6 ways to control kitchen pests and garbage scavengers

With food scraps, grease and water lines to attract insects, the kitchen is the starting place for keeping such pests at bay. Here are six ways to keep common insects out of your kitchen.

6 ways to control kitchen pests and garbage scavengers

1. Use spray and traps to get rid of ants

Ants can be held in check with baited traps or residual sprays (which coat problem areas such as baseboards) that you can buy at the supermarket or hardware store.

  • Apply the spray or set several traps around windowsills, exterior doorways, baseboards and sinks.

2. Simple ways to combat cockroaches

Cockroaches can be discouraged by a dusting of boric acid powder along baseboards and under the sink.

  • If you see roaches in the kitchen, apply a residual spray of commercial roach killer. If it's not effective, try one with a different active ingredient.
  • For severe infestations, you'll need to call in an exterminator.

3. How to keep house flies out

House flies can only reproduce outside, so good screens are your first line of defense.

  • Indoors, you can wield a fly swatter or hang strips of flypaper to keep their numbers down.

4. Discouraging fruit flies

Fruit flies swarm around ripe fruit, sweet foods and even vinegar, especially in late summer.

  • Store fruit in the refrigerator and other attractive foods in airtight containers.

5. Food moths and grain beetle solutions

Food moths and grain beetles proliferate in flour, cereal, pasta and other grain products.

  • If they're a problem, discard the infected food, vacuum the area thoroughly and scrub with liquid dish detergent and water.
  • Store any new grain-based products in airtight containers, such as screw-top jars or plastic containers with locking lids.

6. Protect your garbage can

Wash out garbage cans regularly with a solution of 125 milllitres (1⁄2 cup) ammonia and four litres (one gallon) of water. Sprinkle borax in each clean, dry container to keep it fresh. You can discourage animals (dogs, raccoons, opposums and crows are top contenders in the suburbs) from getting into the garbage by any one of the following suggestions.

  • Use heavy-duty cans: Use heavy-duty cans with tight-fitting lids that can't be chewed through.
  • Stretch a bungee cord: Stretch a bungee cord across the lid of the can and through the top handle, and hook the ends to the side handles.
  • Fasten garbage cans: Fasten garbage cans to a sturdy post with rope or bungee cords, so that they can't be tipped over.
  • Keep garbage cans in a wooden bin: Keep garbage cans in a wooden bin with a lid that can be fastened down.

Remember these tips and keep your kitchen insect-free!

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