Insects and other pesky critters are a common occurrence in homes, especially during summer. Getting rid of them can be quite a task if you want to avoid harmful chemicals in your kitchen. The real challenge lies in finding organic ways to eliminate them. However, prevention should be the first defense against pest infestation in the kitchen. Practice proper sanitation and house-proofing as chemical-free measures before resorting to dusting or spraying chemical pesticides in your kitchen. You can also follow preventative pest control methods. You can do this by:
- Removing any spilled food promptly.
- Storing food in tightly sealed bags or glass containers.
- Avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink. Clean out soda/beer bottles and cans with warm soapy water.
- Cover garbage cans tightly and take out the trash regularly.
- Get rid of uneaten pet food and wash your pet’s food and water dishes often.
- Seal all the cracks in floors and walls as well as any openings around windows and doors.
- Replace any rotting wood on windowsills, doorways and porches.
- Regularly clean shelves, bins and all locations where there is possibility of food particles accumulating. You can do this by mixing one part vinegar and one part water to remove odors.
- Unclog your drains by mixing ½ cup baking soda and ½ cup vinegar, pouring down the drain followed by boiling water to clear everything up.
- Store all your dry foods in a cool dark place.
- Clean old containers before filling them with fresh food.
There are various ways to getting rid of pests in your kitchen. Below are some helpful tips to naturally get rid of pests from your kitchen.
- Flying Insects
From houseflies to fruit flies, these are some of the most common flying insects found in kitchens. Fruit bowls and recycle bins always draw these insects. You can use baited jar traps to control the fruit flies and fly paper for the houseflies. To make your own jar trap, pour ½ cup of beer into a wide-mouth jar, then cover the jar with a plastic wrap with the middle section sagging into the jar. Poke a tiny hole into the sagging section and secure the mouth of the jar with an elastic band. Once the flies have been trapped, they will be unable to exit the jar.
Another alternative to beer is apple cider vinegar and chopped apple pieces. Basil plants are also a natural fly repellant.
You can also leave a piece of absorbent cloth soaked with a few drops of eucalyptus oil to deter flies. A wad of crushed mint leaves on windowsills and near doorways will also aid in deterring fruit flies.
Spraying pesticides is not only harmful to you and your family as a method of getting rid of ants, you will not totally eradicate the ant problem. This is because you will kill all the ants before they can go back to the colony to infect the others. You should prepare a slow-acting poison that is fatal to the ants but not harmful to humans. The borax and sugar trick will work in this case. A solution of ½ cup sugar, 1 cup very warm water and 2 tablespoons of Borax will do the trick. Place this mixture in the line of the ant’s march and say goodbye to your ant infestation. Another solution is spreading masking tape with mint or mint apple jelly. You can also remove their nests or introduce crickets as a bio-control method. Other methods of ant eradication are:
- Using a mixture of vinegar and water. Ants cannot stand the smell of vinegar. Mix them in 1:1 ratio and fill a spray bottle with it.
- Use lemon juice to spray your surfaces with.
- Place mint leaves in ant traffic areas to control them.
- Cucumber slices and peels can also be used to block the ant’s entry.
- Coffee grounds are fatal for ants. Just sprinkle some in their line or where they gain entry into your home.
The best control measure to getting rid of roaches is eliminating sources of moisture and food. Replace dripping faucets and leaky pipes that encourage moisture. If you find the source of the roaches, you can also vacuum them then place the vacuum bag in the freezer to kill the cockroaches. You should also vacuum and dispose of their droppings which sometimes act as a food source for young cockroaches.
Sticky traps such as glue boards that are used to trap mice may also work on some cockroaches. An organic jar trap will also work. Place a banana peel inside a mayonnaise jar and coat the inside of the jar with Vaseline. The roaches will be trapped and will not be able to crawl out of the jar. Once the cockroaches are inside the jar, place it in the freezer to kill them.
Bay leaves are also a great cockroach repellant. Keep a pot of bay leaves in your kitchen. Crush a handful of bay leaves and place them in bowls at every corner of the kitchen.
Lemon slices also act as a powerful natural agent to keep cockroaches away. You may also spray lemon juice or use lemon paste made from lemon peels.
- Rats and Mice
The best way to eradicate or deal with these rodents is to seal off all their possible entryways. Plug any visible entrance holes with steel wool, caulking and weather stripping. If this does not work, dig a 12-inch wide and 8-inch deep trench around your home and fill it with gravel. Traps and glue boards may also be a better organic method to eradicate the rodents.
- Moths and Weevils
Pheromone moth traps works well in dealing with a moth infestation. This method works by attracting and killing them with a sticky substance that they cannot escape once they touch it. Sachets filled with dried herbs such as rosemary, bay leaves, cloves, lavender or thyme also aid in eradicating weevils.
Implementing these effective organic methods to eradicate pests in your kitchen or home will give you peace of mind in the long run when dealing with a pest infestation.