stay that way.
Some pests, like ants, boxelders, or flies, are content to feed on crumbs or garbage. The really upsetting pests, however, are not. Pantry moths, beetles, and all kinds of other creepy crawlies will infest stored food at the first opportunity. Grains like bread, cereal, flour, and pasta are especially likely targets. Pests love carbs too, apparently. Pest infestations ruin food and inflict psychological trauma in the process. Have you ever found a cricket at the bottom of your cereal box? We don’t recommend it.
Unfortunately, pests are relentless. Cardboard boxes and plastic bags aren’t going to cut it. The best way to protect your stored food is to invest in hard, airtight, resealable plastic boxes. Keep cereal, chips, pastas, and other storable foods sealed whenever you’re not eating or cooking with them. It should go with saying, but never keep food products sitting out on the counter–especially not fruit or breads!
Keep It Dry
For whatever reason, the idea that pests need food makes sense, but the idea that they need water doesn’t. But it’s just as true. Everything needs some amount of moisture, and bugs and rodents are no exception. Small pests don’t need a lot of water to survive, but they’re just as attracted to it as they are to food. Pests will find and use humidity, condensation, puddles, plumbing leaks, and even leftover water in sinks.
Moisture accumulates in your kitchen in more ways than you’d expect. Cooking generates a lot of heat, and with heat comes humidity. If your cooking area isn’t properly ventilated, all that heat and humidity will have nowhere to go. Condensation on windows, stovetops, and refrigerators doesn’t seem like much to you, but it’s more than enough for bugs. Soaking dishes in the sink are even more attractive; after all, they’re a meal and drink in one!
Clean Up After Meals
We’re not kitchen-shaming you right now; no one’s as good about this as they should be. It’s just too tempting to leave your mess sitting out after a huge meal. Unfortunately, however, pests will punish you for your food-induced laziness every time. Used dishes, crumbs, leftovers, spills, and other remnants are basically a pest feast waiting to be claimed. Whether they have to crawl onto eating surfaces, sneak into sinks, or swarm over dishes, they will claim it.
Do the dishes after every meal as soon as you’re finished. Wipe down the counter surfaces and tables you ate on. If you spilled or dropped anything, vacuum or mop it up before it has the chance to settle. Don’t forget to clean off table cloths or other surface covers. If you’re really feeling productive, you should dry off and put away dishes as soon as you or the dishwasher finish washing them.
Unfortunately, food doesn’t disappear when you drop it in the garbage. It’s so convenient to fling those chicken bones into the wastebasket, but pests can find them there just fine. In fact, if anything, your garbage is the easiest place for pests to access food. Usually, you store garbage in dark, closed-off or tight spaces. Often, these spaces are even humid. Pests can come and go at their leisure, taking what they want or even staying a while.
You don’t want that. The best way to prevent it is paying attention to what you put in your garbage. Don’t keep food that can decompose or rot (meats, vegetables, fruits) in a bin for long periods. Dry anything wet before putting it in the trash or recycling. Keep your garbage bins lined at all times, and seal the lining when you’re not throwing something away. Take the garbage out at least once a week, even if it isn’t full.
Most kitchens end up being the unofficial center of the entire home. Your family meets there after work, eats there, talks there, and (obviously) cooks there. Everyone ends up there during parties, for no reason. You don’t want pests infesting the center of your entire home, and you really don’t want pests in your food.
Luckily, there’s absolutely no reason you’ll ever have to suffer pests in your kitchen. Not while we’re around, anyway. If you find an unpleasant surprise in your pantry, give Varment Guard a call right away. We’ll make sure your food–and home–stays clean and pest free.BACK TO BLOG