For most households, the kitchen is the heart of a home and a hub for family bonding time Whether you’re prepping school lunches, whipping up a home-cooked meal, or packing a snack for the eight-hour workday ahead, family members and friends usually congregate in the kitchen. This room not only experiences the most foot traffic but is known to attract disease-carrying pests such as fruit flies, cockroaches, rodents, ants, and houseflies.
These insects and rodents can quickly invade your home, expose you to life-threatening disease, and even damage your property. Therefore, pest control services are critical during seasons characterized by extreme heat or cold, as pests will seek refuge in your air-conditioned or heated home. When the number of pests in your home spikes, you may be vulnerable to asthmatic symptoms, contaminated food, and transmitted diseases such as typhoid.
An effective pest control strategy will involve identifying the type of pests plaguing your home, locating their hideouts, figuring out how to eliminate them, and restricting access. While some homeowners turn to pesticides for a quick-fix solution, using store-bought pesticides should be a last resort when other methods fail. Unfortunately, these pesticides can poison your loved ones if they’re applied improperly.
Before you solidify your pest control strategy, here’s some insight into what pests are most likely to inhabit your kitchen and some tips on how to eradicate them.
Cockroaches are often classified as the most prevalent pest in the kitchen and bathroom areas. More than 50 species of cockroaches exist. The most common species are the German, American, and Oriental roaches that infest damp and warm areas in the kitchen.
These common roach types breed in sinks and electrical appliances like refrigerators and appear at night to scavenge for leftover food. These insects pose a substantial health risk to your home’s residents, as they spread diseases and bacteria in the kitchen and cause allergic reactions in asthmatics.
Because these insects are nocturnal and depend almost entirely on leftover food, you’ll want to starve these ravenous pests. To do so, thoroughly clean the kitchen by scraping off loose crumbs, soaking up spilled sugary liquids, and wiping up food residue.
As mentioned prior, roaches thrive in damp areas which is why you should immediately clean spills and repair leaky pipes to create an inhospitable environment. As an extra precaution, electrical appliances such as refrigerators should be regularly vacuumed to remove the eggs, feces, and dead cockroaches. Hiding areas such as crevices, holes, and cracks in the walls, ceiling, and cabinets should be filled with plaster to block entry into the kitchen area.
Pesticides containing nerve-paralyzing compounds such as Malathion and pyrethrins can be sprayed into heavily-infested areas. A homeowner can also use boric acid, silica gel, and diatomaceous earth to drive them out of their hideouts.
Apart from being a nuisance, flies are vectors of disease and are known to carry illnesses and infections such as cholera and typhoid. Fruit flies infest areas with fruits stored in open-air, making dinner parties with punch bowls, fruit platters, or other sweet treats hotspots for pests. Installing fly screens in your windows can prevent flies from gaining entry into your kitchen. To eliminate fruit flies and other fly species, you’ll also want to clean your floors and countertops after spillage to avoid attracting flies.
While attending to countertops that have fallen victim to spills, it’d be in your best interest to routinely clean the kitchen, to proactively ward off pests. As part of your cleansing ritual, you’ll need to scrub your countertops and your floors with water, a brush, and a detergent. You should also periodically sweep up any food crumbs in the kitchen and store food inside tightly closed plastic, metal, or glass containers.
According to pest control experts, you should avoid leaving out leftover ingredients, open jars, and unsealed seasonings in your kitchen. After using an ingredient, immediately return said ingredient to the refrigerator or pantry. You should also completely sanitize your utensils and complete a quick kitchen clean-up before you go to bed.
If these pest-control efforts don’t suffice, you can use salt, pepper, white wine, and vinegar to eliminate fruit flies and the eggs embedded in rotting or fresh vegetables. Never douse your kitchen with harmful pesticides, as this puts you and your family at risk of accidentally ingesting potentially life-threatening chemicals.
There are many species of both non-poisonous and poisonous spiders. Generally speaking, spiders are small, nocturnal, and cocoon in warm moist corners in the kitchen.
While these spiders are seemingly harmless, some species pose a health risk to those residents with allergies and asthma, especially when these spiders bite their victims. To prevent allergic reactions, you’ll need to locate any cobwebs in your kitchen space and remove them accordingly with a vacuum or broom. Spider beetles, which resemble small spiders, survive on cereal and cereal grain production. In their search for food, they can contaminate food and cause food-borne illnesses.
Since spiders are irritated by strong smells, you can use peppermint oil, water, and liquid detergent to ward them off. Other natural remedies such as garlic, lavender, and bay leaves will divert insects away from your kitchen. As a DIY pest-control solution for spiders, you can sprinkle boric acid, baking powder, and Diatomaceous Earth in their hideouts, or you can dribble white wine.
Small rodents such as mice and rats infest kitchens in pursuit of warmth, water, food, and shelter. These animals are vectors of diseases such as typhoid and the bubonic plague which can transfer pathogens to your food supply.
The ingestion of rodents fecal matter can be extremely detrimental to a person’s health status. With this in mind, a homeowner or renter should immediately alert their landlord or on-call pest control expert after spotting a scurrying rat or mouse. Note that rodents enter kitchens through holes in your foundation, gaps in the floor, and cracks in walls, windows, ceilings, and windows. If you’re experiencing a rat infestation, an unsealed window or gaping floorboard may be the culprit.
For prevention’s sake, you should perform routine cleanings and vacuum regularly to remove any food and water that these rodents might need to survive. To seal cracks and holes in your walls, ceilings, and floors, utilize fly screens, steel wool, and silicone caulk, duct tape, and door sweeps. You can also repair or replace ripped screens or loose shingles to keep pests away from your home.
Warning, mice and rats are attracted to the smell of rotting food tossed in your trash bins. Because garbage welcomes pest infestations, you should regularly take out your garbage and close the cans tightly to keep pests from flocking to the scents emitted from your garbage.
It would help if you cleaned both the interior and exterior of your garbage containers as often as possible. Avoid leaving garbage bags lying out overnight, as they can attract rodents such as squirrels and rats that can threaten your health and the health of your loved ones.
You can set glue or snap traps to control rodents within your kitchen, but you’ll need to keep it far out-of-reach from pets and children. Rodenticide baits are also a great option for those homes negatively impacted by rodent infestations. Just be sure to follow the instructions provided to avoid accidental poisoning.
Infestations in your kitchen should be taken seriously. If you choose to ignore existing pests, you may put your family at risk of infection, food-borne illness, or even death. Keep your eating areas pest-free by recruiting the experts and employing your own pest control strategies.