Have you ever grabbed a bag of flour or reached into the back of your pantry only to find a colony of insects has set up camp in your food storage, leaving you with a heap of tarnished items? If so, you likely understand the horror that comes from realizing you’re living amidst a fully-fledged pest infestation. While multi-legged intruders are an unpleasant surprise anywhere in your home, finding a nest in your kitchen can translate to infected food items and compounding food waste, raising your stress levels to a boiling point.
Fortunately, pest-proofing your space is easier than you may think. By simply tweaking your cleaning routine and investing in a few insect-resistant products, you can arm your kitchen against hazardous infestations. Read on for six tried-and-true tips for keeping pests at bay.
Check for signs of pests
Before you can eradicate a pest infestation, you need to understand the tell-tale signs you’re living amongst unwanted visitors. While some bugs are easy to spot, others tuck themselves into small crevices and back shelf pantry items requiring a more thorough eye to identify the intruder. To catch pesky invasions early on, check for droppings, nesting materials, grease tracks, and structural damage while tidying your kitchen space.
Whether it’s a colony of ants following a trail of crumbs into your home or cockroaches sniffing out your greasy stains, you’ll want to tackle the infestation as soon as possible. Termites, in particular, wreak havoc on kitchen spaces, feasting on wooden fixtures, like cabinets and trimming. To sidestep these insects, treat your wood with anti-termite chemicals, clean out clogged pipes, and—if all else fails—schedule a termite inspection service.
The best way to ward off uninvited buggy visitors is by sticking to a thorough cleaning routine. Pests flock to cluttered countertops with dark corners slathered in forgotten food residue, which means you should engage in a full-blown wipe-down consistently to avoid surprise infestations. Make sure you wipe down kitchen surfaces, scrub stovetop ranges, and sweep out the back of your pantry to keep pests at bay. Additionally, pull out your appliances and sweep underneath every month for added security.
Use an enclosed trash bin
Many annoying kitchen pests can sniff out rotting food from a mile away, which means an open garbage can is a perfect feeding ground for hungry creatures looking for a five-course meal. To avoid attracting unwanted guests into your trash, consider purchasing a bin with a secure lid to deter persistent insects. Additionally, make sure you’re tossing your trash frequently instead of allowing leftover food and waste to decompose, piquing the interest of hungry pests.
Tidy up spills immediately
Because pests are attracted to food residue, it’s critical to wipe up any remnants immediately after a spill. While it may be tempting to leave a crumb or stain for your next big clean, allowing a littered mess to accumulate can attract greedy insects in an instant. To dodge a full-blown infestation, sweep up fallen food debris, mop up drips, and wipe down sticky surfaces daily.
Pest-proof your food storage
Nothing attracts kitchen pests like improperly sealed food storage, as creepy crawlers can squeeze their way into the smallest of cracks and crevices. To ensure your pantry items remain safe from insects and sidestep wasted food, seal each item in an air-tight container. For additional protection, remove any food items from the floor and swap out easily chewable bags for pest-proof glass jars.
Scouring the back of your pantry only to find a family of pests chewing through your storage is alarming. Thankfully, you can keep infestations away from your kitchen by frequently cleaning, investing in pest-proof food storage, and checking for signs of pesky infiltrations.